The Boxtop - Cereal Netletter
Volume 5, Number 3 Autumn 2003

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Autumn 2003 Index

Character Profile: Nabisco Spoonmen - Munchy, Crunchy, and Spoon-size
Spoon Sitters: Our Favorite Cereal Prize of All-Time
Harry Potter Cereal
"The League of Extraordinary Breakfast Cereals"
Has Tony the Tiger Jumped the Shark?
Cool New Cereal Box: General Mills Yu-Gi-Oh!
Cereal Review - General Mills Yu-Gi-Oh! Cereal
Cereal Review - General Mills Team Cheerios
Cereal Review - Quaker Oats Life Cereal
What's New in Cereal?
  • Cap'n Crunch Rugrats Go Wild Berries Cereal
  • Cap'n Crunch Offers Free Cursors Online
  • Kellogg's X-Men 2 Promotion
Send Us Your News


Character Profile: Nabisco Spoonmen - Munchy, Crunchy, and Spoon-size
by Topher
SpoonmenMunchy, Crunchy, and Spoon-size where collectively known as the Spoonmen. Munchy (the commanding officer up in front) had three rows of buttons, Crunchy (the guy in the middle) had only two rows of buttons, and Spoon-size (the little guy in the back) had one row of buttons. They appeared on boxes of Shredded Wheat Juniors (the original spoon-sized biscuits) from 1958 to 1960.

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Spoon Sitters: Our Favorite Cereal Prize of All-Time
by Topher
Spoon SittersOur favorite prize that we have ever fished out of the bottom of a cereal box is the "Spoon Sitter", sometimes known as a "Breakfast Buddy". However, there really is a difference between the two. Spoon Sitters are small molded hard plastic vinyl figurines which can slide onto the handle of your spoon. Breakfast Buddies hang onto the side of your cereal bowl.
We believe one piece molded Spoon Sitters were introduced by Nabisco in 1959. Boxes of Nabisco "Spoon Size" Shredded Wheat Juniors featured one of three Spoonmen (see related Character Profile article) available in "six out-of-this-world colors": red, pinkish white, chocolate brown, green, yellow, and blue. They were 1.625" to 2" in height.

Nabisco also gets credit for the first Breakfast Buddy. They offered two 2.25" bowl hangers in 1961. Buffalo Bee came in boxes of Wheat Honeys, while Jolly Clown was free inside Rice Honeys. They came in only two colors: red and yellow.

In 1965, Nabisco combined the Spoon Sitter under-bottom slot with the Breakfast Buddy bowl hanger arms when they created a very popular series of Winnie-the-Pooh Breakfast Buddies (see image, above left) issued in connection with Walt Disney's 1965 movie. One of seven hard plastic buddies: Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga (with Roo in pouch), Eeyore, and Owl were free inside boxes of Rice Honeys and Wheat Honeys. They measure 1.75" to 2.5" in height and were issued in the USA in only 5 colors: red, blue, yellow, orange and green.

The Spoonmen and Winnie-the-Pooh characters are highly collectable. Hake's Price Guide to Character Toys values the Spoonmen at $50 to $60 each, Buffalo Bee and Jolly Clown at $20 each, and the Winnie-the-Pooh characters at $12 each, in Near Mint condition. Scott Bruce placed values at $25, $10, and $15 each respectively. August 2003 auctions on eBay saw closing bid prices of $81 for a blue Crunchy, $91 for pinkish Munchy, $10 for a green Buffalo Bee (possibly a knockoff), and a complete set of 7 yellow Winnie-the-Pooh buddies sold for $36.

We would love to see Kellogg's, General Mills, Post and Quaker Oats include the 1965 style buddies, molded into their current stable of cereal characters, as prizes "free inside" boxes of their cereals. Tony the Tiger, Trix Rabbit, Sugar Bear, and Cap'n Crunch would be highly prized indeed!

More information on Spoon Sitters, the cereal boxes they came in, and possible knockoffs, can be found at PrizeNSide.

How about you? What was your favorite cereal prize? E-mail "The Boxtop".

