Monday, September 12, 2011

Monster Cereals

Count Chocula. Frankenberry and Boo Berry have once again returned for another year of terror.  Now, I absolutely love my General Mills Monster Cereals.  Every year, I go out of my way to search the aisles for these boxes and just when I think they're unavailable...BOO... their colors pop out at me and fill my heart with happiness.  In recent years, they've been a bit easier to find, but it hasn't always been that way.  About three or four years ago, I couldn't find them anywhere and, for me, it just isn't Halloween unless I get to pour a bowl of Frankenberry.  I became so desperate that I paid $30 for three boxes from  When it comes to cereal, that's insane.  But thankfully, places like Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Rite Aid keep me from having to do that every year.

I'm actually quite shocked that these Monster Cereals have already hit stores, but I'm not complaining.  Now that I've found them, it's officially time for Halloween.  Sure, It was 85 degrees in NJ today but that doesn't matter now that these creeps have come out from their hiding place.  As far as I'm concerned, it's time for Halloween and, regardless, they taste so good that General Mills could release them in June for all I care.

Now, I assumed that these boxes would be around for a while now that they've been released so early, but when I returned to the store, all but two boxes of Boo Berry were sold out.  This really surprised me.  I know how much I look forward to them every year, but I didn't think they were so popular that over 30 boxes would sell out in two days.  With these cereals returning for such a short period of time, it may, once again, begin to get more difficult to find them than it's recently been.  That's so Boo Berry..

Honestly, I'm not all that in to Count Chocula.  I've seen him multiple times throughout the year and it doesn't taste any different than Cocoa Puffs.  Marshmallows are great, but I'd rather Frank and Boo over good old Choc any day.

Boo Berry was introduced in 1973 as the third monster in the Monster Cereals line from General Mills and, today, is one of the hardest cereals to find.  For whatever reason, Frank and Choc are always more out and about during the Fall season while Boo tends to act like more of the ghost he is.  While I was lucky enough to find a box already, it's already become almost impossible again.  Depending on where you live or you plan on ordering from Amazon or some other online retailer, you'll probably have to wait until we get a bit closer to Halloween.  Either that or find a really good paranormal investigator..

All jokes aside, I wonder why Boo Berry tends to be the most popular.  I really don't know because, in my opinion, nobody beats Frankenberry but I guess I'd have to attribute it to the fact that he's blue and so is his cereal.  Boo Berry is well-known for being the first "blueberry" cereal and that excites people.  Now, I don't think Boo Berry tastes anything like blueberries but, when I was a kid, I did like drinking the "blueberry" milk once the cereal was all gone.  Using that personal experience, I'm assuming kids still love to eat blue things, regardless of their flavor.  As far as I can tell, Boo Berry has cornered the blue-cereal market since '73.
Frank is my dude.. Every year, he is who I wait for to make my Halloween complete.  I don't know what it is about this cereal, but I just love it.  I mean, the strawberry flavor is awesome, but the tiny red ghouls are really no different than the red crunch berries found in Cap'n Crunch.  In fact, the same can be said about Boo Berry and the blue crunch berries.  But either way, I love Frankenberry and it's probably all based on nostalgia.  I remember having a lot of Frankeberry as a child, especially around Halloween, and I always loved the commercials on TV during my morning cartoons.

That commercial was on well before I was born, but it's the perfect example of why I love FB.  It also explains why I've always grown up with a bit of hatred for Count Chocula.  This rivalry was the first "Twilight."  Team Edward?  Team Jacob?  No thanks.. I'm Team Frank..

As you may have already realized, I'm a big fan of package art.  I've always had an interest in graphic design and I'm fascinated by the designs artists use for food packaging.  All cereal boxes have amazing packages and have had them for as long as I can remember.  It's part of their marketing strategy and, yes, it works.  I'm 24 years old and I still stop to look at new packaging.  This is another reason why I love the Monster Cereals so much.  Just take a look at the original box art.

Compared to the graphics of today, there wasn't much going on in the original boxes.  But, as somebody who enjoys drawing, I have to respect the initial Count Chocula, Frankenberry and Boo Berry character designs.  Even the logos stood out from one another and made the boxes pop.  These designs were perfect for their time and, even now, I wouldn't mind General Mills releasing retro boxes.

I know there are people out there who collect cereal boxes and, while I never gave it much thought, I can understand the appeal.  In fact, I'm thinking about starting myself.  I want to frame classic cereal boxes and hang them in my kitchen.  For Halloween, the classic Monster Cereal boxes would be perfect.  I'd much rather the retro boxes than the ones they make today, but even the modern versions would work.  Those, alog with Halloween Crunch and the other classic Halloween cereals that were released throughout the years would look great.  Hm.. now I'm already opening up a new tab to look on Ebay.  I have to see if any of these are available.

Actually, when it comes to Monster Cereals, what boxes are more classic than these?

Frute Brute and Yummy Mummy!  Both of these legends died out way before their time.  Frute Brute was discontinued in 1983 and Yummy Mummy only lasted into the early 1990s.  Unfortunately, I was too young to have enjoyed either of these cereals and that upsets me.  Just look at them!  Sure, they were probably nothing more than Froot Loops with Marshmallows, but those characters would have been enough for me to love them just as much as the Trio of Terror.  I don't know why these Monsters didn't stand the test of time, but I think General Mills is truly missing out on a great opportunity to resurrect these long lost beasts.  If you're only going to release these products once a season anyway, then why not go all out and bring back two guaranteed money makers?  Ah well, maybe in 2012. 

Assuming I'll be able to find Count Chocula, Frankenberry and Boo Berry again, there will be many more entries dedicated to them in the future.  Little did I know, there is plenty of Monster Cereal merchandise out there and, if I come across any, I'll be sure to share it here with you.  In the meantime, you can look forward to checking out Monster Treats.

Tomorrow, I'll be talking about the marshmallow treats my girlfriend and I recently made using Frankberry and Boo Berry cereals.  If nothing else, you may get a good laugh out of it.

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