Thursday, September 22, 2011

30 Years of Monster Goodness

They are here! The Monster Cereals. Every single year, I wait for these to hit store shelves. I am a devoted fanatic of Count Chocula, Franken Berry and Boo Berry. I can't wait to buy a bunch more and enjoy them throughout the course of the next year!

It's been 30 long years since these cereals were first introduced to the public. Sadly...I know there might be some of you out there who don't know about the Monster Cereals, so let me share with you the history of these delicious Halloween treats.

The Character History
In 1971, General Mills introduced Count Chocula and Franken Berry to the masses. Both plays off of their respective Horror Movie originals, these characters would always feud in the commercials over whose cereal is best.
Needless to say, they never really resolved the issue and have been feuding about it to this day. In 1973, General Mills introduced the blueberry flavored cereal known as Boo Berry. He was always good at getting the other monster's ghost. Hehehehe
Just can't get enough of that Peter Lorre impersonation. I love it. Within the next few years after the release of Boo Berry, the Monster Cereals were joined by, my favorite, Fruit Brute.
Now, I wasn't alive during the time when this was available, but he is my favorite because I love werewolves. And he is just so awesome, sadly, he didn't last too long as a Monster Cereal and was discontinued in the early '80s. But his discontinuation, led to the creation of another Monster Cereal, using the same general flavors as Fruit Brute, called Yummy Mummy.
A little bit annoying, but since Yummy Mummy is a pretty awesome character himself, I have to allow it. Yummy Mummy didn't last long either and was discontinued by 1993. This is why, unless you research, listen to me rant and rave about these characters or are old enough to remember, you probably have no clue who Fruit Brute or Yummy Mummy really are. Sadly, unless the time machine is invented, I don't think I will ever have a box of either...but at least I can get my fix with the others once a year, so that's good enough for me.

The Box History
Almost as important as the characters themselves are the boxes. They are iconic. Since 1971 the boxes have changed quite a bit. Through various redesigns and promotions, there are hundreds of different designs out there. I will try to keep somewhat in line with their release years, but I make no promises as I don't entirely know them.

The "Big Head" box were the originals for each of these characters. These varied a lot and, but always kept the same general style to them.

In 1984, after the discontinuation of Fruit Brute, these boxes featured the Monsters pouring milk into their respective cereals were released. These have always been some of my favorites.

 The Monster Mallows design was a little weak on Boo Berry, but it's a homerun for the rest of the monsters.

In the mid '90s, the Monsters were complete redesigned. These designs were molded and shaped and used for various different boxes until the late 2010. These three are the last boxes to feature the redesigned Monsters.

Taking cues from the past and showing off a new look, these redesigns were great. They just kind of hit each and every note that they needed to. Sadly, these designs lasted less than a year when General Mills released these on us.
There is no real rhyme or reason as to why the Monsters needed another redesign so shortly after one. These are the boxes you will currently find on your store shelves and probably will for the next few years all depending. But really, while the boxes are important, it's the cereal that will leave it's mark. Because while the faces of the Monsters change, they cereal is as sweet as ever.

Hopefully you learned a thing or two and will be picking up a few boxes to celebrate 30 great years of cereal. I'll leave you with another commercial. Hope you enjoy it!

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