The sugary cereals we gobbled up as kids aren’t very nutritious, but they are memorable for their iconic mascots. These cartoon characters caught our childhood imaginations and convinced parents to bring them home from the supermarket. Even if you don’t remember the cereals you’ll likely remember these mascots.
10. Silly Rabbit, Trix Are For….
Now here’s a mascot with a catch phrase who you could say has arguably surpassed the popularity of even the cereal itself. That is of course The Trix Rabbit. The Trix Rabbit made its television debut in the late 1950s in the form of a cartoon commercial. In this very first commercial, released all the way back when, you actually hear the slogan that The Trix Rabbit is famous for. He starts by saying that as a rabbit, he doesn’t like carrots, he likes Trix cereal. Then a kid comes by and swipes the box from The Trix Rabbit and tells him “silly rabbit, Trix are for kids”. The famous line was right there in thevery first commerical, and remains the slogan to this day, being heard in countless other commercials and advertisements for Trix cereal. The catch phrase has also made it’s way into other pop culture references over the years such as this gem from Kill Bill, to this moment from Family Guy, and who could forget Liam Neeson’s great scene from Ted 2, featuring the everlasting catch phrase of the Trix Rabbit. There are even videos of people feeding their real life rabbits Trix cereal, and yes, they do seem to like it! The Trix Rabbit is one awesome mascot that spawned an everlasting catch phrase. And Trix cereal is really good too boot! So good even rabbits want some.
9. Go Get’em Tiger
THEY’RE GRRREAT! This is one of the all time cereal slogans – memorable and succinct. The slogan was made to promote Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes and made famous by the irrepressible cartoon mascot Tony the Tiger. When this sugar frosted corn flake cereal was introduced in 1952 it was called “Sugar Frosted Flakes,” but the word “sugar” was removed from the packaging in 1983 to allow Tony the Tiger to project a more healthy image. Tony has been the mascot for Frosted Flakes since the cereal was introduced, but before he was chosen he faced some competition for the job. Kellogg’s held a contest with four proposed mascots that also included Katy the Kangaroo, Elmo the Elephant and somewhat strangely, Newt the Gnu – a wildebeest, which is a kind of antelope. Tony the Tiger won the contest of course and the rest is breakfast cereal history. Thurl Ravenscroft was the second man to voice Tony the Tiger, but once he got the job Mr. Ravenscroft held onto it for more than 50 years. He was followed by Lee Marshal, a former announcer for professional wrestling. Marshall was followed in 2014 by Tex Brashear. Tony the Tiger is always drawn wearing a red bandana around his neck. Tony hasn’t exclusively pitched Frosted Flakes; he has also been used to advertise for Tony’s Cinnamon Krunchers and Tiger Power. These products are not as familiar as Frosted Flakes, but it certainly didn’t hurt their chances for success that Tony was used to promote them.
8. They’re Magically…Cookie Jars
This cereal mascot needs a little more explanation most of the other mascots and that’s probably not a good thing, but like Cookie Crisp cereal, it’s worth it. The cereal company chose a wizard in the mold of Merlin called Cookie Jarvis (not to be confused the competitive eater, Ed “Cookie” Jarvis) who uses his powers to magically transform kids’ cereal bowls into cookie jars. Ralston Purina introduced Cookie Crisp cereal in 1977, but sold the rights to the cereal to General Mills in 1997. In the 1980s the makers of Cookie Crisp decided Cookie Jarvis wasn’t enough so they introduced Cookie Crook and his nemesis Officer Crumb. In 1990 Cookie Crook was given a dog named Chip. When General Mills started making the cereal in 1997 they made some changes to the mascots. In 2003 Chip the Dog was changed to Chip the Wolf when Cookie Crisp was introduced in European and Asian markets. Chip the Wolf replaced Chip the Dog in the United States in 2005. The series of mascots are pretty cool, but these mascots were lucky to be attached to Cookie Crisp: one of the all time great kids’ cereals. How could any kid resist a breakfast cereal that looks and tastes like little chocolate chip cookies? it doesn’t seem fair.
