In the 70s and 80s, kids just couldn’t get their day off on the right foot without a proper dose of delicious sugar and fright, and nothing brought it to the table like Count Chocula and his friends Franken Berry and Boo Berry. Flavored puffs and marshmallows packed a tasty punch and kept kids bouncing off the walls for hours.
Count Chocula first hit grocery store shelves in 1971 and is the easiest of the trio to find today. The charismatic, Bela Lugosi-inspired Count Chocula was a buck-toothed vampire who scared his fellow cereal monsters, but was scared himself anytime mice or children came by. Kids, mice, and just about anyone else didn’t really need to worry; chocolate’s sweetness was the Count’s weakness, and he just wanted to share his love with chocolate-loving kids around the world.
Soon after Chocula hit the scene, Franken Berry made an appearance and trouble began to brew. Throughout the 70s and 80s, commercials would show them in a battle of words and fright over who had the best-tasting cereal. Franken Berry was a fruity robot, some kind of cross between a strawberry and Frankenstein. Right down to his pink nail polish, Franken Berry kept his eye on monster fashion, and smooth, sweet, strawberry flavored cereal that would turn your milk pink. Let’s not forget the underground hit, Boo Berry. Though he never went after the fame and attention like Frank & Choc did, Boo Berry delivered quite the sugary breakfast punch with his spooky blueberry-flavored offerings.
As if the cereal wasn’t enough, General Mills pumped out a frightful amount of Count Chocula and friends memorabilia; guitars, bobble-heads, posters, plush dolls and t-shirts were all in the line-up. The irresistible flavor of the cereal has made it a part of everyday pop culture, referenced in shows like Futurama, The Simpsons and Family Guy. Count Chocula made it possible for a generation of kids to learn negotiation tactics, like “Mom, if I eat the lima beans, can I get Count Chocula for breakfast?” and timeliness – in some houses, if the kids could get up early enough, mom wouldn’t even know (until she found an empty box later) that they’d been hitting the Chocula on a regular basis. For the great flavors and even better memories… Count Chocula, we kids salute you!
If you started many a day of your youth with a brimming bowl of Count Chocula, Franken Berry or Boo Berry cereal, we’d love to hear your memories in our comments section. Let us know which one you preferred and any other recollections, as we tip our hats to this trio of tasty treats.