A long, long time ago, I wrote about the joy of cereal box prizes. I mentioned that my favorite was Frosted Flakes. How do you not love the cereal with the mascot voiced by Thurl Ravenscroft?
(Don’t recognize that name? Don’t worry. He’s just a bad banana with a greasy black peel, denizens).
Ravenscroft provided the voice of Tony for more than 50 years. Perhaps it’s just me, but Tony hasn’t sounded quite the same since Ravenscroft died. Here’s one of his early commercials (black and white, even…and what’s up with his teeth? If that’s what Frosted Flakes does to your teeth, you might want to reconsider them as a balanced part of your sugar rush):
And then there’s this little gem. Well, hey there, “Cathy”!
I remember this commercial. I always thought it was a sad attempt by Kellogg’s to get adults who grew up eating Frosted Flakes to come back. You know, because it’s never too late to need insulin.
If I wasn’t flaking out, I was going a little fruity. Er, loopy. Fruit Loopy, with my home bird, Toucan Sam. I used to love eating a bowl a Fruit Loops and drinking a cup of coffee while watching Scooby Doo before school (and, yes, there are several things wrong with this sentence). Befitting, then, that I would find this commercial, as animated by Hanna-Barbera (watch closely and you’ll even see a guest appearance by the very first “ghoul” to ever haunt Scooby and those meddling kids):
And, before one of them prowled the woods of Sunnydale at the full moon or the other discovered he held the power to electrify the lives of our favorite (some might even say they were X-ceptional) FBI agents after surviving a lightning strike (impress me, denizens, by following this clue), these two up-and-coming Gen-Xers were getting their own Loop-on:
Other favorites? Trix, of course…and one of my favorite commercials was this two-parter in which Bugs Bunny tried to help the Trix Rabbit finally get his hands on his own Trix cereal. Didn’t he know? Trix are for kids.
And hookers. But that’s for a different story.
Then there were the chocolate cereals: Cocoa Puffs, Cocoa Krispies, and (my personal favorite) Count Chocula. It’s not even that I really liked Count Chocula cereal. I just liked the mascot more than that annoying bird or those rodent-sized elves. Snap, Crackle, and Pop the hell away from my food, dammit.
How about a monster sugar buzz for breakfast today?
The true crime isn’t the fact that they now only sell Count Chocula, Frankenberry, and Boo Berry cereals at Halloween. It isn’t even the fact that apparently one or all of them disposed of the Fruity Yummy Mummy (probably as retribution for this commercial). It’s that they still sell any of these teeth-rotting concoctions at all.
Actually, that’s not true. The real crime is that many, many (full) moons ago, somewhere along a dark, lonely highway, Count Chocula and Frankenberry disposed of their first fruity competition, Fruit Brute. A moment of silence, please.
There are tons more of these commercials and cutesy cartoon mascots designed to trick kids into consuming more sugar in one bowl than you’re probably supposed to have in one week…Dig ‘Em the Frog, the Cinnamon Toast Crunch bakers, Captain Crunch, Sugar Bear, Lucky, the Flintstones…not to mention the movie, TV show, or video game tie-ins like C3PO Cereal, Pac-Man, Ghostbusters, Smurfs…we truly were the marketed generation, weren’t we? Thank the prophets we were also the “Fluoride in the Water” generation.