7. Sam He is
Toucan Sam has been the Kellogg’s Fruit Loops mascot since 1963. Sam is of course a Toucan; These birds are members of the Neotropical near passerine bird family known as Ramphastidae. Sam’s superpower is that he is able to smell the deliciously fruity scent of Fruit Loops from a long way off. “Follow your nose! It always knows!” is the line he would utter when he was pursuing his coveted prize. Sam would then swoop in to claim a big tasty bowl of the breakfast cereal. Toucan Sam was created by Manuel R. Vega and first voiced by Mel Blanc of Looney Tunes fame. When the character debuted Blanc used a standard American accent, but it was later changed to a British Accent. Sam gained a cousin at some point who was called Arty Artin. In the 1970s the stripes on Sam’s beak or nose became linked to the flavors of fruit loops. Red for cherry, yellow for lemon and orange for orange. This link didn’t last however, because Kellogg’s periodically introduced new flavors/colors to the cereal. In the 1990s green for lime, purple for grape and blue for…? Actually it doesn’t matter because contrary to marketing efforts and popular belief, all Fruit Loops actually taste the same regardless of their color. Since the middle of the 1990s Toucan Sam has been seen in commercials with nieces and nephews, Puey, Susey, and Louis, but they are never called by their names.
6. Not Berry Scary
Boo Berry is the name of the not so scary ghost and mascot for the breakfast cereal that bares his name. His blueberry-flavored corn cereal with blue marshmallows debuted in 1973 along with Count Chocula and Frankenberry. The General Mills company later produced other monster themed cereals: Yummy Mummy and Fruit Brute. Berry is a sly little ghost that jealously guards his cereal, but kids were never afraid of him. How could you be afraid of a dapper ghost wearing a bowtie and hat? Maybe that’s why General Mills eventually redesigned him. Even minus the wardrobe, Berry remains a friendly ghost. It’s too bad the original design was changed because Berry’s appearance and voice were based on the legendary star of the silver screen, Peter Lorrie. The actor is best known for his roles in two classics: Casa Blanca and The Maltese Falcon. Since 2010, like Count Chocula and Frankenberry, Boo Berry cereal is only available for sale for a short time around Halloween. This is too bad since these sweet cereals would taste just as good in the spring and summer months. Nonetheless, Boo Berry remains a popular cereal mascot with a hint of mystery.
5. A BedRock Breakfast
The Flintstones was the longest running animated television show with a 30 year run until The Simpsons knocked the cavemen off their perch. Fred Flinstone and the other residents of bedrock were already part of American popular culture when they were tapped as mascots for the Pebbles breakfast cereals. Post Foods first released Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles in October 1971 featuring the Flinstones on their boxes. While the television show lost out to The Simpsons, the Pebbles cereals remain the longest running breakfast cereal brand based on television characters. An animated Fred Flinstone and his friend Barney Rubble (voiced by Mel Blanc) appeared in television commercials interacting with real children. In 1978, Post switched to all-animated commercials featuring the Flinstones and the Rubbles enjoying Pebbles for breakfast. In 2009, the Flinstones and Rubbles kids, Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm were featured more often in the commercials. Former WWE wrestler Hulk Hogan sued Post in 2010 for using a character called Hulk Boulder in a television commercial. Hogan had previously used the name “Boulder” as a stage named and argued the commercial damaged his reputation. Post agreed not to air the commercial. While Hogan might not be a fan of the Pebbles cereal, millions of kids still enjoy it at the breakfast table.
4. Can You Dig’em?
Sugar Smacks was a great name for a kids breakfast cereal with Dig’em Frog, the sugar-crazed mascot for the sweet cereal. It was a great example of truth in advertising.Yet Kellogg’s changed the name to Honey Smacks in the 1980s to improve the cereal’s image. In the 1990s, “Honey” was dropped in the international markets and the cereal became known simply as Kellogg’s Smacks. An artist named James Mackey came up with Dig ‘Em in the early 1970s while working for Leo Burnett advertising in Chicago. Mr. Mackey has said that a writer came up with the name “Dig ‘Em” and the design of the character proceeded from there. Mackey eventually came up with a gregarious frog wearing a ball cap. The smiling character was an immediate hit. Although Dig’em’s appearance has changed a bit over the years the character has retained his signature hat and boundless enthusiasm. Dig’em was replaced by Wally the Bear in 1986, but the frog was brought back by popular demand a year later. In 2008 Honey Smacks, along with the similar Post cereal, Golden Crisp received the dubious honor of being named the two breakfast cereals with the highest sugar content at 56 grams per serving. So even if you or your kids do dig’em – don’t over do it.
