Hot Wheels toys in my Banania cornflakes

France. Pif Gadget 869. 1985.

Banania Hot Wheels promotion. France. Pif Gadget 869. 1985.

Of course, In 1985, they didn’t really put die cast toy vehicles inside the boxes of Banania cornflakes (not that it wasn’t uncommon back then to find cool toys inside boxes, but rarely metal toys that would add significant weight to the box). So, no car in my cornflakes? But this was still an excellent opportunity to grab one of 20 sets of 126 vehicles! In addition there were 1000 other prizes to be grabbed. To be in with the chance to win you had to answer a question and then cut-out and send off the slip on the bottom of the advert.

Controversial Banania

The advertising images for Banania featuring the smiling Senegalise soldier – and in particular the slogan “y’ a bon” (Pidgen French: “that’s good”) has come under scrutiny by those accusing the brand of racism or colonialism.

Scan of a reproduction tin plate advert from the 1930s. These reproduction ads are popular throughout France.

Scan of a reproduction Banania tin plate advert from the 1930s. Reproduction ads of this era are popular throughout France. They are easily found in stores, street markets, tourist shops, even finding their way to flea markets as second-hand items.

The slogan, “y’ a bon”, which had been used since 1915, was finally scrapped in 2011 from all subsequent products and advertising. The image of the Senegalise soldier is still used but more in a comic / cartoon style. This change of style can perhaps be first seen in the 1985 Hot Wheels advert at the beginning of the post, with the soldier’s head morphed into the font of the letter ‘B’.

I’ve included below another advert from 1985 to illustrate this –  this time for a He-Man and Masters of the Universe promotion which is pretty much the same as the Hotwheels promo.

Banania He-Man MOTU promotion. France. Pif Gadget. 1985.

Banania money box van. France. 2017. From the collection of TVTA.

Banania in Space

You can see the presence of the “y’ a bon” logo in this 1960 advert from Lissette comic. In this promotion you had to collect 16 points from Banania products then send them off along with 6 postage stamps to receive your space play-set and characters.

France. Lissette N° 46. 1960.

Banania space promotion. France. Lissette N° 46. 1960.

Read more of the history of Banania here:

Official Banania website

Banania Wikipedia (French)

Banania Wikipedia (English)