Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Cereal Follow-Up

Okay, I was going to do this article as a video, my first Monty Moonlight video in a looong time, but the maintenance man had to come work on a leak in my bathroom on the one day I had free to shoot, and life just got in the way like that. So, the first Monty video in a long time will have to wait, but hopefully will be coming soon. In the meantime, here's another handwritten article. Best I could do under the circumstances. And, I know you're like, "But, you already did an article about how General Mills is bringing back Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy this Halloween along with the three more popular Monster Cereals!" Yep, I did, but I haven't written about the aftermath. The things GM got wrong, and the things they got right. Mostly wrong though. But, I'm still grateful they did this at all. Which is basically the one thing they got right about it. I'm also going to talk a bit about another cereal here, a little something called "Halloween Crunch", so stick around, even if you've had your fill of Monster Cereal hype this season.


Anyway, so, as you know, and as you can see above, the Monster cereals, ALL FIVE, are back on store shelves. There are a few days left to go get 'em for Halloween. OR, you can go after Halloween, and MAYBE they'll be on clearance, but I really don't know. The first photo in this article is from my haul: The five monster cereals in their classic boxes, which I set up on my mantle to photograph. Those classic boxes (I hear they're having a hard time getting them in Canada) are Target exclusives. The next pictures are from Wal-Mart's display of the cereals with their contemporary looks. If I had funds to throw around, yeah, I probably would have bought a set of these as well. I've heard some very respected (like, worked for Disney) artists complain about how bad the art on these boxes is. Maybe there's a reason why, as an artist, I'm neither famous nor successful. I like the modernized art fine. At any rate, the two most anticipated of these cereals has been the return of Fruit Brute, the original werewolf cereal, and Fruity Yummy Mummy. It's difficult to believe, but Yummy Mummy disappeared from shelves 20 years ago! Has it been that long since the 90's? Fruit Brute is a different story! I have fond memories of eating it when I was like 5 or 6. In fact, I even remember the delicious taste! But it hasn't been around for 29 years! Apparently, it was discontinued in 87, though, honestly, I thought it was gone longer than that! Still, the one you may find missing from store shelves the most this year (perhaps every year) seems to be Count Chocula. I guess we are still a country of chocoholics more than anything. 

Now, I'll be honest, I was a bit surprised to find that the big three of the Monster Cereals are only sold around the Halloween season now. It's been that way only since 2010 though, so it's understandable I hadn't completely realized it yet. I just thought only certain places had them. I have loved them since I was a kid, they're excellent with Saturday morning cartoons (and I group up in the heyday of both cartoons and cereal), but I think in recent years, being that I'm a grown-up now and all, I have mostly been buying Cap'n Crunch and Pebbles cereals. But, that's probably also been partly because I haven't seen the Monster Cereals around.

Anywho, I was very excited, like, crazy excited, to finally be able to eat my precious Fruit Brute cereal again! I was excited about every aspect of it, from seeing it back on stores to reliving the taste I've so long remembered, to framing the box and hanging it on my wall! I checked Target almost daily ever since I got word about them having the exclusive, retro boxes. I finally snagged some, and despite the flaws on the box, I was a happy camper. That was, until I heard the rumors and found out the truth for myself. The cereal in the Fruit Brute box was NOT Fruit Brute. Is that why they changed the name?

Yeah, going over the right and wrongs of this cereal rerelease, the most striking thing, initially anyway, is that Fruit Brute is now called Frute Brute! What's up with that? Okay, whatever, as long as the taste is the same. But... nope. Frute Brute was now being labeled a cherry flavored cereal, and Yummy Mummy was now being touted as an Orange Cream cereal! So, they're not just "fruit flavored" anymore? Well, maybe it's a gimmicky description. When you get down to it, maybe they won't taste different after all.

Oops, they did. Ugh. They sooo did. Fruit Brute, I mean Frute Brute, that was NOT the taste I have carried with me since I was like 5 years old. Yes, that taste is a vivid memory for me. I was soooo excited to validate my memories, but GM failed me on this. What we now have under the warped label of Frute Brute is a very cherry cereal. A bit weird, in fact, cherry cereal. It breaks my heart. And, Yummy Mummy, well, again, this is not the same cereal. It is VERY orange cream, which seems a little weird as a cereal flavor too. I honestly can't see why they would do this. This is not really a come back. At best, it's a comeback of the cereal mascots, not the cereals. Don't give me a ham sandwich and tell me it's a Big Mac, guys. It's not. Not even close.Oh well. At least I got my original Fruit Brute box to finally hang on my wall, right? Right?!!

