All the Lucky Charms Dupes, Ranked and Compared to Real Lucky Charms

Are the best Lucky Charms actually Lucky Charms? When I was in high school and I was finally permitted to consume sugary breakfast cereal because my parents discovered that attempting to control me had become futile, I felt strongly that Publix’s generic Lucky Charms (aka Magic Stars) were leaps and bounds better than actual Lucky Charms. Sadly, since Sporked is based in California, we couldn’t get our hands on Magic Stars (booo), but we did source every suspiciously whimsical marshmallow cereal we could find to see if any have successfully outdone their source material. Lucky the Leprechaun is fuming! 

To be clear, we didn’t judge these bootleg cereals (no offense, bootleg cereals) by how much they taste like Lucky Charms. We judged each on its own merits, those merits being cereal morsel quality, marshmallow taste and texture, and overall theme. For instance, Kroger Shining Stars (which didn’t make the list) appear to be space inspired, so why are some of the marshmallows ostensibly magic themed? In fact, those marshmallows are identical to the marshmallows in Aldi’s Marshmallows & Stars, which actually have a magical wizard on the box. These are important issues and I’m incredibly proud to be the person to tackle them. Today marshmallow cereal, tomorrow world peace! 

If you’re a Lucky Charms fan and you’ve always wondered if the slightly demented looking box of marshmallow cereal a shelf or two closer to the floor could compete, read on. These are the best Lucky Charms marshmallow cereals (that aren’t actually Lucky Charms). 

lucky charms dupes

Best Fruity

Millville Marshmallows & Stars

The only faux version of Lucky Charms that didn’t make our list is Kroger Shining Stars. Incidentally, Millville Marshmallows & Stars look identical to Shining Stars (same star-shaped morsels, same marshmallows), but Marshmallows & Stars are much better. Where Shining Stars had a cloying marshmallowy flavor, the morsels in the box of Marshmallows & Stars had a subtle citrusy flavor. Very tangy and good, but not too much of a departure from Lucky Charms, over all. Anyway, Aldi cereal is very cheap; save some money and pick up a box of these.

Credit: Liv Averett / Aldi




best lucky charms dupe

Best Crispy

First Street Magic Shapes

First Street Magic Shapes, which we picked up at Smart & Final, are a little confusing. There’s a baby dragon on the box, but the marshmallows are shaped like celestial objects and, for some reason, crowns. And the singular cereal morsel shape is a triangle with a hole in the middle—major illuminati vibes. Anyway, this is still a very good cereal, muddled theme aside. The morsels are very airy and crispy and have a good, grainy flavor as you chew. There’s textural variety here that really appeals to me. 

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart




best lucky charms

Best Oat Flavor

 Lucky Charms

You know it. You love it. It’s Lucky Charms and it is roughly the third best whimsical marshmallow cereal. This cereal’s greatest strength is the oaty flavor of its cereal morsels—not many of the generics pull that off. But here’s where Lucky lets me down: The oat bits are almost the exact same texture as the marshmallows, and I think that makes for a less fun eating experience. A lot of bootleg Lucky Charms-ish cereals have much more textural variety. Can’t win ‘em all, Lucky!

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart




best lucky charms dupes

Best of the Best

Malt-O-Meal Marshmallow Mateys & Great Value Magic Treasures

Malt-O-Meal Marshmallows Mateys and Great Value Magic Treasures are basically the same cereal. I can’t tell you without a doubt that they are made in the same factory, but they have the same marshmallow shapes, the same nautical-themed morsels, and the same exact flavor—my naked tongue cannot tell these apart. And, most importantly, both of these cereals are just a little bit tastier than real-deal Lucky Charms. The cereal morsels—which are made of oat flour, just like Lucky Charms—are lighter and crispier than Lucky Charms cereal morsels, and I love that you get a little bit of salt from them as you chew. Don’t get me wrong: This cereal is still a total sugar bomb; in fact, the cereal morsels almost look glazed. I just think they have a little more nuance than Lucky Charms. Magic Shapes cereal gets dinged just a touch for having a magician-themed box and nautical morsels; but if you can look past that thematic laziness, you’ll like them. Did I mention they’re cheap as hell, too? 

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart




Other products we tried: Kroger Shining Stars

About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.

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  • MARSHMALLOW MATEYS. hell yes. it needs its time in the spotlight. lucky charms are all well and fine, the cereal is almost like a plain cheerio. but marshmallow mateys cereal holds up so well on its own. its almost vanilla-y. when ive eaten it i like to get mostly marshmallow bites so im left with just the cereal bit. so boss. im not exaggerating when i say ive been recommending them for years, and when i was in the hospital a couple years back i was thinking of them nonstop.

  • tf are mateys