This summer, while iconic superheroes like Wonder Woman and Spider-Man are delighting fans everywhere with their silver screen reboots, we can’t help but find ourselves a bit nostalgic for those lesser-known heroes.
Some were inquisitive like the robot H.T., zany like Mr. Wonderfull, or adventurous like Baron Von Redberry. They championed good nutrition, delighted fans of all ages, and even had entire aisles devoted to them in the grocery store. They were our cereal box heroes and while many may be gone now, nobody has been forgotten. Join us as we go back in time with General Mills and revisit some of the greatest characters to ever hang out with us during breakfast in this special AW360 origin stories post.
Baron Von Redberry and Sir Grapefellow
You know all about the patriotic Captain America, but what about these guys? Making a simultaneous debut in 1972 were two bumbling World War I fighter pilots who also served as mascots for their own respective cereals: Baron Von Redberry and Sir Grapefellow. If you need help telling them apart, remember that Baron Von Redberry had a raspberry flavored oat cereal with raspberry marshmallows. Sir Grapefellow’s oat cereal and marshmallow bits were — yep, you guessed it — grape flavored. The pair were notorious for clashing over who had the best cereal with Baron Von Redberry proclaiming his was the “berry goodest” while Sir Grapefellow declared his was “the grapest.”
Ever wish you could bring the circus home with you? That’s exactly what General Mills did in 1986 with the creation of Circus Fun cereal.
Led by an energetic clown mascot, he hopped off of the box in commercial spots to corral colorful marshmallow characters including horses, hoops, balls, bears, elephants, and lions into cereal bowls. Breakfast time would no longer be the same now that it was Circus Fun time!
All throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, Cookie Crisp cereal featured mascots of all kinds including the wizard Cookie Jarvis, Cookie Crook and Cookie Cop, Chip the Cookie Hound, and Chip the Wolf. True to any superhero’s origin tale, many of these mascots were ordinary characters until the day they got their first great taste of Cookie Crisp… when everything changed forever!
During the summer of 1993, kids everywhere went on the adventure of a lifetime inside boxes of Hidden Treasures cereal. Tucked inside each corn pillow puff might be cherry, orange, or grape fruit-flavored centers — or maybe not.
Robot H.T. (abbreviated for Hidden Treasures, of course) was the cereal’s official mascot and on a scientific mission to determine which puffs had the fruity filling. But as the kids say in this commercial, they’d rather not know which puffs had the filling and enjoy the taste that’s full of surprises. “That’s the fun of Hidden Treasures!”
Mr. Wonderfull’s Surprize
“The only breakfast cereals with a creamy filling inside!” When Mr. Wonderfull’s Surprize debuted in the 1970s, it was unique on grocery shelves for being the only cereal where crispy puffs were loaded full of vanilla or chocolate filling. Clad in a polka-dot jacket with purple pants and orange hair, Mr. Wonderfull might have looked funny, but he was actually very serious about good nutrition. Inside each bowl of his cereal you’d discover more than just a sweet “surprize” — seven important vitamins plus iron made up every delicious bite.
S’Mores… in cereal? Sign us up! Launched in 1982, S’Mores Crunch loaded up cereal bowls with crispy, chocolate-flavored graham cereal and bite-size marshmallows.
Their featured spokescharacter was none other than the S’morcerer, a wizard in a purple cape and hat that used a bit of magic to get the kids the cereal that they craved.
In case you missed our throwback on the Sprinkle Spangles Genie, here’s a quick recap about his popular cereal that hit grocery shelves in 1993. The Sprinkle Genie was a friendly purple guy who was on a mission to fill up cereal bowls everywhere with his tasty sugar cookie-flavored, sprinkled, star-shaped cereal. With the tagline, “You wish it, I dish it!” — poof! Breakfast wishes had been granted that left kids wide-eyed and smiling and the genie thrilled that so many children wishes for his most sprinkly creation.
Photos courtesy of the General Mills Archives