The Boxtop - Cereal Netletter
Volume 3, Number 2 Winter 2001

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Winter 2001 Index

Character Profile: Big Yella
Fullerton Museum's "Superwacky" Exhibit
Collecting Cereal Memorabilia
Cereal Character Cartoons: "Major Flake"
Cereal Fiction: "Oh Cap'n my Cap'n"
Cereal Review - Post Fruity Pebbles
What's New in Cereal?
What's New in Cereal? Kellogg's / Disney Marketing Alliance

Character Profile: Big Yella
by Topher
Big Yella Big fella, big hat, Big Yella.

Big Yella was a blond-haired cowboy with a big yellow cowboy hat. He appeared on boxes of Kellogg's Corn Pops from 1977 to 1979.

The "Big Yella Society", organized in 1999, is working to get Big Yella back on boxes of Kellogg's Corn Pops. Their membership propelled Big Yella to the top of our "Favorite Cereal Character Poll" from 1997 to 2001.

Tony the Tiger, Winnie-the-Pooh, Quisp, and Rastus (the Cream of Wheat Chef) rounded out the top five in voting.

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Fullerton Museum Presents
"Superwacky: Animation on Television, 1949-Today"

by Topher

The Fullerton Museum Center in California is presenting an exhibition from January 19, 2002 through May 12, 2002. The exhibit will examine the entire history of TV animation and its impact on American popular culture. The exhibition will include a vintage television showing vintage cartoons with commercials, and a variety of vintage tv-related toys.

Included are over 125 vintage production animation cels, drawings and rare painted background art, on loan from some of largest and most important private collections of animation art in the world. Most have never been exhibited before.

Highlights of specific cels and art will include The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Crusader Rabbit, The Flintstones, Dudley Do-Right, The Jetsons, Yogi Bear, Pink Panther, Star Trek, Speed Racer, Astro Boy, Kimba, Pokemon, Sailor Moon, Ren and Stimpy, Rugrats, Simpsons, Grinch, Pogo, Horton Hears a Who, and Futurama.

Cereal commercials cels at the exhibit include Captain Crunch, Quisp, Nestle's Quick, Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles (Flintstones), Trix (Rabbit), Super Sugar Crisp, Maypo (1960s), Fruit Loops, and Rice Krispies (with Woody Woodpecker).

Fullerton Museum Center
301 N. Pomona Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92832, 714-738-6545.

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Collecting Cereal Memorabilia
by Wayne Mattox
corn boxWhen I was a kid, no object by man or God consumed my morning attention like breakfast cereal. I am talking the whole package here, including the box with its bright colors, bold graphics, promotions and comic and celebrity characters. I especially liked contests and games that occasionally appeared on the back. Even better, like a box of Cracker Jack, sometimes small prizes and toys were contained within.

Remember the feeling of combing your fingers through cereal until you hit bottom? Then you worked your way side-to-side and corner-to-corner. I recalled associated commercials when I was chomping away on my Coca Krispies or Captain Crunch. Any jingle previously branded into my mind would be hummed. If milk was slobbered onto the table, so be it.
Occasionally, mom and dad would try to sabotage this bliss by substituting "healthy" cereals for brands I preferred. These attempts failed. A few table spoons of sugar and chopped fruit and I was back in business. The Rooster on Corn Flakes was quite capable of attracting my attention too.

If you are reminiscing over your breakfast bowl right now, you'll probably understand that, across the board, cereal boxes and related antiques represent a tremendous collectible market. The fact that so many of the first cereal companies prospered and still do so today adds extra interest and value to the hobby.

While the Shredded Wheat name was introduced in 1908, this pioneer product was developed around 1893 when Denver Colorado's Henry Perky discovered that his patented cereal making machines were more difficult to sell than the small pillow shaped biscuits they produced. In 1901, he opened up a large bakery near Niagara Falls. There, tourists flocked to the "Palace of Light" and it's state-of-the-art sanitary and technological systems. Some even purchased company picture post cards that are much sought-after today.

Battle Creek, Michigan is an industrial center in grain growing country famous for its large breakfast cereal industry. Kellogg's Corn Flakes was introduced toward the tail end of the 19th century when superintendent and physician of the Battle Creek Sanitarium health resort, John Harvey Kellogg and his sober businessman brother, Will Keith, visualized a cereal in a form that would have good keeping qualities, little or no preparation, be attractive in flavor, light and easy on the digestion.