Wrong, actually. They really stuck to their guns on this FRUTE Brute thing. We didn't even get the true retro packages. Again, the title is spelled, I'm just gonna say it, WRONG. And even the text colors are wrong. And, here's a problem ALL the boxes have. The cereal is wrong! Those are modern photos of the modern versions of the cereal, not the classic versions. Okay, I kinda get that, but in the cases where the marshmallows are different colors from the original versions, like with Fruit Brute, which I believe included some green marshmallows, it really hurts the look. Besides that, something that randomly hit me while I was eating Frankenberry (probably my second favorite after Chocula, though it's a tough call, and a real comeback of Fruit Brute might have blown them all away), is that the cereal pieces are very different from their original versions. Not just the marshmallows, which are always changing over the years for the sake of having something new and exciting to advertise. The cereal pieces too, they used to be totally different. They were like wagon wheel shapes, for lack of a better term. They were lighter, too, and maybe a bit bigger, but don't quote me on that. Point is, none of these cereals are in their original form. Still, I feel very let down that they didn't even try to bring the original flavors back for the two forgotten, fruit flavored classics. Those of us who would be excited about something like this were not looking for new flavors, we were seeking to taste those classics AGAIN, just as we remembered them. This was an epic fail for General Mills in my book. I can only give them props for having the right idea in terms of bringing these cereals back and including the semi retro packaging option. Now, I can only hope that they realize what they got wrong with this promotion and fix it for a future Halloween! I won't hold my breath, but it sure would be awesome if that happened!

And now, on to a completely different Halloween cereal option!

Yes, if you're like me, you're a big fan of the Cap'n. I gotta admit, despite the fact that, yes, his cereal DOES cut up the roof of your mouth (not that the monster cereals are EASY on the roof of your mouth), I absolutely LOVE classic Cap'n Crunch! In fact, the retro Monster Cereal packaging really made me wish I'd picked up the retro Cap'n and Lucky Charms packaging too when they were available at Target as well, They have some other options right now, but without those two, it seems pointless to get any others. Along with the Monster Cereals and Pebbles cereals, Cap'n Crunch and Lucky Charms, not to mention Cookie Crisp, are my faves. Though I like the oldschool Cookie Crisp that everyone says was nasty. I do like that the Cookie Crisp mascot is a wolf now though, and appropriately so. We LOVE cookies! But, I digress. This part of the article is about one of those gimmicky holiday themed versions of a popular product. In this case, Cap'n Crunch's Halloween Crunch!

Yep, I took that closeup photo myself! Pretty darn cool, huh? Looks like something from a science book! Still don't have a camera, but I got an iPhone recently, and that's almost as good. Anywho, for those of you who would rather eat the Cap'n than any Monster Cereals this season, you've got a few days left to try this one as well (again, probably with the option to get it cheaper on the weekend, ha). So, for your sakes, here is a just in the nick of time review of "Halloween Crunch", pictures by yours truly.

Now, Quaker's Cap'n Crunch has come out with a ton of spin-offs over the years. I mean a TON! Personally, I didn't even know about most! I knew there was a Peanut Butter Crunch, which I thought was okay, and of course, Crunch Berries, which are okay too, but I prefer plain ol' Cap'n Crunch to either of them. I do, however, love to get Christmas Crunch every year, which is essentially just Crunch Berries, if I remember correctly, but in red and green (that's different than usual, right?). I have been aware of a chocolate variety of Cap'n Crunch for a while, but I didn't realize there have been a ton of others too, like Cinnamon Crunch, Punch Crunch, and Carnival Berries, just to name a few! As I say though, I love the plain variety most, but anything Halloween themed is hard for me to resist, so I picked a box of this up. It's been a long time coming, I guess. Apparently, this cereal was introduced in 2007. My feelings after eating it? Well, I still prefer plain ol' Cap'n Crunch.

