Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Big G Cereal Thrillers: Breakfast Monsters
In October, it's usually pretty easy to find the typically elusive General Mills Monster Cereals on grocery store shelves. I haven't seen any this month, but I was happy to find Boo Berry in January, so I know they are for sale somewhere. These characters are easily some of my favorite advertising mascots ever. I especially love the original "retro" character designs depicted here. Funko released a fantastic set of bobbleheads a few years ago, using the "old school" versions of the monsters.
Count Chocula the vampire and Franken Berry the Frankenstein-type monster were introduced in 1971. Of course, Count Chocula had chocolate flavored cereal, and Franken Berry had strawberry flavored cereal. It's fun to go on YouTube and see some of their old animated commercials. These guys used to be big TV stars. They had their own cereal prizes!
Boo Berry the ghost began haunting TV channels in 1973, scaring up sales for his blueberry flavored cereal.
Boo Berry seemed to be tougher to find than Count Chocula or Franken Berry. In the commercials, he often seemed to play second fiddle to the other characters.
Fruit Brute the werewolf first howled for his product in 1974.
I really don't remember ever seeing Fruit Brute in any advertisements. His fruit-flavored cereal was retired in the early 1980s. Fruit Brute may be gone from stores, but he's far from forgotten. He's something of a movie star, as his box of cereal appeared in Quentin Tarantino's film, "Pulp Fiction."
General Mills tried to relaunch the fruit flavor in 1987 with Yummy Mummy. I DO remember the ads for this cereal vividly. "Fruity Yummy Mummy makes your tummy go yummy." Catchy jingle!
Unfortunately, a catchy jingle could not save Yummy Mummy. His cereal was shelved (get it?) and the flavor was laid to rest shortly after the character debuted.
I think it's pretty impressive how these characters flawlessly represent their cereal flavors and still manage to make breakfast fun and just a little bit scary at all times of the year.