The history of licensed cereals goes back to 1969 when Post decided to rebrand its failed Post Rice Krinkles as "Fruity Pebbles" based on the Flintstones. Some at Post thought that the popularity of the cereal would eventually flame out, but it never did. The cereal still features the Flintstones and still sells extremely well- despite the fact that most of its current customers probably only know the Flintstones from the cereal itself.
The overwhelming success of the cereal inspired others to try their luck at the licensed cereal biz. One company that decided to try its luck at licensed cereal production was Ralston, best known as the Ralston in dog food conglomerate Ralston Purina. The company produced similar tasting cereals that it would sell under different brand names and with different licensed characters. Today's such cereal is Donkey Kong.
Based on the Nintendo arcade game of the same name, Donkey Kong's box graphic features a knock-off Mario using a mallet to crush the barrel shaped cereal. The maple flavored barrels were much like any of Ralston's other cereals of the time; just shaped differently. The cereal would be killed off rather quickly.