Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Who's the Best...Monster Breakfast Cereal?


Karen: Since it's Halloween-time, General Mills has brought back their popular monster cereals to store shelves around the country. This year, besides the classic Count Chocula, Frankenberry, and Boo Berry, they've brought back the near-mythical Frute Brute (don't blame me, that's how they're spelling it) and Yummy Mummy. Now they have changed the flavors on the last two; both were originally multi-fruit flavored. I suppose in order to make them different, they have made Frute Brute cherry flavored (yechh) and Yummy Mummy 'orange-creme' flavored (whaaat???). Just for fun, some stores will feature boxes with retro (ie. 70s) art designs.

Here's your question: Assuming you ate these cereals, what flavor was your favorite? For me there was no question: hands down, it was Count Chocula! Chocolate would always trump fruit flavor for this kid. I did occasionally eat Frankenberry, but I never tried Boo berry or any of the other cereals. I don't think I even knew of the other two until years later. I might not have heard of Frute Brute til I saw it in Pulp Fiction. Although I now mostly eat oatmeal and 'healthy' cereals, I do usually pick up a box of Chocula at this time of the year, for old times' sake. Man is that stuff sweet! So how about it -which one was your favorite?





26 comments:

J.A. Morris said...

Franken Berry for me. I tried Chocula once and didn't like it. I generally don't like cereals. I tried Boo Berry a couple times, but "Frank" the only monster cereal I ate on anything like a regular basis.

I heard of Frute Brute & Yummy Mummy but never tried them. If memory serves, they were only on sale at one chain of grocery stores where we lived, not exactly mythical, just hard to find.

Edo Bosnar said...

Never heard of Yummy Mummy until today, and while I don't recall the actual name "Frute Brute," I do have some vague memory of seeing that cereal box in the grocery store (never ate it, though).
Anyway, my favorites were Boo Berry and Frankenberry put much equally. When it came to those horribly sweet kids' cereals, I always preferred fruit flavors to chocolate (i.e., Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, Cap'n Crunch...)

redartz said...

Karen, I'm with you: Count Chocula was my choice for a breakfast sugar hit. Did eat Frankenberry and Boo Berry (actually pretty good, too), but first choice was always the Count. My wife prefers Frankenberry; we each picked up a box recently. All those Monster cereals are gone already; there must be quite a demand for them in this college town...

Doug said...

I enjoyed the Monster Cereals as a kid -- not sure if I ever saw Yummy Mummy but vividly recall the other four. I especially liked the commercials. As a kid who got the bejeezus scared out of me by "real" monster movies, the commercials for the various cereals were a joy -- very safe!

I enjoyed a box of Boo Berry earlier this fall, purchased at Target. Long live the Monster Cereals!

Doug

MattComix said...

If you're 5 the idea of chocolate for breakfast is mind-blowing so the Count wins it. It gets extra points with kids for being a cereal that no parent buys willingly.

No box of Count Chocula was ever purchased without there being a lot of "But MOOOOM.." before hand. Same goes for Cocoa Puffs and Cookie Crisp.

Doug said...

Matt, Cookie Crisp took the blurring of the line between breakfast and general snacking to a whole new level!

Doug

david_b said...

I had young neice's Oreo Cookie cereal once. Ewww. Like Cookie Crisp, that line blurred heavily.

Actually after a half-box digested..., "Sooooo did everything else.."






"Suddenly, that dancing shark cartoon (Jabberjaw).. suddenly made perfect sense."

MattComix said...

@Doug. True and purely from a marketing stand point it's brilliant! Shameless, but brilliant.

@david_b. You know there really is something to the combo of sugar cereal and watching cartoons on Saturday morning.

themiddlespaces said...

I didn't like any of them. I was a Cap'n Crunch and Frosted Flakes kid.

Oh sure, I liked the _IDEA_ of them and badgered my mom into buying one or the other of them for me occasionally, but my older siblings would end up eating them, since I didn't like them (just liked the characters - I guess advertising works).

