Monster Cereals – Minneapolis, MN

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Monster Cereals were a new line of cereals for children manufactured by General Mills in the 1970s. The cereals resurrected some frightfully classic movie characters like Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolfman and the Mummy for a series of TV commercials.

The Monster Cereals featured these flavors:

  • Count Chocula – Frosted Chocolate flavored cereal with marshmallows.
  • Franken Berry – Frosted Strawberry flavored cereal with marshmallows.
  • Boo Berry – Frosted Blue Berry flavored cereal with marshmallows.
  • Fruit Brute – Frosted Fruit flavored cereal with lime flavored marshmallows.
  • Yummy Mummy – Frosted Fruit flavored cereal with vanilla flavored marshmallows.

The first character debuted in 1971 as Count Chocula, a bucktoothed vampire who talked like Bela Lugosi (voiced by Larry Kenney) and always argued over who had the tastiest cereals.

The Count Chocula cereal had little chocolate marshmallows in it and 119 calories per cup (30g). Constantly pushing his product, the Count – speaking in a Transylvanian accent – proclaimed: “I vant to eat your cereal!”

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Soon after the Monster Cereal line up followed with Franken Berry, a pink monster with a voice like Boris Karloff. Boo Berry, a Peter Lorre sounding ghost was introduced in 1972.

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In 1974, Fruit Brute, a howling Wolfman debuted (discontinued in 1983), and a friendly bandaged Egyptian monster called the Yummy Mummy who made its debut in 1987 (discontinued in 1993).

The Monster Cereal ads were created by Dancer, Fitzgerald and Sample ad agency.

NOTE: In 1987, a box of Count Chocula cereal featured the image of Bela Lugosi as Dracula holding a lit candle in his right hand and wearing a six-pointed medallion on his chest.

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Some claimed it was the Star of David and insulted the Jewish faith. Jewish groups soon complained to General Mills, and after some news coverage, the medallion was removed. Ironically, the Count Chocula character was created by a Jewish copyrighter named Laura Levine.

Some sources claimed that the medallion, however, was the Maltese Cross from the Order of the Thelemic Knights or the Order of Saint John. The controversial Dracula box has now become a sought after collectible item.

Since 2010, Franken-Berry, Boo-Berry, and Count Chocula cereals are manufactured and sold only during the autumn/Halloween season (September and October).

In 2013, General Mills resurrected Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy for the Halloween holiday giving consumers all five of the Monster Cereals to purchase in addition to Count Chocula, Franken Berry and Boo Berry cereals.

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In the fall of 2014, General Mills released Monster Cereal boxes with covers drawn by top DC Comic illustrators, Jim Lee (Boo Berry), Terry Dodson (Count Chocula) and Dave Johnson (Franken Berry). DC Comics artists Sholly Fisch, Brent Schoonover and Dave McCaig also redesigned the back panels of the boxes, creating unique comic strips of Monster adventures.

The Monster Cereals have been featured in Quentin Tarantino’s movies like “Reservoir Dogs” (1992) and “Pulp Fiction” (1994) and on TV shows like THE SIMPSONS.

General Mills, Inc.
P.O. Box 9452
Minneapolis, MN 55440

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About

Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Advertising Mascots, Television

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