What happened to Kraft’s Successful Mascot: Cheesasaurus Rex?

Cheesasaurus Rex was Kraft macaroni’s answer to the mascot craze of the the 1990s created in 1991. Every brand and retailer was trying to create some character to capture the attention from the younger demographics. Cheesy was sold on all sorts of merchandise like apparel and toys. I have this 1992 tackle box I shared below sporting Cheesasaurus Rex designs. he had amazing 3D animated Commercials in the late 2000s, and comic books in the 90s. An all around memorable character. So where did he go? I compiled a blog article of cool bits.

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What happened to Cheesasaurus Rex?

It is speculated that Cheesasaurus Rex vanished in 2010 so Kraft macaroni and cheese could appeal to adults. Coincidentally The New York Times ran an article on how Kraft was pivoting the target demographic for its macaroni and cheese from children to adults.

User @mayuhbee on a reddit post for r/InternetMysteries suggests that many reasons potentially caused the fall of Cheesasaurus rex:

Around 2003-2004, Kraft decided to stop marketing so aggressively toward kids. They pulled a lot of their TV ads, because of the increase in childhood obesity. It doesn’t seem too far of a leap to assume that retiring C Rex was part of this move, as he was retired around that time.

According to this site, Jay Dandy was the creator of Cheesasaurus Rex. I couldn’t find any other comments about him on other sites, but this does seem pretty legit. I think I was mistaken when saying he retired in 2003, that’s when the float was retired. Here’s an article (the New York Time’s Story) talking about Kraft’s move to rebrand toward adults in 2010. The sentiment of my original post still stands: I think they were trying to no longer only make kids their target audience.


A blog post on Mashed mentioned Rex’s inclusion on a Healthy Eating research paper in 2016, 6 years after being canned from Kraft’s marketing team. Very recently Cheesasuarus was featured in a variety game pack of table top games. You can find this board game on Amazon Here. While He is mentioned and used as a piece in this board game, Big G Creative designed the game while Kraft licensed the character. Other strange use cases for the character include a collaboration with Supreme, which you can read below.

Thanksgiving Parade Balloon (2001-2003)

Info pulled from the Macy’s Parade Wiki:

Cheesasaurus Rex made his Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade debut in the 2001 Parade in the form of a giant helium balloon. Playing the role of a “tyranno-tourist”, the Cheesasaurus Rex lumbered down the streets of Manhattan sporting a purple hat and holding a flashing camera as he snapped photos of Parade spectators saying “cheese”. Measuring 52 feet tall, 61 feet long, and 32 feet wide, the balloon was recycled from parts of the ill-fated Dudley the Dragon balloon from 1995. Additionally, it was the first-ever balloon to utilize a flashing light feature in the form of its camera. During its debut, the addition of an NYPD symbol was added to the balloon, honoring the fallen heroes of the September 11th attacks, this was later removed after his debut. A Rugrats macaroni advertisement predates the Balloon by one year (2000) and uses a 3D generated Cheesasaurus Rex Thanksgiving balloon.

Cheesasaurus Rex visually differed from many mascots as he was portrayed as an orange T-rex, but different enough to not feel like Reptar of Barney the dinosaur. in fact, he predated Barney by one year making him the OG for Dinosaurs. The commercial effort that the studio took to create such entertaining pieces is an example of peak nostalgia. Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Channel Surfing (1999) was a commercial parodying media from the late 90s. In the short 40-second commercial window, 14 short bits of media were played to advertise Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. His Rock N Roni commercial from 2002 in my opinion is his most memorable commercial from the 2000s. Cheesasaurus Rex Performs in a rock concert dome to a crowd of noodles and I always loved this juxtaposition. I didn’t really think about this as a kid, but the rock colosseum with noodles in the crowd was simulating a bowl of mac and cheese with Cheesasaurus adding the extra touch of cheesiness to the theoretical bowl, thus creating the iconic mac and cheese meal we all enjoy.

Night at the Museum 2009 Promotion

Kraft and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation had a sweepstakes giveaway in collaboration for the film: Night at the Museum, Battle of the Smithsonian. You can watch this YouTube video of the Promotion. Contest entrants could find unique codes on the back of macaroni boxes to enter on thecheesiest.com 10 Grand-prize winners were given sleepovers at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. on Sponsor specified dates [February of 2010]. 250 first-prize winners got a blanket, cash, and a DVD copy of Night at the Museum. 2000 second-prize winners received the blanket and cash. At the time of this Blog post, I have not been able to find any photos of the blanket, and I am led to believe the prize was changed to something else.

Supreme Collaboration (2022)

Supreme is a streetwear and skateboarding brand that originated in New York City. The brand was established in 1994 by James Jebbia. Supreme is known for its distinctive red and white logo featuring the word “Supreme” in bold, italicized font inside a red rectangle. The brand has gained a cult following and is particularly popular among youth culture, streetwear enthusiasts, and fashion aficionados. Supreme releases limited-edition collections of clothing, accessories, and skateboarding products regularly. The limited availability of their items, along with collaborations with various artists and designers, has contributed to the brand’s exclusivity and hype. Supreme has become a global phenomenon, with its items often selling out quickly and commanding high resale prices in the secondary market. In terms for Kraft, the Boxes of these special shaped Noodles can be bought for relatively cheap. compared to Supreme’s other items like their bricks. You can read more about Supreme x Kraft in this article. Do you count this as an official use for Cheesasaurus Rex?

Check out this Youtube video on the collaboration. The 3D render is somewhat janky

neat cheese stamper

Kraft made a cheese stamp dubbed the SingleStamp to punch out a design into Kraft Singles. A pretty unique and cool concept to enhance the eating enjoyment for children. This post documents more on this cheese stamper. I tried to see If I could find more Singlestamps but had no luck. It may be that this specific design with Cheesasaurus is the only one produced.

Dairy Fairy (1996-1998)

Kraft at one point tried to incorporate another mascot. Dairy Fairy, which was a small miniature flying cow that would enhance Kraft Singles. HuffPost provides an article with a technical piece about why the Dairy Fairy had a unique video structure, and it had nothing to do with the hand drawn animations. I won’t bore you about the details because it wasn’t strong enough to keep the Dairy Fairy as a mascot. Kraft Eventually switched back to exclusively using Cheesasaurus Rex. There’s a bit of confusion online with Dairy Fairy’s replacement of Cheesasaurus Rex. I think due to Dairy Fairy’s use in just the Single’s product placements, the mascot was never looking to replace the Dinosaur.

Cheesasaurus was a really solid brand ambassador and it makes me shake my head in confusion why they would get rid of such an iconic mascot. Cheesasaurus Rex was sold on all sorts of merchandise, like t-shirts and action-figures and would be an easy selling point for individuals if Kraft continued to merchandise The Dinosaur. Cheesy suffers from another problem that companies have began to do in the last decade, not only are companies trying all efforts to simplify their logo. they’re also simplifying their assets. mascots like Buck the Bunny from Gamestop aren’t being used. Companies no longer wish to spend hours crafting advertising master pieces, they’d rather do collaborations with creators who then talk about the product for 30 seconds. It doesn’t help that there really isn’t another competitor big enough to battle for macaroni shelf space

You can still find Cheesasaurus Rex mentioned in strange ways today like with boardgames and collaborations. Kraft needs to lean into his inclusion towards marketing. Revive him as the main mascot for their boxes. Ditch the stupid minimalistic approach to design and bring back exciting designs with goofy characters on the front.

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