I am pretty sure Yummy Mummy didn't come out until the late 80s or some time in the 90s, thus why many of us have never heard of it. But I could be wrong.

themiddlespaces said...

Looked it up, Yummy Mummy first came out in '87/'88.

However, if you Google "Yummy Mummy" the first few hits are about breast-feeding children!

david_b said...

Funny, whenever I've come across 'yummy mummy' on Google, it typically takes one on a more, mature, less innocent direction...

Humanbelly said...

Man, we almost NEVER got the A-list Kids cereals in our house-! My perpetually on-a-diet (w/ never a shred of success) Mom insisted that we only ever eat "healthy" cereals which consisted of Wheaties or Total-- which we would of course ladle 2 to 4 TABLEspoons of sugar onto to give them some semblance of palability. THEN some marketing genius came up with the idea of "King Vitamin", which my Mom believed ALL of the inane health-claims for, and we existed on that for several years. Pretty much a cheaper version of Kap'n Krunch-- with more sugar. I kid you not when I tell you that I would easily devour two bowls early on a Saturday morning, and it would give me a sore throat and my hands would shake. But it had "Vitamin" in the name. . . so surely it had to be good for us. . .

(Let me tell ya about her substite-wheat-germ-for-flour chocolate chip cookie experiment sometime. . . )

HB

Karen said...

HB, I feel for you my friend.

david_b said...

Ditto ~ Other than an occasional Quisp or Capt'n Crunch, it was only Corn Flakes in my parents cupboard growing up.

Junior High, I did get in on some Freakies action, since my best bud and I were into creating all these huge cardboard starships (ala Trek..) and using the plastic action figures as crew.

These ships were about 2-3ft in size.. Typically using corrugated cardboard for hull and thin white boards (years before comics used it for 'backer boards'..). High details for consoles, chairs, engineering sections repurposing model kit parts.., you name it.

This was about a year before Star Wars made us both go Empire and Rebel Alliance on all our ship designs now using the Kenner figures. Buying Kenner ships..? Nah, that was too easy and plastic was way too confining. We designed ships by how WE saw them.. We were quite prolific until just before senior high school and we got too mature to continue.

Wish we had pictures of all our creativity, but film was kinda expensive for us back then.., and we never thought twice about keeping memories. In the early '90s I did revisit my ship-crafting skills and built a defiant-style shuttlecraft for my young niece and nephew's brand new Voyager figures. They loved it.

Sorry, got off the beaten path for cereals. But great memories.

Humanbelly said...

Ah, you're a gem, Karen- thanks.
Y'know, I haven't eaten a crumb of any of those three cereals in the nearly 35 years since I graduated high school... (*shudder*)

But we did manage to eat all of the Kid cereals often enough at friends' houses, I daresay. Count Chocula was okay, but I thought both Cocoa Crispies and Cocoa Puffs were the better chocolate cereals. Kap'n Krunch w/ Crunchberries was our favorite of that group-- and we did usually get a box or three of "Christmas" Krunch around the holidays. Apple Jacks-- too sweet, but a great song to make parody lyrics to. Lucky Charms were DREADFUL pieces of cardboard w/ sweet hardened marshmallows thinly interspersed (I think the commercials kept that cereal going).

Now, here's a task for the deeper memories: do folks recall that MANY of those kids' cereals started out with the word SUGAR proudly emblazoned as part of their name? Sugar Frosted Flakes, Sugar Pops, Super Sugar Crisp (w/ Sugar Bear--- later "Honey" Bear), Sugar Puffs, Sugar Smacks, etc, etc, etc. During my elementary years, that convention disappeared as kids' teeth started falling out. (My first check-up at about age 6? Eleven cavities. And a dentist who used any kind of antisthetic for only the deepest drilling. . . ugh. . . )

HB, still on memory lane. . .

Doug said...

Freakies!!!!! Loved 'em, and had a couple of the little figures you reference, David!

