The Boxtop - Cereal Netletter
Volume 11, Number 2 Summer 2009

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Summer 2009 Index

Articles:
1. Ad Boy: Vintage Advertising with Character
2. Creativity Has Taken A Vacation
Cereal Reviews:
1. Kellogg's Jumbo Multi-Grain Krispies
2. Kellogg's Raisin Bran Extra!
What's New in Cereal?
1. Kellogg's "Star Trek" Promotion
2. General Mills Cash Card Promotion

Send Us Your News


Ad Boy: Vintage Advertising with Character
by Topher

Ad Boy Author Warren Dotz and graphic-design wiz Masud Husain have released another beautiful collection of unforgettable (and forgettable) characters who promoted products in the 50's, 60's and 70's. Ad Boy features over 500 pristine full color reproductions of advertising mascots from magazine ads, stickers, posters, buttons, postcards, store displays, boxes, cartons, road maps, caps, comic books, hand puppets, decals, and menus. The book is nicely categorized, grouping industry icons into 63 sections such as "Anthropomorphic", "Drinks", "Indian Maidens", "Muscle Cars", "Restaurants", "Sea Creatures", and of course "Cereal".

Some of the same characters who appeared in Meet Mr. Product and What A Character! appear again here, but the images are different and about 100% bigger. Where "What A Character!" featured a lot more information and 3-dimensional collectibles, "Ad Boy" brings us more 176 more pages of "Meet Mr. Product". What's nice about all three is that each picture includes the character's name, product, and date, which is not only informative, but extremely helpful for collectors.

A lot of your old favorites are in here including: Goofy Grape, Freakies, Frito Bandito, Chiquita Banana, Big Boy, Mr. Chips, Mr. Wiggle, Punchy, Bud Man, Captain Raid, Speedy, and Mr. Bubble. Okay, so they are a lot of my old favorites. I think you'll enjoy seeing them again too.

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Creativity Has Taken A Vacation
by Topher

I am parched! I feel like I've been walking across a desert the past few months. Each trip to the grocery store fills me with the anticipation as I reach out for an oasis, only to find one mirage after another. No new cereals, concepts, or great prizes. Gasp! Nothing new. Nothing exciting. Do they not know we are out here? Do they not know we can boost their quarterly sales if they'd only give us some refreshment?

Granted, 2008 did produce a number of nice cereal box concepts and a few line extensions --- some which worked, while others were culinary disasters. The recession is no excuse. Consumers are looking to save money, but they are still spending on comfort foods and nostalgic experiences. General Mills brought us some limited edition retro cereal boxes through very limited distribution. That was fun and it ignited cereal box fans. Quaker Oats has a great opportunity here to bring back Quisp, Quake, and their stable of other beloved cereals from the 60's. Ralston (the new owner of Post), and Kellogg's also have boomer cereals in their closets just waiting to get out. Please unleash these classic cereals, characters, and related prizes (inside boxes) to the cereal aisle.

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Cereal Reviews
by Topher, Editor

Kellogg's Jumbo Multi-Grain Krispies
Kellogg's Jumbo Multi-Grain Krispies This was a fun idea that was poorly executed. The back of the box is engaging with lots of good art featuring Snap!, Crackle!, Pop!, and their magic shop "where small things become BIG"! The gnomes are a little goofy looking on the front of the box, accurately displaying their strained enthusiasm for Kellogg's latest creation.

Jumbo Krispies is a great concept, but where can you find jumbo rice kernels? Ah, yes, magic! Well, since they couldn't make bigger puffed rice, they created a bigger Rice Krispie by mixing rice flour, sugar, whole wheat flour, yellow corn meal, and oat fiber and forming it into the shape of a jumbo kernel of rice that look like a box full of pale vitamins.

