Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Straight out of the box

As we all know, presweetened breakfast cereal is one of the four food groups. Getting up at the crack of dawn on Saturday mornings wouldn't have been as fulfilling (or as possible) without it. To this day, I still prefer my cereal straight out of the box, dry, the way God intended.

In lieu of sharing boxes of sugary cereal with all of you, here is an assortment of cereal commercials.

Count Chocula

Count Chocula just plain rules. Aside from a slightly different texture, this is essentially Cocoa Puffs with marshmallow bits (or marbits, as General Mills likes to call them). That different texture makes a big difference, though. Cocoa Puffs are crunchier on the outside. Count Chocula is the most readily available of the Monster Cereals, often on the shelves even outside of Halloween.

When I see Frankenberry or BooBerry on the shelves, my first impulse is always to buy it, but then I remember that I don't actually like eating them, so I leave them alone. I don't remember getting the much lamented Fruit Brute, but I know I got Fruity Yummy Mummy (what I'm assuming was an attempt to make another go at a fruity Monster Cereal), and my brother and I thought it tasted like a pile of ass.

Croonchy Stars

I could watch the Swedish Chef all day. Before Emeril, before Giada "I am apparently unaware that the camera is constantly aimed at my cleavage" de Laurentiis, hell, even before Martin Yan, I loved watching the Swedish Chef on The Muppet Show. So when they came out with a cereal supposedly concocted by the Swedish Chef, even though I hadn't watched the show in years, I felt obligated to try it out. It was pretty good--not too sweet.

And here's one of my favorite bits, in which the Swedish Chef makes Brussels sprouts:


I'd be willing to bet that they picked C-3PO for a Star Wars cereal just because his name already ended in O. Presumably, they could have come out with Landos, complete with free 40-ounce Colt .45 in each box. Or Greedos, or--well, I guess 3PO was the best-known character whose name ended in O. Another not-too-sweet cereal, great for out-of-the-box snacking.

Post Super Heroes Create-A-Villain Contest

I almost entered this when I was a kid. Alas, the paints on the back of the box, to put it delicately, sucked. I couldn't get the villain to look the way I wanted, so the box ended up in the trash instead of in the mail.

The commercial was a bit jarring the first time I saw it, because while they used the voices from the Superfriends show, they looked a bit off-model. In fact, this was the first time I saw Wonder Woman's then-new double-W chest emblem. It would be a while before the show caught up with the new look, and by then, they got a new voice for Wonder Woman, so this was the only time I know of that the original voice artist, Shannon Farnon, voiced Wonder Woman with the double-W emblem.

And I'm sure there's someone out there who gives a crap about that. Somewhere...

Cinnamon Nut Cheerios

I had to include this, because I have no recollection of seeing this cereal, and I was inspecting the cereal aisle every time we went to the grocery store (okay, I still do that). I wouldn't have gotten it because I don't like nuts, but I'd think I at least would've remembered it.

Donkey Kong

For a few years there, video game characters were everywhere: cartoons, cereal aisles, pencil toppers, folders, enemas, you name it. Oh, and the arcades, too. I first saw this while on vacation visiting family, and I was mildly disappointed that it tasted pretty much like Cap'n Crunch. I liked Cap'n Crunch, but I thought this would've been a bit different. Donkey Kong Jr. was at least a fruity cereal that wasn't exactly like Trix or Froot Loops.


Speaking of video game cereal, here's another one. This was a favorite jingle on the playground, if only for the fact that by swapping one letter (a "t" in place of a "b" -- you guess where), it was instant hilarity. The cereal was sorta like Kix with marshmallows. Meh.


Cheerios ended up having more sugar in it than the presweetened cereals because you had to dump a pound of sugar on it before it tasted even close to good. But I liked this ad campaign with the yodeling stick figure guy. Good times.

Corn Pops

I didn't include this because it features a young Kirk Cameron--who looks like he's enjoying this a bit too much--but because my brother and I always thought the exploding Pops sequence would have been better used in a commercial for something like Ex-Lax.