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Harry Potter Cereal
by Topher
Harry PotterHere's a cereal which surprisingly has not been released. It could be J.K. Rowling has yet to sign off on a quality concept. Here's ours. It's a rich, chocolate-dipped oat cereal in the shape of H's and P's, with Snitch-, Bludger-, and Quaffle-shaped marbits packaged separately inside. Here's the clincher: each box includes 1 of 8 spoon sitters, including Harry, Ron, Draco, and Hermione. Slide a couple of the characters onto your spoons and play Quidditch! "Why are the marbits separate?" you ask. Half your target market hates marshmallows in their cereal, but they might still like to play Quidditch with the marbits! Tap your wand on the image to see a slightly larger box. You saw it here first!

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"The League of Extraordinary Breakfast Cereals"
by Topher
"Brigadier General Mills had started acting odd before his recent and mysterious disappearance. Now with a cereal killer on the loose the Pentagon wants Mills tracked down and returned safely or brought to justice, whichever is most appropriate. But finding him --- well that’s the real trick. The Joint Chiefs want this mess cleaned up quickly and quietly. Like so many times when ordinary military channels simply can’t get the job done the chiefs have outsourced directly to Captain Crunch and his League of Extraordinary Breakfast Cereals."

This is a bit of the background information for a Live Action Role Play (LARP) game, set in the "Breakfast" universe, currently scheduled for Intercon-D in Chelmsford, MA on March 14, 2004.

In this already sold-out event, players are given one of several cereal characters which they will portray during the game. Each character will come with background information, a set of stats and a set of skills. The players, who will dress in character, are given a quick briefing on the scenario they are to role play.

The participants go into the game and for the next several hours they are the character. These games are usually played in a large conference room, set of rooms, or other large facility. Game Masters (GMs) are around to make sure that any events that are scheduled to take place do take place. For example, at game start + 2 hours it might begin to rain milk, which may wreck havoc with the less sog-resistant cereals. GMs are also there to resolve any player questions but for the most part players will be interacting with other players.

What's in store for the contingent of cereal characters? Might the Trix Rabbit get a bowl of cereal? Will Lucky the Leprechaun keep kids from getting his cereal? Will Jean LaFoote get his revenge on Cap'n Crunch? What will happen to the Freakies after their tree gets struck by lightening? Will Snap Crackle if Pop goes to prison? Will Fruit Brute eat Quentin Tarantino for breakfast? These and other possible conflicts may get answered at Intercon-D.

Check out TXLBreakfast and InterCon-D for more complete details on "The League of Extraordinary Breakfast Cereals".

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Has Tony the Tiger Jumped the Shark?
by Topher
TonyTony the Tiger may have jumped the shark this year. "Tony's Cinnamon Krunchers" from Kellogg's is a product extension outside of Tony's familiar corn flakes (frosted, chocolate-coated, banana-flavored, or otherwise) franchise. Kellogg's either got lazy in the character development department or is hoping Tony has the power to extend past corn flakes. Will it dilute Tony's image? Even if Tony could sell Pop Tarts, is it wise to overexpose a Grain God who has been true to corn flakes for over 50 years? What do you think?

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Cool New Cereal Box: General Mills Yu-Gi-Oh!
by Topher
Yu-Gi-Oh!General Mills has a major late-Summer promotion with Yu-Gi-Oh! A "Limited Edition" Yu-Gi-Oh! Cereal began hitting store shelves in late August. In addition, 8 different Yu-Gi-Oh! Action Medallions can be found free inside specially marked boxes of General Mills cereals along with a mail-in offer for an exclusive Yu-Gi-Oh! DVD. Sadly, no prize or DVD offer comes with the Yu-Gi-Oh! Cereal box.

This is an incredibly cool reflector box featuring Yami Yugi and Exodia the Forbidden One. (Click on the Yu-Gi-Oh! Cereal box for a larger detailed image). Kudos to the design team.
The cereal is self-described as "Millennium Medallion shaped honey sweetened corn cereal". It's essentially a box of triangular honey-glazed corn pops. More characters and monsters are located on the box back along with a Yu-Gi-Oh! "King of the Games" summary. The side panel features a puzzle. I rate the box design a "10".

