Time is up for one of Lucky Charms’ marshmallows. The yellow hourglass, which has been in every box for over a decade, is being retired this spring. Its replacement has yet to be announced.
There isn’t a specific reason for this announcement, beyond marketing hype. But we should come to expect this by now. Historically, Lucky Charms is merciless with its marshmallow rotation. When the cereal was first introduced in 1963, it contained green clovers, pink hearts, orange stars, and yellow moons. Of that original line-up, only the hearts remain today. Those leprechauns sure are a fickle bunch.
Over the last five decades, a variety of limited edition charms have come and gone. Most are nonsensical, like the swirled whales in 1986 and the blue diamonds in 2015.
But some actually have legit meaning behind them. In 1990, a pine tree marshmallow was added to help promote Earth Day. They even offered free Colorado Blue Spruce seedlings with proof of purchase. And in 2013, two new rainbows were created for LGBT pride month. How else would leprechauns show their support of gay marriage?
It’s also worth noting that the mythology behind the cereal is far more expansive than we ever imagined. Each one of the marshmallow charms represents a different special power that their cartoon mascot, Lucky the Leprechaun, has. The heart signifies the power to bring things to life, shooting stars represent the ability to fly, and blue moons equal the power to become invisible. I had no idea.
The newly retired hourglass symbolized Lucky’s power to control time, but we’re guessing he’s losing that ability? I’m not sure how these magical creatures operate. Lucky for us, General Mills’ press releases rival Tolkien in their fantastical logic and expansive world-building. I’m eagerly awaiting a three-hour cinematic saga. ‘Lord of the Rings’ has got nothing on Lucky the Leprechaun.
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