Quisp -- what a goofy-looking guy! Weren't the commercials for a lot of these cereals better than the product?

We never had any trouble getting sugared cereals in our house. Shoot, we put sugar on the plain stuff anyway.

But the sweetest, richest, cereal I ever had was when we stayed overnight at my grandma's and for breakfast she served us Frosted Flakes with... cream. Not milk, not 1/2-and-1/2. Cream. I'll probably die a year young because of it.

Doug

Doug said...

I certainly do remember the prevalence of the word "sugar". You know, changing the names of the cereals to make us think they were healthier may have been one of the first examples of political correctness. Because, you know, Sugar Bear was going to kill us. But Honey Bear -- now that dude's your friend!

Right.

Calvin and Hobbes always got this right, didn't it?

Doug

Humanbelly said...

Yes, Quisp & Quake were quite hilarious-! And really, the Frankenberry/Count Chocula rivalry was fun, too. Even as a kid, I enjoyed Frank's Karloff voice against Choc's Lugosi. BooBerry's Peter Lorre was a bit of a stretch, though.

The "Rivalry" scthick that never worked for me, though, was the Fruity Pebbles/Cocoa Pebbles thing (Fred & Barney)-- and I think it's 'cause the characters were already too well recognized, and we'd seen them for too many years before doing far funnier material.

HB (Why am I suddenly hooked into this thread-????)

david_b said...

Doug, I recall Calvin's breakfast was 'Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs'...

Something pretty close to that at least.

Humanbelly said...

I'm tellin' ya, DaveB, just stick the word "Vitamin" in there somewhere, and Calvin's good to go.

"Chocolate Frosted Sugar Vitamin Bombs"--- yep.

HB

Karen said...

Speaking of the monster voices, it occurs to me that most pre-Bronze kids (and a lot of Bronze age ones as well) probably have no idea that the voices for those characters come from those actors, who those actors were, or anything about them. Yet, Dracula's voice and mannerisms are stereotypically associated with Lugosi's portrayal, and Karloff's voice has been used in a variety of TV spots (although the Frankenberry voice is like his normal voice, not the one he did for the Frankenstein monster). Lorre's distinctive voice would probably be obscure to all but film students.

Doug said...

David --

Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs. Find me a 6-year old boy who wouldn't say those are four of his favorite words! Watterson was on top for the duration of that strip, wasn't he?

And adding Vitamin... naturally. Hey, we live on a planet where the sun will kill us. EAT THE SUGAR!!

Doug

johnlindwall said...

Shame on you Doug for besmirching the good name of Quisp! I absolutely LOVED it as a kid, my fondness quite possibly fanned by the rarity of finding it in our Vons!

Quisp was my first thought when I saw the monster cereal theme -- hey, he's an ALIEN right?

Regarding Lucky Charms: on saturday mornings my brother and I would pour out a mixing bowl full and pull out the "marshmallows". We'd form the marshmallows into apple-sized balls, using our hands, and eat them. The cereal part, which we called the "cat food" went back into the box!, for some decidedly unlucky diner! Good times!

Rip Jagger said...

Put me down as a Frankenberry man. (Did I just type that?)

Count Chocula was overwhelmingly rich, at least for my tastes. The strawberry goodness of Frankenberry made for sense, especially with those little mallows.

Sadly I'm the dullest human alive since my favorite cereal of all time is Grape Nuts! Yikes!

Rip Off

Edo Bosnar said...

Karen, I have to respectfully disagree about Lorre's voice. I had no idea who Peter Lorre was when I was a kid, but I recognized the similarity between the voice used for Boo Berry and a number of characters that appeared in Warner Brothers cartoons.

Karen said...

Edo, what I was trying to get across in my poorly-worded comment was that people might recognize the voices as being familiar, yet wouldn't know what actors were being mimicked. I think I'm just feeling a bit blue lately thinking about being perhaps the last generation that actually knows who Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi are.

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