Count Chocula and Franken Berry

An offhand comment in my post "Obama Killed Cap'n Crunch" sparked inquiries about the fate of the General Mills line of cereals featuring monster characters.

An offhand comment in my post “Obama Killed Cap’n Crunch” sparked inquiries about the fate of the General Mills line of cereals featuring monster characters.

According to Wikipedia (“General Mills monster-themed breakfast cereals“):

In 1971, the first two cereals in the line were introduced, Count Chocula and the strawberry-flavored Franken Berry. Boo Berry, reputedly the first blueberry-flavored cereal was released in 1973, and Fruit Brute the following year. Fruit Brute was discontinued by 1983 and replaced in 1987 by Fruity Yummy Mummy, which also had a short life as it was discontinued in the 1990s.

In the recent past, the three cereals still in circulation could be primarily found during the autumn months, in time for Halloween. According to a General Mills source, Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry are all produced year-round, making their seasonality an issue based on decisions made by retailers. As of late 2010, information such as nutrition data and historical factoids can still be found on the official General Mills website at all times of the year.

Target and Walmart are among the stores that have been known to carry these scarce cereals during and around October. They can be found all year long on Amazon.com.

Though retired, Fruity Yummy Mummy and Fruit Brute still appear occasionally on official merchandise: in recent years, bobblehead dolls have been sold in their images.

The General Mills site has a Monsters page devoted to Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry. They note, “Many Monster cereal fans weren’t born when they debuted. Today, the Monster cereals have found a life of their own, sustained by baby-boomer bloggers and video sharing sites such as YouTube.”  The interest here would seem confirmation of this. I’m not technically a Baby Boomer, instead part of Generation X, but was in the prime target audience when Count Chocula and Frankenberry were introduced. I vaguely recall Fruit Brute but was in college by the time Fruity Yummy Mummy arrived on the scene and don’t recollect having heard of it.

And, who could forget classic commercials like this:

Remember when they could put prizes in cereals?

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FILED UNDER: Popular Culture, Quick Takes
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Neil Hudelson says:

    Do they not put prizes in cereals anymore? Alas, I’ve moved on to the shredded wheat/honey bunches of oats phase of life.

  2. […] cereals that turned the milk brown, and cereals with cartoon characters like the Flintstones, Count Chocula, Frankenberry, Booberry, and […]

  3. Matt says:

    Chocolate cereal is disgusting. Frankenberry was pretty awesome, though.

  4. Moosebreath says:

    “Remember when they could put prizes in cereals?”

    Umm, they still do. My kids have gotten many prizes, most typically with tie-ins to movies, in their boxes of Cheerios.

  5. James Joyner says:

    @Moosebreath

    Interesting. I’d somehow gotten the impression that prizes were no longer allowed in cereals aimed at kids. Oddly, we eat Cheerios (albeit not the original flavor) and I don’t recall any prizes.

  6. Moosebreath says:

    James,

    I’d say we don’t get with every box, but I recall getting stuff tied to Shrek 3 and to Madagascar 2. Maybe they can only put prizes in tied to sequels.

    These days, they generally don’t eat cereal as much and join their Dad in bagels, with the 8 year old preferring cinnamon raisin with margarine, and the 6 year old adopting her dad’s choice of toasted marble bagel with hummus.

  7. mantis says:

    Eric Stoltz is clearly eating Fruit Brute in a scene in Pulp Fiction (just before Travolta arrives with an overdosed Thurman, IIRC). Must have tasted pretty stale.