3. Top of the Cereal to You!
“They’re Magically Delicious” is one of the most well known breakfast cereal tag lines and it is uttered by one of the most famous mascots: Lucky. The appropriately named Leprechaun has been gracing Lucky Charms cereal boxes since 1964. As the story goes, executives at General Mills challenged their cereal developers to come up with a new product using the available ingredients already being used for the production of Wheaties and Cheerios. A product developer named John Holahan came up with the idea for Lucky Charms at a grocery store when he decided to pair cheerios with pieces of Brach’s circus peanuts. These peanut shaped marshmallow treats have been an American favorite since the 19th century when they were sold as “penny candy.” Lucky Charms cereal has the distinction of being the first breakfast cereal to use marshmallows in its recipe. Lucky the Leprechaun was originally referred to as L.C. Charm, but Lucky is a snappier name and it quickly stuck. Actor Arthur Anderson was the voice of Lucky until 1992. Lucky has been voiced by five other actors since Anderson, but the voice is still based on his original interpretation. Inexplicably, in 1975 Lucky was briefly replaced in the New England markets by a cereal mascot named Waldo the Wizard. Considering how iconic Lucky has become in the world of breakfast cereals, this is a real head scratcher. But, the Leprechaun has the Luck of the Irish on his side and has endured, free to pursue his bowl of lucky charms to the end of the rainbow.
2. Count Your Breakfasts
Count Chocula is a chocolate flavored corn cereal with chocolate flavored marshmallows, but this breakfast cereal isn’t most known for its taste. The cereal is of course named for the vampire with a sweet fang: Count Alfred Chocula. This cartoon vampire is based on the classic blood suckers of classic movies like the 1931 release Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi. Since Count Chocula was introduced by General Mills in 1971 the count has been saying “I want eat your cereal,” which is a lot more appealing than the alternative of wanting to suck your blood. Plenty of kids of all ages have wanted to eat it the sweet cereal with the chocolate marshmallows cereal too. Although, today there are apparently fewer Count Chocula lovers than there used to be. Nowadays, it is only available for a short time during the Fall around Halloween season. It’s too bad that the monster cereals are only available for a short time every year. General Mills has many other cereal mascots and kids’ cereals to keep its customers happy and gobbling up sugar the rest of the year. Yet, vampire movies and television shows are about as popular as they’ve ever been so there might be an opening for Count Chocula and the other monster mascots to make a comeback to full time status.
1. This is the Cap’n Eating
Cap’n Crunch, whose real name is Horatio Magellan Crunch, is a kindly old captain who wears a blue uniform in the style of a 19th century European or American naval officer. According to accepted breakfast cereal lore Cap’n Crunch was born on the mysterious Crunch Island in the Sea of Milk. This could be an unnecessary amount of backstory for cereal, but kids’ imaginations soak up these little details. He has been the beloved mascot for this Quaker Oats brand cereal that bares his name since 1963. The sweet corn and oats cereal was created by a flavorist named Pamela Lowe. She said she was inspired by a recipe her grandfather used to make that consisted of brown sugar and butter served on rice. Every hero needs a villain and Crunch is no exception. His foil is the comic pirate Jean LaFoote who is always trying and usually failing to claim Cap’n Crunch cereal as his booty. In the 1970s LaFoote became the mascot for his own cereal called Cinnamon Crunch, but it seems like it wasn’t very successful – perhaps going down with the ship. In 2006 the Cap’n shared the cereal mascot spotlight with the Man of Steel for a campaign to promote the movie, Superman Returns. The little blue pieces in this limited edition cereal turned milk blue which kids thought was pretty super. However, Superman’s cereal was soon out of stores and the Cap’n was back to sailing the Sea of Milk by himself in his ship, the good ship Guppy.