Jumbo Rice Krispies have a sickly flavor to go with its pale appearance. Although lightly sweetened, with a definitive hint of honey, they have a gross sweetness. They go from crispy to pasty and mealy very quickly and this alchemy gets stuck to your molars. If you like Rice Krispies, you probably won't like these and you certainly won't want to make Jumbo Rice Krispies Squares with them either. I rate Kellogg's Jumbo Multi-Grain Krispies at 00 Boxtops (Throw Away!) I did, but I kept the box.

Kellogg's Raisin Bran Extra!
Kellogg's Raisin Bran Extra! Kellogg's has been producing Raisin Bran, with its plump juicy raisins and crispy bran flakes, since 1942. A natural bran(d) extension --- "Extra" adds sweet cranberries, yogurty clusters and sliced almonds.

If you haven't experienced Raisin Bran, you'll find crunchy unfrosted bran flakes and non-sugar-dusted raisins. The lack of heavy sweeteners is a good thing. "Extra" adds more crunch and flavor to the basic recipe. While the almonds provide little crunch or taste, the cranberries are a very welcome flavor enhancement and the clusters provide a great crunch.

The clusters are basically small puffed rice bits glued together with confectioner's sugar. While they taste nasty out of the box, they provide just a minor sweetness and a very nice mouth-loving crunch as part of the overall mix. [Note to manufacturers: We love crunchy clusters. They belong in cereal. Keep it up!] I rate Kellogg's Raisin Bran Extra! at 6 Boxtops (Middle Of The Road. You Could Do Worse). Take out the raisins, call it "Kellogg's Extra" and I'll add a boxtop.

Nothing Else To Try?
As we noted above, there were few new cereals to try out so far this year. Therefore my pantry is currently stocked with favorites like Kellogg's Bite-Sized Mini Wheats, Kellogg's Special K with Strawberries, Post Grape Nuts, Post Great Grains (with Pecans), General Mills Wheaties, and General Mills Wheat Chex.

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What's New In Cereal?
by Topher

Kellogg's "Star Trek" Promotion
Kellogg's has a number of promotions tied to the May 8, 2009, opening of the new "Star Trek" motion picture. No cereal in the shape of Star Fleet insignias, but it is offering Star Trek Beam-Up Badges inside specially marked boxes of Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, Rice Krispies, Apple Jacks, Corn Pops, and Frosted Mini-Wheats Bite Size cereal. "Carry your own Star Trek badge with special insignia and power beam (supplied by a non-replaceable battery)" The 5 insignia represent the Romulan Empire, Starfleet Science, Starfleet Command, Starfleet Engineering, and Klingon Empire.

All of the other promotions are mail-ins. These include movie tickets, plates, flash drive wristband, and a cool Star Trek tee shirt which is available for 9 Star Trek tokens from specially marked boxes of Crispix, Rice Krispies, Jumbo Multi-Grain Krispies, Corn Flakes, Cocoa Krispies, Frosted Mini-Wheats Bite Size, and Rice Krispies Treats cereal, as well as Cheez-Its; or 1 token and $9.99.

General Mills Cash Card Promotion
General Mills is giving away 2 million prizes in their "Win Cash" sweepstakes. Each prize is a cash card worth $5, $10 or $25, which must be activated online. Cash cards are randomly inserted into specially marked boxes of Cheerios, Golden Grahams, Fruity Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Honey Nut Cheerios, Cocoa Puffs, Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Trix cereal.

Send Us Your News
If you notice anything new in your supermarket cereal isle, or wish to report a new cereal development, please email us. We'll give you credit for your information, or keep it confidential, at your request. Thank you.

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Disclaimers and Other Legal Stuff
The Boxtop is a non-commercial publication. It is not affiliated with or endorsed by any cereal or company. All of the names, characters, brands, and icons included here are trademarks of their respective parent companies and cannot be used for commercial purposes. Enjoy breakfast and support your favorite characters!
Opinions expressed are those of the writer, which like most things having to do with cereal may not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editor, anyone else on the staff, or the world at large. A good sense of humor is appreciated.
Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the Editor.
All information contained herein was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness.
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