And here. We. Go... If you're reading this, there's no way you could have missed the re-design of The Holidaze. I like to call it my Halloween costume because, yes, on August 26th, 2013, The Holidaze is all decked out for the Halloween season. I was going to wait. I told myself over and over again that it's too early. Last year, I waited until September 1st and, even then, I thought it was too early. But Fall is right around the corner and, this year, companies are going all out and doing their best to make this the best Halloween of all-time! That, along with last night's find, meant I could no longer wait. Out with Slimer and in with this year's biggest attraction.
I decided to take the two-block walk to Walgreens yesterday to see if they had their Halloween products out on shelves. Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard about the return of Fruity Yummy Mummy and Frute Brute. I've been looking for them like a mad man everywhere! Lately, in terms of Halloween, they're all I've really cared about. So, I figured - students are just about ready to go back to school and Sunday is always a good time to check for new inventory. I walked around for a second, attempting to build up the anticipation, before walking over to their seasonal aisle. I turned the corner and.. BOOM.. absolutely nothing! Books, folders, pencils, and pens. There weren't even any orange boxes on the higher shelves. What a bust. Now I had to walk the longest two blocks of my life, empty handed, back home.
But then I remembered that I found them on the end caps, last year. So I searched every end cap in the store and, again, came up short. Finally, I walked down the food aisle, looked at the cereal and BOOM.. nothing! However, I did notice that there was a lot of empty space on the shelves and thought, maybe - just maybe - they're stocking up soon!
I figured I'd leave and come back tomorrow. I turned the corner, and, like a rainbow after a thunderstorm, I saw Frankenberry and Boo Berry sitting in their cases just waiting to be opened and stocked. You would have thought I struck gold. I knew this was my chance. I also knew I could have asked somebody to check the back, but I actually enjoyed lurking around waiting for a possible appearance from Yummy Mummy. It was like waiting for a fashionably late rock star to finally hit the stage for his first concert in 23 years. I creeped around like a loser, down the froze foods aisle and, BOOM.. for real!
Finding the boxes on the shelf is always a thrill, but this was much cooler. If you've read The Holidaze in previous years, you understand how big of a role the Monster Cereals play in enhancing the Halloween experience. Not only are they nostalgic, they're awesome characters with different personalities that relate to the season. Their boxes also make for great art and, as a graphic designer, I always appreciate that. So to have Fruity Yummy Mummy back for the first time since 1990 is amazing. It was like I discovered King Tut's tomb at a Walgreens in Jersey City. Look at him, just lying there in his coffin. I eagerly grabbed the tiny employee, asked him if I was able to open the box (like I was going to take no for an answer?) and took two home with me.
I know many of you might have purchased more than two boxes, if not the whole case. I get that and I almost did! But I'm waiting for the Retro Box pictured above. Exclusive to Target, all 5 General Mills Monsters - Count Chocula, Frankenberry, Boo Berry, Yummy Mummy, and Frute Brute - will be available in their retro packaging!! That's just insane! For the last two years, I've been collecting cereal box art to display, framed, in my future kitchen. I'm stocking up and, in that time, I've searched for an affordable Yummy Mummy on Ebay every month. Every time there's one available, it sells for well over $100. Now, thanks to General Mills, I'll be able to find all 5 for retail price. It's a Halloween miracle!
The back of the box features a great illustration. The "Big Three" hear something spooky as they eat their cereal in the light of a "fruity moon." After reluctantly going to check it out, they're scared down into the dungeon where they're approached by yet another spooky creature. First of all, I like the fact that Count, Frank, and Boo are all afraid. It highlights the spirit of the characters. Second, it's a great story to bring back Yummy Mummy and Frute Brute. At the end of the day, these 5 are friends and, like Brute says, "It's been years!" Finally, thanks to that rare fruity moon, all 5 are together for the first time ever in 2013!
On the side of the box, General Mills asks you to play some "Mega Monster Trivia." What this tells me, along with everything else, is that the General Mills marketing team knows exactly who their target market is. While all cereal is geared toward kids, this comeback was made for the adults and kids at heart. I'm 26-years-old and I've never had Yummy Mummy. Frute Brute was discontinued before I was even born, so even I'm a bit out of their range. I just happen to be somebody who's obsessed with these characters and have been for years. I even had the classic Yummy Mummy banner up top, last year. I mean, I can't tell you how many times I've emailed or tweeted General Mills in an attempt to resurrect these guys. I knew, just like all of you knew, that this would be a major hit. So far, the hype has been unbelievable.