There is also a tie-in at the yugioh.com website, wherein you input 1 of 10 possible answers from the puzzle questions on the side panel. If you answer correctly, you get to see exclusive information and images for two monsters: one new and one classic. The monsters change every two weeks. Unfortunately, General Mills failed to print the web site address anywhere on the cereal box. We've given you the web address. You'll need to buy a box to get the answers.

Speaking of answers, there are five mysterious answers on the bottom of the box: 1. Kuriboh, 2. Millennium, 3. Duelist, 4. Monsters, and 5. Champion. Interestingly, these five words are not part of a game for the cereal box. These words are actually packaging references intended to aid General Mills' packaging design teams that work with this cereal.

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Cereal Review
by Terri Ellis
General Mills Yu-Gi-Oh!

These crunchy, airy, puffed corn triangles taste a little less sweet than Corn Pops. They have the consistency of Cap'n Crunch, except they are smooth and don't rip up your mouth. Since they float, they don't sog easily. However, they do impart some flavor into your milk. There just isn't a lot of substance to a puffed corn cereal. I rate this cereal 5½ Boxtops (Middle Of The Road. You Could Do Worse).

Cereal Review
by Terri Ellis
General Mills Team Cheerios

Team CheeriosThis cereal is a real winner. The cereal is full of whole grain oats, corn, barley, rice, and wheat --- and to a lesser extent: sugar, brown sugar syrup, and corn syrup. It's not too sweet and its not too good for you. This makes it my perfect cereal.
The cereal itself features a team of three different Cheeri-Os: regular, frosted, and brown-sugar. This wholesome threesome stays crunchy if you concentrate on eating and don't dilly-dally. Fortunately none of team members leak flavors or colors into the milk, so the milk at the bottom of the bowl is still easy to drink. I rate Team Cheerios at 9 Boxtops (A Classic! Belongs On Every Breakfast Table).

Cereal Review
by Topher
Quaker Oats Life Cereal

MikeyLike Mikey here, I liked Life cereal as a kid. I haven't enjoyed Life in almost 20 years. When I saw it on sale at my local grocery store recently I thought I would try Life again. Why not? Mine could use more meaning.

What's Life? Quaker says it's a "wholesome, lightly sweetened biscuit made from 100% wholegrain oats". No doubt. These 1-inch woven squares are so compact the six imprisoned sugar crystals in each cell have no chance to run.

While very crunchy out of the box, they turn to mush in milk. Milk does nothing for it. In fact, they really taste better plain than with milk. Kellogg's Crispix and Ralston (General Mills) Wheat Chex are better tasting cereals in the square biscuit cereal category. I rate Kellogg's Bite-Sized Mini Wheats as the best cereal biscuit.

As I kid, I probably would have rated Life a 7. As an adult, I rate Life at 5 Boxtops (Middle Of The Road. You Could Do Worse). Nothing seems to be as good as it was in your childhood memory. That's Life.

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What's New In Cereal?
by Topher

Cap'n Crunch Rugrats Go Wild Berries Cereal
Quaker Oats released a Rugrats / Wild Thornberry based cereal in connection with the Nickelodeon's "Rugrats Go Wild" movie release. It features wild berry character shapes which turn blue with milk. (That's reality marketing. Hey Kids... See what happens when you drown!) Spike and Angelica join the Cap'n on this box. All five Cap'n Crunch cereals feature characters from the movie. The other four Cap'n Crunch flavors feature Eliza Thornberry and Tommy Pickles on the box. Crunch Berries temporarily dropped the berries in favor of "4 movie based shapes", one being Spike.
Cap'n Crunch Offers Free Cursors Online
CapnCrunch.com features 3 icon cursors you can download for your PC: a nugget of Cap'n Crunch cereal, a Cap'n Crunch hat, and a pair of Crunch Berries. Find these by clicking on the "Screen Flavors" graphic at the site.
X-Men 2 BoxKellogg's X-Men 2 Promotion
There's a promotion in Prague, Czech Republic, by Kellogg's to promote the X-Men 2 Movie release overseas. You can find 1 of 6 free metal X-Men tags in each specially marked box of Frosties, Smacks, and Choco Krispies. The box at left is from the U.K.
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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