By James Burrell
Halloween is fast approaching and that means that monster fans’ favourite cereals – Count Chocula, Franken Berry and Boo Berry – are once again available in supermarkets and other retailers.
Manufactured by General Mills, the chocolate, strawberry, and blueberry-flavoured cereals with marshmallows that turn milk brown, pink and blue began haunting grocery store shelves in the early 1970s, with the debut of Count Chocula and Franken Berry in 1971, and Boo Berry the following year. All three were a hit with kids everywhere and a fourth cereal, Fruit Brute, was introduced in 1974. Sadly, it wasn’t as successful, and was discontinued in 1983. A short-lived fourth offering, Fruity Yummy Mummy, was released in 1988, but low sales resulted in production being ended in 1993.
Personally speaking, part of the fun for me of buying the cereal every Halloween is seeing the little animated breakfast time fiends – buck-toothed Count Chocula, the pink-hued Franken Berry and grinning blue ghost, Boo Berry on the boxes each year.
This year, General Mills is running a promotion to coincide with the release of the new animated film version of The Addams Family in theatres October 11th. Fans can download pumpkin carving stencils of Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Thing, Wednesday, Pugsly and the Monsters themselves at MonsterCarving.com.
Although widely sold in stores across the United States, the cereals are not available in Canada, and you will have to either purchase them online, or find a retailer who has imported them in. I found mine (a special three pack) at a specialty grocer store in downtown Toronto.
About James Burrell
James Burrell has been fascinated with monsters and all things scary since the age of three. Growing up in Toronto during the 1970s and ‘80s, he fed his insatiable appetite for horror with a steady diet of Hilarious House of Frightenstein and Saturday afternoon TV matinees of Universal, Hammer and Amicus flicks – all while eating too many bowls of Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry. An avid collector of monster figures, model kits, vintage board games, tie-in novels, records, comics and movie posters, James continues to search for that next item to add to his eclectic and ever-growing collection of horror ephemera. He is the recipient of the 2010 Rondo Classic Horror Award for Best Interview, for his feature on Sir Christopher Lee that appeared in Rue Morgue’s 100th issue, and has penned two volumes in The Rue Morgue Library.