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  • Writer's pictureDavid Baker

Just add milk and a little nostalgia

Those of you who enjoyed Franken Berry, Count Chocula, Boo-Berry and Fruit Brute are in luck. These monster themed cereals are returning to grocery store shelves with a twist.

But in our house on Saturday mornings, the question was always, Quisp or Quake? We weren’t really Chocula or Boo-Berry fans.

My sister, younger by 18 months, was devoted to Quisp and its silly looking alien brand representative. I preferred his rival, Quake, the cartoon miner who oddly resembled a bulked up Dudley Do-Right.

The two were the animated spokespersons for sugary Quaker Oats breakfast cereals and the company used them as foils in a series of goofy cartoon commercials promoting their products (and, presumably, rampant tooth decay in American children).

Regardless of who won out and controlled the cereal choice of the day, we eventually settled into a five-hour marathon cereal, milk, Bugs Bunny, Jonny Quest, The Monkees, and Scooby Doo, followed by Mom shoving us out the door with the admonition, “Go play something with your friends.”

A lot has changed since those days. Dinosaurs no longer roam the Earth, most homes come with indoor plumbing, and my taste in breakfast cereal has changed. No longer a Quake guy, I now lean into my preference for Cap’n Crunch. And while network television no longer broadcasts Saturday morning cartoons, there are entire networks devoted to animation and kids’ shows (my kids are grown but I’m partial to SpongeBob).

But for those who cherish their childhood cereal choices, General Mills recently announced the return of several competing children’s breakfast cereals.

Pop artist KAWS has redesigned the characters and their respective boxes as well as the “prize in a box” that will come with select boxes of cereal. It seems that KAWS is a big fan of the General Mills cereals and has been since he was a kid. It was a natural progression for him to agree to be involved in the redesign and re-release.

However, there is no word on which monster remains his favorite. And there is no word on whether he preferred Quisp or Quake. Sorry, Sis.

Why It Matters. As we often see, popular brands like these and others (see our ongoing reporting of the TOYS ‘R’ US brand) rarely are gone for good even when consumer tastes seem to have changed. The old adage “what is old is new again” often applies to consumer goods and the trademarks and copyrighted images that go along with them.

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