First, we have to talk about the way these legends look. I don't know if they're ghosts or Pac-Man characters, but they're classic and the color is extremely vibrant. I took photos outside in order to have the sunlight really illuminate their brightness. It's basically a concoction of pink, red, yellow, and orange frosted cereal with purple, yellow, and lime green marshmallows. It's beautiful.
Next, let's talk about the smell. Usually, whenever you open up a box of General Mills Monster Cereal, you're smacked in the face by the fruity (or chocolatey) odor. But, with Fruity Yummy Mummy, there wasn't much of a scent at all. I think that's a testament to it's flavor - Orange Cream! That's an interesting choice, but I was excited to see what they had in store for me!
I reallllly like the Orange Cream flavor! Man, it's so different! I know that the original Yummy Mummy had a different taste. It was apparently more "fruity" rather than focusing on just one fruit, but I was too young to tell you which is better. I don't know what the original tasted like, but I can tell you that this is awesome. It reminds me a lot of Trix. Imagine taking all of the yellow and orange Trix cereal, pouring them into a bowl, and eating them with marshmallows. It's like that, but different. It's hard to explain, but it's unlike any flavor I've ever had from a cereal. It's a home run for GM!
I feel like Fruity Yummy Mummy and Frute Brute are the closest things we currently have to Jurassic Park. Everybody thought these guys were extinct. Even though we had always hoped to see some sap at General Mills bring them back, (see what I did there?) we knew it wasn't likely. We knew it would be a long shot. But now, here we are! Here they are, in our presence, back in our lives to be loved and enjoyed! It's pretty awesome and based on the amount of attention they've received in the last week, I know I'm not the only one pumped to see these pop icons back on shelves. We just have to hope that Newman doesn't turn out the lights. I'd hate to see what Yummy Mummy is capable of in the dark..
After snagging two boxes from the case, I asked the manager at Walgreens if he had any Frute Brute in the back. He responded, "Froot Loops? Yeah we have that." No no no no no... "Frute Brute! It's new. Well, actually it's old but it's back with Yummy Mummy. Ya know, this one?" He looked at me, completely lost, assuming I was deranged. Can't blame him, I'm the one asking for cereal that hasn't existed since the 80s. He shrugged me off by saying "Uh, oh no, we didn't order that one." From what I'm hearing, that honestly seems to be the case with most Walgreens. What's the deal with that? No love for Frute Brute? He said the Halloween stuff would be out by Tuesday so to check back then. I will and if.. no, WHEN I find Frute Brute, I'll be sure to give him his due on The Holidaze. I can't wait.
Since it was first announced that Yummy Mummy and Frute Brute would be making their return to stores, it's been a whirlwind of excitement for nerds like me who share a love for the little things that make us happy. It's all thanks to General Mills who, unlike most corporations, actually listened to their fans. They realized that these legendary figures were in high demand and they supplied. But they also went the extra mile. While they could have just released these two in their modern 2013 boxes alone, they chose to include 5 retro boxes to truly set this Halloween apart from everything else. That's the type of fan loyalty that leads to brand loyalty. It's the type of business that should open the eyes of companies like Coca-Cola, who owns Minute Maid, to get Hi-C Ecto Cooler back out on shelves. Yeah, I get that there's licensing behind that, but they could at least release the flavor, dye it green, and call it "Green Tangerine." No excuses. Do that and you'll be just as loved as General Mills is right now. You'll also make a bunch of money. Nostalgia is in!! Adults who were kids 20-years ago want to experience that all over again and share it with their friends. General Mills realizes that. Who's next?
I don't know if Yummy Mummy is available in your area, but check Walgreens to see if they have it in stock. My local manager said that the sale date was August 20th but he had to wait for school inventory to sell first. So, they should have it in the back if it's not on display. Even if they have no idea what you're talking about, give it a shot. You're the smart one for knowing all about Yummy Mummy, anyway. No sight of retro boxes yet, but when I find them, they'll be here!
Summer's not over, but like it or not, Halloween is here :)