Friday, September 12, 2008

An Ode To The Greatest Cereal On Earth

Hell Ride really kicked my ass last night. Not feeling so good this morning, but this dilemma did bring back into my mind my favorite cereal of all time, Boo Berry. Frantically searching for something good to eat that would quench my appetite without making me spew chunks, I got the sudden craving for my good friend Boo, a craving which rumbles in my stomach at least a handful of times each month. Maybe it's for the best that I don't have any in my possession however ; regurgitating blue fluids would not be so pleasant. Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here just came on the radio. Bad timing. I'm getting all choked up. I wish you were here, Boo...I truly do. But rather then an ode to solely Boo Berry, let's take a look back at all the General Mills monster mascot cereals, each of which I love equally. Although Count Chocula never was my favorite. Call me a racist...

Back in the 70s and 80s, when cereal actually meant something, General Mills came up with the genius idea of tying their cereals into famous horror characters. They released 5 such cereals in the line : Count Chocula, Franken Berry, Boo Berry, Fruit Brute, and the much forgotten Yummy Mummy.

The first two to come down the hatch were Count Chocula, based on Dracula (or maybe Blacula) and Franken Berry, based of course on Frankenstein. Both were released all the way back in 1971 and the pink Frank and black Drac are still in circulation to this very day.

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The Count's cereal was a blend of chocolate flavored cereal bits and marshmallows in all kinds of fun shapes. Shapes like bats and lighting bolts and other assorted things that, as is typical with cereal marshallows, you really cant quite make out. This Count won't suck your blood, he just want's to feed you delicious chocolately treats. You can still find Chocula at most grocery stores, for he is the most common of the bunch.

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Franken Berry was birthed in the same year, some have even suggested him to be a product of the same mother as Count Chocula. However due to the differences in skin tone, I have my doubts about that claim. Frankberry contained strawberry bits of cereal along with his marshallows. How did Frank feel about being the pink one of the bunch? I managed to track down some very interesting dialogue from the first General Mills monster meeting that will give you some insight -

General Mills - Alright, we're gonna have to disguise you guys and make you more palatable to children. You're gonna need to be real colorful. Ghosty you're blue, Dracula you're brown, Franky you're pink...
Frankenstein - Why am I pink?
GM - Cause you're a faggot, alright!
Frank - Why can't we pick our own colors?
GM - No way. That never works.
Frank - Pink sounds like pussy
Dracula - Ya well, brown's a little too close to shit
Ghosty - Who cares what your color is!
Frank - Ya, that's easy for you to say, you're blue you have a cool color

Too much Reservoir Dogs for me perhaps. Franken Berry was discontinued for a small period of time when initial batches contained a dye that turned the feces of small boys a lovely shade of bright pink. True story. Franken Berry is hard to find these days, depending on your area. It's been spotted mostly at Target and Wal-Mart, although I haven't been able to track down a box in some time.



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Next up was two years later and the best cereal on this planet or any planet as of yet discovered or undiscovered for that matter, Boo Berry. Boo Berry has, in case you haven't figured out how this works yet, blueberry flavored cereal and ghostly spooky marshmallows. I don't even like blueberries, but whatever the hell booberries are, I crave them like a drug. It's truly heroin in cereal form. Only problem is, much like with Franken Berry, I can never find it. I was in Georgia earlier this year and a Wal-Mart over there had it, which prompted me to contemplate heavily into moving there. I scooped up a few boxes to bring back home and, although they got crushed in transit, made my life just that much sweeter. In fact, I still have the empty boxes on display in my room.


I'm not so sure I like Count Choc bullying and berating the other cereals...

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And then we have the failures. The horror cereal graveyard inhabitants : Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy.

Fruit Brute was General Mill's answer to the Wolf Man, and was released in 1974. This one had fruit flavored cereal with lime, yes lime, flavored marshmallows. In 1983 at the tender young age of just 9 years old, the Brute bit the dust. Quentin Tarantino managed to save a box of Fruit Brute before it was pulled from shelves and it has made cameo appearances in both Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, making him the most famous of the bunch despite his short tenure.

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I think i've finally put an end to all the questions surrounding what was in the Pulp Fiction briefcase

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Yummy Mummy had an even shorter shelf life, lasting from only 1988-1993. This one was also fruit flavored and was even called "Fruity Yummy Mummy" (much to Mummy's chagrin) in some countries. The fruit cereal was accompanied by vanilla flavored marshmallows. Fruity Yummy Mummy makes your tummy feel yummy! Heh, heh, heh! Perhaps it was slogans like those that forced the Mummy into an early retirement.

If eating your favorite character just isn't enough for you, there is also a plethora of merchandise out there. T-shirts, bobbleheads, and even chap stick's are in circulation not only promoting the still active cereals but also Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy, despite the fact that they're dead.

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If you can't find these delicious cereals in your area, all hope is not lost. You can head on over to Amazon where you can purchase them! Buy in bulk!

And let's all band together and write General Mills and demand not only the return of Yummy Mummy and Fruit Brute but also the wider distribution of Boo and Franken Berry! Maybe we can even milk a CG movie out of em. No pun intended. Get out your pens!

1 General Mills Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55426

1 comment:

Jay Amabile said...

I definitely agree about the return of Yummy mummy and Fruit Brute. I don't remember ever getting the chance to taste them! Great post!