Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Monster Cereals: A Brief History of a Spooky Breakfast

"Monster Cereals" by General Mills
MUSINGS
You’ve probably noticed that different cereal brands come out with “special Halloween editions” of their cereal usually by just altering the color or shapes of the cereal, those of us of a certain age remember the original “Monster Cereals” by General Mills. Thought the look of the mascot monsters have changed over the years, the cereal has not.

For some, the golden age of cerealdom was created in March of 1971 when we saw our first glimpse of Count Chocula and Frankenberry. The Count was voiced by Larry Kenney impersonating Bela Lugosi saying things like “I vant to eat your cereal.” His strawberry-flavored cohort, Frankenberry was voiced by Bob McFadden who impersonated Boris Karloff. Count Chocula featured chocolate-flavored marshmallows (sometimes in the shape of bats) while Frankenberry featured strawberry-flavored marshmallow bits. The two monster would often argue about which cereal tasted best.

In 1973, Boo Berry was added to the lineup that featured a ghost voiced by Paul Frees (who also voiced the Pillsbury Doughboy) impersonating Peter Lorre. The “spooky fun marshmallows” were blueberry-flavored.

In 1974, General Mills added Fruit Brute to the trio that featured the “Fruit Brute” werewolf. According to Mr. Breakfast, the cereal was featured in Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 film, Reservoir Dogs and 1994’s Pulp Fiction. Fruit lasted from 1974-1982 and was revived briefly from 2013-2014.

Finally, Yummy Mummy arrived in 1987 and some cereal purists don’t consider the cereal to be an official member of the Monster Cereal line-up, but for the sake of argument, we’ll include it here. It was on store shelves from 1987-1992 and revived briefly from 2013-2014.

Check out these vintage commercials and see if they don't bring back memories.