The Breakfast of Champions was invented in 1921 when, as the story goes, a Minneapolis man interested in health accidentally spilled a wheat bran mixture on a hot stove. After contacting the Washburn Crosby Company, forerunner of General Mills, Gold Metal Wheat Flakes was introduced in 1924. Recently, Wheaties celebrated their 75th anniversary by re-releasing the original packages as selected by the American public through its "Vote for Your Favorite Wheaties Champion" promotion. The winners were: John Elway, Lou Gerhig, Bob Richards (1939 Pole vault) and other U.S. Gold Medal Team members, Michael Jordan, Walter Payton May Lou Retton, Cal Ripken, Jr., Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth and Tiger Woods.

Quaker Oats was officially formed in 1901 when Ferdinand "The Oatmeal King" Schumacher and other oat milling pioneers came together to incorporate and introduce their famous name and symbol.

Breakfast cereal antiques include early promotion spoons, bowls and similar items, toys-like a valuable 1946 Buck Rogers Magic Saturn Code Ring, advertising promotional products, and original cereal boxes.

Many cereal package collectors begin by carefully opening both ends of the box. Heating the glue with a hair dryer will help. Then, they remove cereal, flatten, and store their prize in 14" by 17" clear plastic top loader available in hobby shops and ads in card magazines. Cereal boxes can be displayed full-form by removing the cereal, filling with plastic peanuts, and resealing the box with a low temperature glue gun.

Extraordinary cereal boxes can fetch hundreds of dollars each. Values are determined according to age, condition, sentimentality, rarity, graphic interest, and crossover and promotional interest: For instance, an early Star Wars ad might on a box would might attract Star War's enthusiasts. Lastly, people collect boxes for the characters on them and when they first appeared. For instance, just as a Mickey Mantle rookie baseball card has special value to card collectors, so too would an early Ruth Wheaties box or a 1965 box of Quisp; the year the 3'11" forty-three pound Planet Q resident arrived on earth in his cereal packed spacecraft.

Here's some other first arrivals: Quakies Miniature Quakers (Mother's or Quaker Oats)-1920, Snap! (Rice Krispies)-1933, Mickey Mouse (Post Toasties) 1934, Ranger Joe (Wheat Honey's)-1939, Crackle Pop!-1941, Buck Rogers (Post Toasties)-1946, Lone Ranger (Cheerios later other cereals)-1948, Tony the Tiger (Sugar Frosted Flakes)-1952, Marky "I want My Maypo"-1956, Cornelius the Rooster (Corn Flakes)-1957, Trix Rabbit-1960, Cap'n Horatio Crunch-1963, Sugar Bear (Super Sugar Crisp)-1964, L. C. "Lucky" Leprechaun (Lucky Stars)-1964, Count Chocola-1971, Mikey "Hey Mikey Likes it!" (Life)-1974, Big Yella Cowboy (Corn Pops)-1977.

Like old lunch boxes, in addition to being a great antique hobby and investment, cereal boxes can be part of an imaginative decorative scheme. Imagine a kitchen with a case-fitted wall filled with interesting old cereal boxes like a 1910 Shredded Wheat or a '65 Trix: colorful graphics and even better memories. A wall like that might even cause this 43-year-old to look up from his Box of Cap'n Crunch with Crunch Berries.

© 2001 Wayne Mattox

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Cereal Character Cartoons: "Major Flake"
by Topher
Major FlakeMajor Flake is a mascot with Soggy Cereals. Major Flake is also the title of the 2001 Cartoon Network cartoon in which he appears. He is sort of a landlubber reincarnation of "Cap'n Crunch". His sidekick is named Sparkles. They live with other cereal mascots including Sugar Buzz (a hyperactive bee on a perpetual sugar high), Choc Bots (little chocolate robot aliens who want to take over the world), and King Sweet (the leader of the mascots). Major Flake and Sparkles, must, for the sake of their jobs, prove to their boss Sylvia Soggy that they can sell their rather untasty Major Flake cereal to the masses.
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"Oh Cap'n my Cap'n"
Cereal Fiction by Pajama Pirate
Old Capn Crunch It was a crystal clear, beautiful Thursday. There were very few clouds in the sky if any. The Cap'n and the kids were enjoying a delicious box of a certain cereal and shooting down glass after glass of orange juice.

