Thursday, September 15, 2011

Countdown to Halloween - Monster Cereals

As I've previously mentioned I grew up on Saturday Morning cartoons...and what goes better with cartoons then cereal. In my case it was the Monster cereals, primarily Boo Berry and Fruit Brute (yes, I'm that old). I mean what better pairing then cereal and monsters, it sells itself right? Okay lets take a closer look at this phenomenon and how it started.

The History
General Mills introduced the first two cereals, Count Chocula and Frankenberry in 1971. An innovative pair Count Chocula was the first chocolate flavored cereal with chocolate flavored marshmallow bits on the market. Frankenberry was the first strawberrry flavored cereal on the market and was quite popular as the dye used to make it pink did not break down when digested resulting in pink poo. The monsters were voiced in the style of Bela Lugosi for Chocula and Boris Karloff for Frankenberry obviously to cash in on the public perception of these being the true voices for the monsters these were based on thanks to the Universal Monsters films.

In 1973 General Mills added a third cereal - Boo Berry, the first blueberry flavored cereal made. Boo Berry was given voice in the style of actor Peter Lorre.

1974 saw the addition of Fruit Brute, the werewolf. Fruit Brute was a frosted fruit flavored cereal with Lime flavored marshmallows. The cereal survived until 1983 when General Mills discontinued him and the werewolf went to spokesmonster heaven.

The void left by Fruit Brute would soon be filled by a new comer in 1987, Yummy Mummy. Fruity Yummy Mummy was a new frosted fruit flavored cereal but now with vanilla flavored marshmallows. The ancient multi colored bandage wearing mummy would not last long and was discontinued in 1993.


The general public believed that all three monster cereals were discontinued but in face the original three were produced all year round but per General Mills, the retailers did not order them except around Halloween. In most areas Count Chocula continued to be available in stores despite a retooling of the cereal to a less sugar loaded version. 

The Lost Monsters
At one time the advertising agency, Dancer, Fitzgerald and Sample worked up designs for a potential mixed berry cereal...
The potential candidates included Dr. JekyllBerry, The Phantom Berry, The Bride of Frankenberry and BerryPatchera. In the end the mixed Berry concept was abandoned alltogether.

The Resurgence
Recently a growing demand has been building for the monsters causing all manner of new merchandise to be created, including the discontinued Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy. The products range from Headknockers, to vinyl figures to new plush items.
Wacky Wobblers
Kubrick Mini Figures


and of course this hard to find recent piece...

Now then, it's almost Halloween so get yerself out to the store...there are monsters in the cereal aisle

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