Earlier this evening, acting on an anonymous tip, I was able to track down some old friends. Practically hidden on the bottom two shelves of an endcap deep within a local drug store, there they were: Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry - the General Mills Monster Cereals. Missing from the breakfast landscape for nearly a year, this trio of spooky delights has returned once more. Like the changing colors of the leaves and the cool autumn air, there's just some things you can always count on, and the arrival of the Monsters ranks among the best.
For the 2012 Halloween Season, it appears that the Monsters' distribution is a little sketchy. Typically, I'd have found these a few weeks earlier, possibly in a massive pallet display. Last year it was Target... the year before, Walmart. This year it would seem that the "big boxes" may have passed on the Monsters... or they just haven't gotten around to stocking the shelves yet. In fact, the only store I've seen with a fully-set Halloween department so far is Kmart. Everyone else seems way behind.
As for the General Mills Monsters, I don't think my daughters will ever fully grasp their true appeal. Unlike when I was a kid, these cereals are no longer advertised on television to really drive the demand and the sales. Who knows what the numbers are these days, but I'd imagine they sell far less of these in 2012 as opposed to the 70s or 80s - back when the marshmallows were still called called "sweeties."
I've blogged about the Monsters several times in the past (on other long-lost sites), and even have a killer pitch for a potential big-screen adaptation of the characters (should General Mills ever be interested), but there's one thing that bugs me year after year with the Monsters - the boxes. Yes, the boxes they've been using for the past several years are pretty terrible (I may have even written about that before), with their bland, cgi-ish depictions of the characters. If General Mills really wanted to go after both new kids and the nostalgia market, they'd be wise to try going "retro" for a year and bringing back some of the old designs. They were colorful and exciting, and even with countless variations over the years (check this cool pic on Flickr), they got it "right" for a long time. Since the original designs pop-up frequently on licensed merchandise, there's no reason why they shouldn't make a return to the cereal boxes, too.
Now, if I actually fed any of these to my kids, my wife would probably kill me. Despite their "Whole Grain" claims, she views these as "junk food." The next question: Will Boo Berry still turn my poop blue? Time to find out.
About James: A work-from-home Dad with a pair of daughters (Released in 2009 and 2012) - James Zahn is THE ROCK FATHER™.
Bringing over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry into the family realm, Zahn is an Illinois-based Entertainment Writer, Media Personality, Commentator, Adventurer and Raconteur.
Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as co-manager and video director for Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.
James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Blogcritics, Fangoria, Starlog, The River Cities' Reader. Slowfish, Oil, and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360, has been quoted in BusinessWire, CNN and Babble, in addition to making appearances on ABC News, WGN and more. In the past he served as a PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent), penned articles for Sprout, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.
Learn more here.