At ten minutes after the hour little Jamie came down stairs scratching all over. Sam, the oldest, noticed her waking up later than usual. "You slept in a little Jamie, are you feeling okay?"
"Yeah," she yawned and continued scratching, "I was up late eating crackers."
"In bed?" said Benny, the youngest.
The Cap'n came through the kitchen door carrying a tray with Cap'n Crunch Cereal and orange juice on it. "I hope you still have room for breakfast."
"I always have room for Cap'n Crunch Cereal." Jamie said as she sat down at the table. "Thanks Cap'n."
"You're welcome." The clock said "cuckoo". "Uh-Oh kids, you better get going or you'll be late for school."
The kids headed for the door, "Good-bye Cap'n."
"Don't forget you lunches kids." The Cap'n gave them each a travel size box of Cap'n Crunch Cereal as they filed out the door.
The children went off to school and the Cap'n went out on his boat.

At school, Jamie and Sam had lots of friends, all of whom were members of the Crunch Club. Jamie generally did good in her studies, though she did have a bit of trouble with mathematics. The only grades she could pull out of math were consonants. Sam and his friends played jacks during recess on the playground. This was his favorite part of the whole school day. When playing jacks with his friends, Sam felt as relaxed and peaceful as an old man fishing out on a lake with a cool breeze blowing, causing the boat to slightly rock, as the water hits against the sides of the boat giving off a wonderful, quiet splashing sound. Then comes the sudden buzz of a casting line. Though instead of splashing water and a fishing pole, Sam hears the scraping of metal across pavement, the bouncing of a ball, and the jeers of losing opponents.

Benny was a little more fortunate than the others. By being fortunate he was actually less fortunate. That year he was in kindergarten. Most of the day occupied counting marbles, listening to the teacher read boring stories, coloring white, empty pictures, washing one's hands, and cleaning up their messes. Benny didn't know it, but he was a tad more advanced than the rest of his classmates. Because of this, he didn't have very many friends. He didn't understand the others and was easily bored while the others were having fun. He often times felt lonely. But he was not entirely unhappy. He used his great imagination to overcome his boredom.

After school the kids would all go home together and have a snack before starting on any homework they might have had. Normally they would eat a delicious bowl of Cap'n Crunch cereal, but that day was different. The Cap'n arrived at home just after the kids.

"How was school today?" He asked them while he unloaded himself onto a comfortable chair.
"Great!" said Sam, "I got tensies twice!"
"That's great Sam," Said the Cap'n, "Jamie, did you get tensies?"
"I don't play jacks. But I did get an 'A' on my history quiz."
"That's wonderful," The Cap'n saw Benny looking in the kitchen for some cereal. "What did you do in school today Benny?"
Benny sounded tired and preoccupied, "I don't know..."
"First I got onsies, that was easy. Then I got twosies. Then threesies," Sam interrupted Benny with his boastfulness, "Then I got Fivesies. You should have seen me. My hands were like controlled magnets. George almost got tensies, but then he didn't..."
"Where's the cereal?" Benny said out loud, but nobody heard him.
"I got the best grade in the class," then Jamie started spouting off, "except for Gilda, she got the same as me, an 'A'!"
"Are we out?" Benny asked with growing concern. Still nobody heard.
Jamie continued, "The last question was the hardest. I didn't know it at first, but then I remembered it. It was about Cactus Jack Dance Garner. It was easy..."
"Cap'n." Benny was now standing in the kitchen doorway, wide-eyed.
The Cap'n immediately knew something was wrong. "Benny, what is it?"
"I can't find any Cap'n Crunch." replied Benny calmly but with graveness.
Sam said, "He's right there." Pointing to the Cap'n.
"I mean the cereal!" growled Benny.
"Did you look for it?" asked Jamie.
Benny grew annoyed, "What a question!"
They all scrambled into the kitchen and looked everywhere not finding anything. "There were two boxes here just yesterday." Sam said as he spun the lazy-susan. "Where could it be?"
"Don't panic kids." the Cap'n said with assurance, "I've got a secret stash hidden away..." But when he looked in his secret compartment, a door on the closet floor, it was empty. "Oh no!"
"What do we do now Cap'n?" They were all gathered around the closet.
The Cap'n's white eyebrows pushed themselves close together as he contemplated the situation, "I think I know where our cereal is, or who has it rather."
"Who Cap'n?"
"This can only be the diabolical conduct of the Soggies!" Said the Cap'n with a clenched fist.
"Well What are we waiting for?" Benny said vengefully, "Let's go get our cereal back." And off they went. The Cap'n and the three kids boarded the Cap'n's tugboat.

