Way over at the Sanctuary of FGM my bro did something similar to great hilarity.
I was inspired for my take on it while eating Raisin Bran this morning; reminiscing about the time when Raisin Bran actually had raisin’s in it.
Back when I was a lad Saturday morning cartoons were the height of the week; heck now that I’m an adult they compete hand in hand with football on Sunday for the reasons behind my continued existence.
Most of us growing up in the magical eighties didn’t just have TV heroes in the pantheon of gods that TV fed us – wedged in there right next to He-man, GI Joe and Papa Smurf (shut up) were such figures as Lucky, the Lucky Charms Elf, that rabbit from Trix and Toucan Sam.
Now of course there are still some cereal commercials but it seems like they’re really just phoning it in these days; I swear I saw one commercial were Toucan flew of stage and just before the commercial ended you could hear: “Oh yeah, follow your f**&ng nose.”
So what’s changed? Where are these icons today?
Sugar-Bear: Well contrary to popular, and medical, opinion apparently you can get enough of that sugar crisp because everyone’s favourite pyramid raiding sugar seeking bear has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. “I’m not that bear any more,” he said in a “tell all” interview with Barbara Walters. “I never even liked the cereal but they made me eat it take after take after take. That’s why I’ve started a class action law suit against cereal companies… I’m hoping some of the others will join me.”
Sugar Smack Frog: This is one of the sadder tales to come off a cereal box because the Sugar Smack Frog became less about the Sugar and more about the smack. This once proud icon, found gracing TV’s Saturday mornings, was arrested in 2004 on a case of domestic violence and is serving 6 years in a state penitentiary.
Snap, Crackle, Pop: Two words: Suicide Pact.
The Trix Rabbit: Of all the cereal box icons I related most with this one. Year upon year this poor rabbit craved just one taste of Trix and never did get any to my knowledge. This was, of course, a metaphor for my own life at the time as a social outcast. The “trix” represented friendship and I was the rabbit. I, the rabbit, I was different from the others, the mob, the group, the “kids”. No matter how hard I tried I never could get attain that bowl of friendship. At least there was no shortage of milk though…
Toucan Sam: This bird actually shows up on commercials these days so it’s pretty easy to see what happened to him – he had kids. From the looks of it triplets no less. For a brief time Toucan was the star of a reality TV show modelled on the John & Kate Plus Eight model; this was called Toucan in Tree Plus Three. Toucan, of all the cereal box icons, is perhaps the only one still worth looking up to; because after the tragic death of his wife (who got drunk on vodka one night, forgot how to fly and fell out of her tree) he carried on and is raising his children and still trying to hold down a career in show biz.
The Lucky Charms Elf: I think it’s pretty safe to say that Lucky wasn’t very (lucky that is), or if he was then it was all bad. The sort of life where children chase you around day in and day out trying to get at your Lucky Charms is no life at all; Lucky is now paying for it in a sanatorium in England. His nightly cries of: “Take’em, take me lucky charms, just leave me a loon ye daft basterds!” often wakes up his fellow patients; by day he rocks back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and mutters:
“They’re coming. They’re coming.
I hear their hearts drumming;
Crawling and slipping through malevolent mud
Over field over farms
For my lucky charms
My lucky charms will be covered in blood.”
Let’s pray this one never sees the movie Leprechaun and realizes he has other options.
Honey Nut Cheerios Bee/Count Chocula – Back in the early 90s when the world of cereal box icons was starting to shrink an advertising executive had a great idea. “If the Flintstones and the Jetsons can do a crossover show, why can’t we do the same with our cereal box heroes! This will be big – we can form the Justice League of Breakfast.” He pitched the ideas to the cereal makers and they ate it up like… well cereal.
The first cross over involved everyone’s favourite bee… No it wasn’t Do-Bee.. okay everyone’s 2nd favourite bee from the Honey Nut Cheerios (HNCB) breakfast line teaming up with Count Chocula to fight the evil Waffler (who would try and convince kids to eat waffles which had only 36% of the iron required for a nutritional breakfast as opposed to cereal’s 42%).
The accident was horrible and is spoken of in the same sentences where people speak of the mysterious deaths of Bruce Lee and Willie Nelson. While filming an action sequence HNCB tripped over a wire and went careening into Count Chocula. It turns out that it’s not just a wooden stake through the heart that can kill a vampire (at least not one hired by a cereal company) but the sting of a bee does a pretty good job too; well in that one fell swoop the Count went down for the … count… and the bee endorsed his last box of Cheerios. The word on the street is that both icons were taken down by the Mafia because of huge gambling debts; but we’ll never know.
Stephen King, in his novels that comprise The Dark Tower speaks of a world that has “moved on;” becoming so drastically different from the world it once was that it is almost unrecognizable.
The world of the cereal box icon has “moved on.”