Until my sixth-grade Health class, I always just figured Count Chocula was considered one of the five main food groups.
I can 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.
Eh, call it selfish. But I have no regrets.
In honor of the recent release of our beloved Monster Cereals, let’s take a look back at five 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…
5. 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.
4.Monster in My Pocket- Frosted Flakes
The toy-line released by Matchbox in 1989 found their way into Tony the Tiger’s den in the early ‘90s with one of the little buggers hiding inside along the sugary cornflakes as a promo. I remember my cousin buying eight boxes of these in the hopes of collecting a few figures at once. Is it wrong that I laughed at the fact he ended up with the same two out of the eight?
3. Addams Family Flashlights-Addams Family Cereal
1991 was Addams Family madness and were even invading your morning breakfast ritual thanks to Ralston cereals. I don’t remember the cereal being anything great but the flashlights promptly displayed in front of the box rather than inside in the form of members of the Addams clan reeled us in. Lurch, Thing, Cousin ITT, and Uncle Fester mini flashlights were up for grabs in this little diddy, and while the cereal itself didn’t last long, the flashlights themselves are highly sought after by vintage cereal toy fanatics. I still have my Cousin ITT blinker, and it remains a treasured childhood relic.
2. Spooky Speedsters- Monster Cereal
Oh man, 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, FrankenBerry rode the Silly Stretcher, and Sir Boo of Berry cradled the Crazy Cloud Car. Good stuff guys.
1. Monster Cereal Mascot figurines- Monster Cereal
Yeah I’m obviously a sucker for these guys but come on, can you really blame me? As far as Monster Cereal treasures, the 1970’s figurines that included Sir Fruit Brute, are by far my favorite and the gold at the end of the rainbow-sorry Lucky Charms. 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 rabbit who watches in sadness as some selfish kids eat his damn cereal.