"Where are we going Cap'n?" asked Jamie.
"We're going to find those rotten Soggies," Said the Cap'n as he untied the boat from the dock, "and I bet I know where they are."
The big paddle wheel spun and pushed the boat out on the water. They all had a bowl of Cap'n Crunch cereal from a box that was in the first aid kit. After an hour of finding nothing but more water, the kids were getting bored. Jamie was reading a book and Sam was showing Benny how to play jacks. The Cap'n was still at the wheel in total concentration. He seemed to be in a trance as he continually stared straight ahead. Then the land on both sides started to get narrower. They were entering into a river. The kids stopped what they were doing and stood up next to the Cap'n.

"Are we almost there?" Asked Sam.
The Cap'n said nothing. The kids were looking around with nervous, wandering eyes. The Cap'n stayed on the alert with his watchful eyes. Then he saw a small, wooden sign up ahead. It read, "Danger Soggy waters".
"Careful kids," warned the Cap'n, "we're entering Soggy waters."
Then Benny spotted something further ahead, "Look Cap'n!"

It was the Soggies, hopping around on alligators. "They have our crunchy cereal!" Sam said angrily.
"Heh, yeah." The Soggies snickered.
The Cap'n had to act fast. "Quick, the box!" he ordered.
Benny complied and grabbed the box of Cap'n Crunch and slammed it down on top of the Cap'n's hat. The Cap'n pulled down the flaps on the side of his hat, holding them like handles, while on the front of his hat, where the "C" was, two doors opened to reveal a propeller of spoons. He push the trigger buttons on top of the flaps with his thumbs which caused the cereal from the box to shoot out the front of the hat through the rapidly spinning spoons and at the Soggies. The Soggies were hit by the pelting cereal and knocked off the alligators and into the water.

"Looks like their plans are shot," said the Cap'n to the kids as he continued fire upon the foes. The current carried the Soggies down the river, through rough falls, rocks, and as they swirled around a whirlpool, one of them shouted, "it all happened so rapidly!"

"Cap'n Crunch cereal is part of a balanced breakfast." Announced the Cap'n when it was all over.
Sam was proud of their victory, "I don't know what we were afraid of. That was a cinch, those Soggies didn't know what hit them."
"Come on kids, let's get this cereal home and have some breakfast."

And so, the Cap'n once again prevailed, outwitting the maniacal Soggies and gaining the victorious prize of the treasure of the Crunchiest cereal. It is a terrible shame that the Soggies can't become one with the rest of us in sharing that wonderful sensation of Cap'n Crunch cereal. Perhaps if they did not cause the cereal to be all soggy, they would not be so bitter. It is not really their fault that they are so Soggie, they can't decide what they are going to be when they are created. All the same, they should realize their disposition and refrain from trying to get said cereal and remain eating what they can without stealing. How did they get so soggy anyway? Were they born that way? And don't these kids have parents? Or is the Cap'n their dad and they came from a broken marriage? And how could Cap'n Crunch cereal be just part of a balanced breakfast? Does that mean other food must be included? That's a lot of breakfast.

Good morning.

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Cereal Review
by Chris Ellis

Post Cocoa Pebbles

Post Cocoa Pebbles are basically flattened Cocoa Rice Krispies (only Kellogg's doesn't make them). They have a good chocolate flavor. The downside is that I occasionally come across little pebbles of sugar which kill your teeth.

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What's New In Cereal?
by Topher

General Mills may be attempting to launch a design your own cereal website: "" where cereals don't exist until you create them". They plan to formulate a cereal tailored to your individual tastes and health concerns, and deliver it right to your door. Early beta testing suggested a price of $8 to $10 per box. The site is in a suspended status but interested cerealists can leave their e-mail address for notification of a reopening.
Kellogg's and Disney Form Marketing Alliance
Kellogg's and Disney have formed a marketing alliance to develop and promote breakfast foods based on Disney characters. Disney's new "official sponsor of breakfast" will supply products for sale at select Disney "character breakfasts" and restaurants within the Walt Disney theme parks and resorts. The cereals which will feature the likes of Mickey Mouse and Friends, Winnie-the-Pooh, and the many Disney Princesses, among others, are expected to appear in the United States in 2002. It is unclear whether or when the boxes might appear in grocery stores.

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

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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!
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