Freakies bowed on the cereal aisle in 1973 and remained there through 1975. The cereal was produced by Ralston, the same company that brought America Hot Ralston, Wheat Chex, Rice Chex and a popular line of animal foods marketed as Dog Chow, Puppy Chow etc. (Ralston has commercial claim to the word chow, which company founder William H. Danforth first heard on the fields of France during World War I.)
Freakies was an eponymous presweetened cereal that featured seven loveable spacelings who looked like Disney's Seven Dwarves after an encounter with a toxic-waste dump. The seven Freakies spent their lives living in seven duplexes located near the Freakie Tree which blossomed eternally with fresh Freakies cereal.
After an initial rush of popularity, the Freakies fad faded. "They did a little research to find out what the problem was," remembered Freakies animator Jack Zander, "and the frank answer was, they tasted terrible. Kids, after one box, didn't go back."
Jackie End, a female copywriter who worked for the New York based ad firm Wells, Rich, Greene came up with the Freakies idea as a sort of practical joke on her office mates. For example, her boss Charlie Moss became the Freakie Boss Moss. A goody-doody in personnel became the Freakie Goody-Goody, and an English copywriter with an annoying voice became the Freakie Gargle. Hamhose, Grumble, Snorkledorf and Cowmumble rounded out the Freakies gang. "Everybody got a kick out of it," recalls End, who gets mail from a growing number of nostalgic twenty somethings. Hardcore Freakies fans address mail to End as "the Creator."
Freakie premiums in circulation among collectors today include plastic cars, T-shirts, hats, wall clocks, and fridge magnets. The most popular premiums are rubber figurines of the seven Freakies.
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