As demonstrated above, Halloween Crunch has a special gimmick. The green specks you may or may not see in the orange colored ghost cereal pieces are designed to turn your milk green. This may or may not disgust you. I was never really able to eat that Shrek ketchup at Burger King. That's just gross. I WAS able to drink this green milk, but since Cap'n Crunch can make its left over milk a bit on the thick side, it's not the most appetizing experience either. The cereal itself, well, the orange ghosts don't really taste like crunch berries. They don't really taste good, either. I can't really describe them. They are like Crunch Berries without the berry flavor. That's why I say I prefer plain Cap'n Crunch. I'm not a huge fan of the Crunch Berry flavor, but they are better than this weird taste. However, it's not so bad that it makes the cereal... not good. I mean, it's still mostly made up of Cap'n Crunch pieces, so it's still good. Just not as good as plain. If you're a Crunch Berry fan, this won't trump it for ya either, but it's still not bad to have around at the Halloween season. It's festive and all, ya know? It's not really bad, just not AS good as other Cap'n Crunch cereals, so it all comes down to how much you want Halloween injected into every sector of your life during the month of October (I can't get enough, personally, so no judging here) and how badly you want to see your milk turn green. A little tip, if you want to see that at its best, that cereal dust you get in the final bowl is the most potent. Unfortunately, I didn't get a shot of that. The demonstration above is from my first or second bowl of the stuff. Overall, as I said, it's decent and you get to have a festive cereal box on the shelf if yo want something different from the Monster Cereals. If you're all about taste, this is not going to trump your love for whatever of the Cap's cereals you already love. It's all about the theme, like getting Halloween Oreos even though you normally prefer Double Stuff, and Halloween Oreos are single stuff. *sigh* They really need to change that.

Okay, and that's all I got for now, guys. Check back tomorrow! Hoping to keep the fresh posts coming through the rest of Halloween week!


  1. I've tried all five Monster Cereals now. I have mentioned before that being born in '89 means that I never got a chance to try Fruit Brute or Yummy Mummy during their initial runs, so I have no recollections to base my opinions on. I found both to be pretty good cereals. I imagine I would be madder that they changed the flavor if I had been around to try the original incarnations. As it stands for me, I thought the fruit flavors they chose worked well in a breakfast cereal, even the orange cream flavor which I initially thought sounded repulsive. Incidentally, Chocula was the one I originally had trouble finding as well. I would probably rank him second, as I still favor Boo Berry out of the lot. This whole Monster Cereal unveiling has certainly made this an interesting Halloween.

  2. It certainly has, but it would still be even nicer if they tried it again and got it right. I really can't imagine why they couldn't bring back the original flavors of Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy. If they were worried that they'd be too similar, they could have just changed one (Mummy). I mean, it's not really a return though, if it's not even the same flavors! I know I keep saying this, but it's amazing how the flavor of Fruit Brute is still fresh in my mind, even though I don't remember eating it since I was five or six. It seems it was around a bit after that, but I personally don't remember seeing it around that long, so maybe it wasn't in my area anymore. Oddly, even though Yummy Mummy was much more recent and I DID try it, I don't remember the taste of that one so well. As for the new flavors, I don't know, they're okay. Not great though. I can't say I like them or would care to eat them again. I still have almost all of my spare Frute Brute box. Need to get back to it before it gets stale, but I kinda wish I'd gotten a spare Chocula instead. Choc is definitely my fave, and I think Frank would be second, but I do like Boo Berry. However, if original Fruit Brute had really come back, that one MIGHT be my fave, or at least second!

    1. I know the original Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy were described as fruity flavored. Does that mean they tasted similar to Froot Loops? That's the closest approximation I can make for a generic fruit flavoring. I really wish I had been around to try the Monster Cereals during their original glory days. I'm thinking of heading down to Target this weekend to see if they have the Monster Cereals on clearance sale. I'd certainly love to stock up for the months in which they go into moratorium. Though I imagine others will have this same idea and they may be cleared out of all stock :(

  3. Hmm. I used to eat a lot of Fruit Loops as a kid, I think because they would have good prizes and mail aways (like a Han Solo action figure one time!). But, given the choice, I'd prefer my usual faves, ha. Haven't had it in forever! I remember it well enough though, and actually, I wouldn't say Fruit Brute tasted anything like it. However, and I have no idea why since it was much more recent, I can't truly remember the taste of Yummy Mummy in its original form. Did you stock up on the cereal, by the way? I totally would have, had I not been broke Halloween week and this week after. Spent a bit too much and then had to get the rent money in, ha. I'm going to be really hungry till I get paid this Friday! The cupboard is bare! Ha.

    1. I never got a chance to head down to Target; weekend was too busy with other chores and errands I guess. I've actually got some leftover Monster Cereal that I'm gonna open up in a couple months. Relive the taste of Halloween in February haha. There are times in our house when money is tight and food is scarce. I usually stock up on cheap, filling foods like pork and beans and tuna for those weeks. I have pretty simple culinary tastes; heck, beans with cornbread and a cup of black coffee is one of my favorite meals.

  4. We have beans and cornbread here from time to time too, ha. And definitely been eating a lot of tuna lately. I enjoy both, but when I eat a meal without meat, like beans and cornbread or soup and grilled cheese, I might enjoy it but am never truly satisfied, ha. Must be a wolf-thing.