Until my sixth-grade Health class, I always just figured Boo Berry was considered one of the five main food groups.
I fondly remember the days when I would awake before everyone else in my house at the tender age of nine (yeah I’m an early birdie) on a gorgeous Saturday morning to catch the first wave of the ABC Saturday Morning lineup. I would hop out of my TMNT bedsheets, wander down the shagged rug hallway into the kitchen where the breakfast of Saturday morning splendor would commence, consisting of a bowl of my favorite cereal- Apple Jacks… or if we’re talking the Halloween season, duh Monster Cereals.
More often than not, when a glorious unopened box of cereal sat on the shelf with that eye-popping picture on the bottom left corner announcing to the world it held a treasure from the General Mills Gods inside, your morning breakfast turned into a goddamn win for the rest of the day.
Hey, when you’re a kid in the fourth grade, it’s the dumb little things like worthless plastic surprises in your sugary bowl of goodness that make life that much better.
Pulling out your mystery toy from the breakfast treat you valued as much as air felt like a victory of sorts; especially if you had siblings who always tried to beat you to the cereal prizes. Admit it. We all know that one person who dumped the entire box out into a giant bowl in an attempt to fetch the wonder toy, and hell maybe you’re guilty of it. However, in the case when a cereal brand would offer a horror-themed toy inside its four cardboard walls, all bets were off, and you bet your sweet ass I was getting that tiny Halloween treasure before anyone else.
I’m a selfish bastard. I have no regrets.
In honor of these nostalgic moments, let’s take a look back at “lucky seven” times digging towards the bottom of the cereal box for plastic horror valuables paid off big time. From plastic Frankenberry premiums to Monster Mitts, let’s stroll down horror cereal paragon memory lane…
Monster Mitts – HoneyComb
Back in the early ‘70s, Post Honeycomb cereal packaged these fabulous cheap plastic gloves marketed as Monster Mitts. Four different and colorful designs were placed at random inside select boxes consisting of a ghoulish hand unzipping to expose a skeleton, a bloody veiny mitt with the inclusion of a spider, a sea-monster type mitt, and a blue veiny mitt with an all-seeing eyeball. SWEET.
Monster in My Pocket- Kellogg’s Frosties (UK)
The toy line released by Matchbox in 1989 found its way into the UK version of Tonny the Tiger’s Den in the early ‘90s with one of the little buggers hiding inside along the sugary cornflakes as a promo. Later on, in 1995, the UK ran a Wrestlers Monster In My pocket crossover promo with the cereal. I’m an American brat. So I never got to see this cool advert as a kid, so didn’t become hip to this until the internet came along.
Addams Family Flashlights-Addams Family Cereal
Spooky Speedsters- Monster Cereal
The only thing the Church of Boo Berry could make me love it anymore is the inclusion of cereal box prizes once more. The Monster Cereal brand released various spooky treasures inside the marshmallow box of splendor for years, however, the Spooky Speedsters were one of the coolest. Back in 1981, Count Chocula had the coffin-shaped Midnight Creeper, Franken Berry rode the Silly Stretcher, and Sir Boo of Berry cradled the Crazy Cloud Car. Good stuff guys.
Monster Cereal Mascot figurines- Monster Cereal
Moving along with Monster cereal toys, the 8” tall, soft and squeezable vinyl figures are considered the treasure trove of monster cereal collectibles and if you have all four of these beasts, I envy you, kind sir or madam, more than a desperate rabbit who watches in sadness as some selfish kids eat his damn cereal.
Glow in the Dark Universal Monster Heads- Super Sugar Crisp
Before Golden Crisp, Super Sugar Crisp was the domain name for the Post sugary crispy cereal fronted by a sleepy-looking bear mascot; and in the 70s’ Universal Monsters dominated this cereal’s campaign- possibly in competition with General Mills’ Monster Cereals. In 1976, the Universal Monster glow-in-the-dark finger puppet heads that included Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Wolfman, and The Phantom of the Opera were fantastic treasures to find among a box of pediatric diabetes.
Those were cool enough, but I believe these to be the grand-daddy prize of all cereal treasures:
Universal Monsters Glow-in-the-Dark Pull-Out Posters-Super Sugar Crisp
In the same year of super monster madness via Post Super Sugar Crisp 1975, the cereal brand released fuckin’ amazing Universal Monster pull-out posters that were also glow-in-the-dark! These are deemed highly collectible in not only the cereal treasure hunter’s community but the horror genre’s fandom at large. I remember my Uncle had a few of these plastered on his walls when I was a kid, but have since been long gone. I’ve been on the hunt for these for a long time, but have yet to acquire any at a decent price. One day…
Also, it’s sort of hilarious they used the same commercial for the finger puppets as they did for the posters.