Christmas Crunch with Jingle Bell Rocks?!

I should be more excited about Christmas Crunch’s glorious return, but…

1

Ho ho hum. They didn’t redesign the box. It’s exactly the same as last year’s. And last year’s was exactly the same as 2011’s.

I’d buy Christmas Crunch even if they released it in plain paper bags, but there’s so much to be said for an annual redressing.

Quaker used to change the boxes almost every year. Even when they failed to top the previous design, you still had to appreciate the effort that went into making the same three bullet points seem new and exciting.

Hey, Quaker? It’s time to freshen things up. Look to your own history. You used to rock this shit!

2

For example, here’s Christmas Crunch as it appeared in 1998.

It’s simpler, but way more charming. The current box looks like a Target ad, but this one looks like some great old cartoon. (And I’d really, REALLY love to see a cartoon about Santa Claus spiking cereal with red boulders. My God… the things I would trade for a cartoon about Santa Claus spiking cereal with red boulders!)

And those boulders? That’s the other thing. Christmas Crunch used to come with all sorts of freebies and weird to-dos. Remember those cardboard tree ornaments from the ‘80s? Or how about the 1995 version, which came with packets of alien space frosting?

All Quaker has given us lately are coupons for DVDs we already own. I don’t need $3 off A Charlie Brown Christmas; I already have three copies.

In truth, I’m only blasting 2013’s Christmas Crunch for setup purposes. I guess I’m okay with the stupid repeated box. I mainly just wanted to gush about those weird red boulders from 1998!

3

They were called “Jingle Bell Rocks,” and it took me a minute to realize why that was clever. They were meant to be sprinkled into your cereal bowl, but not for a boost of extra sugary flavor.

No, the point of Jingle Bell Rocks was to make your milk change colors.

A bizarre ploy to be sure, but an effective one. No kid was crying for the opportunity to repaint milk, but no kid sneezed at the chance, either.

5

I didn’t have a packet of Jingle Bell Rocks, but I was able to mimic its effects with food coloring. Judging by the box, we’re aiming more for “Pepto-Bismol” than “blood.“

I can only handle milk when it’s an ingredient in something else, but I must admit… pink milk is strangely appetizing. I guess this would be like eating cereal with Strawberry Quik?

Now I’m imagining Cap’n Crunch and the Quik Bunny arguing over profit shares. It’s intoxicating! Rest assured that any sentences beyond here were written at least thirty minutes later.

4

The back of the box is insane and fabulous. Everyone looks psychotic. I don’t know if it’s their eyes or the fact that they’re all snowboarding while eating cereal, but they look psychotic.

The scene is rife with colors and puzzles and general lunacy, which are the BEST THINGS for the backs of cereal boxes to be rife with. Kids didn’t read the newspaper during breakfast. The backs of those boxes needed to entertain us for as long as it took to eat a bowl of cereal.

This one did!

I’m very happy that Christmas Crunch is still around. It’s a quiet but deeply appreciated tradition, and the holidays wouldn’t be the same without it. Still, I’d like to see Quaker change things up next year. I want to believe that Christmas Crunch’s best years are ahead of it.

(Granted, that’s gonna be tough. How the hell do you top Jingle Bell Rocks?)

The Big Boxes of Joy may be sold out, but there you can still grab one of Dino Drac’s Merry Mini Funpacks! Like you don’t want to read an ancient promotional Kool-Aid comic book. Details over here. There aren’t many left!


34 Responses to Christmas Crunch with Jingle Bell Rocks?!

  1. The jingle bell rocks could also be rudolph noses too I guess

  2. Jingle Bell Rocks? H’mm, Captain is pushing into Flintstones territory there. Why not Jingle Barnacles, Sir? Fun Fact: Captain Crunch includes coconut oil as an ingredient. Isn’t that weird?

  3. I still have to go buy some of this. Did they even do the Halloween edition this year? Or did they just opt not to, with the comeback of the monster cereals?

  4. I always love seeing these in the store, but admittedly, I rarely buy them. Maybe this year. Although, I do still have a whole set of monster cereals I still need to eat. I love the look and nostalgia of the sugary cereals more than I do the cereal itself.

  5. K: Haha, I thought the same thing! I’m betting somebody originally pitched the idea to Post; Post must have rejected it (why, I have no idea) and Quaker jumped on it.

    Anyway, I am having trouble with one of the back-of-the-box puzzles. “can you find 3 things that aren’t the right color?” Okay, I see a pink moon and a purple squirrel. What else?

    I wouldn’t think the milk would count. I mean, I know it’s not “supposed” to be pink, but seeing as how the Cap’n is throwing around his jingle bell rocks I feel safe in assuming that they really are supposed to be red/pink.

  6. *spoilers*

    Okay, I finally found a blue tree. False alarm, folks! Turns out I am not as smart as an average four year old.

  7. I was going to go nuts if I didn’t find the answer to the riddle at the top. Thankfully, I spotted him before I started climbing the walls in frustration.

    I always have to get at least one box of Christmas Crunch, but I haven’t spotted it at Food Lion or Wal-Mart yet. I really hope it isn’t a Target exclusive this year. It’s kind of hard to justify spending nearly $20 in tools and driving over an hour to buy a box of cereal.

  8. @Stunt Zombie: You can get it at Walmart. At least, I could.

  9. Oh, and for people who want a box but can’t picture eating it: A needle, some thread and Christmas Crunch = terrific tree garland.

  10. @Matt,

    Good to hear. I’ll have to check again this week. They tend to be a bit slower getting things in stock in my area.

  11. These have eluded me for the past couple of years! Not this year! I shall have my box of Christmas Crunch!

  12. Is that the back of the box from the 2013 one or the 1998 one?

  13. 98 I assume

  14. I love Christmas Crunch but I have such a hard time finding it where I live.

  15. @gweff: Yep, ’98. That’s why the good captain is shown throwing around magic red stuff. :)

    @Liam: For a while it was really hard to find around here — to the point where I had to order it online — but it’s been easy enough for a few years.

  16. I recently discovered an app that lets me download videos from YouTube onto my iPod. So, now I’m watching things like Pee-Wee’s Christmas Special and the various Walton’s Christmas specials under my covers on a tiny screen. I know that’s a sad image… But that’s Christmas!

  17. I feel ya on the box design. I love having both Christmas and Halloween crunch around but the repeat boxes and lack of novelties kinda make for diminished returns.
    On the flip side you have now convinced me to try Christmas crunch in strawberry milk. Or maybe that snickerdoodle milk from Target. Either way I’m getting crazy high on sugar.

    On a related note: have you heard about Sugar Cookie Pebbles? They might be just the thing to scratch that Seasonal cereal itch.

  18. I think all the snow on the back of the box is actually cocaine.

  19. Cap’n Crunch has just never been the same to me since the defeat of the Sogmaster. Sure, we still had the Soggies for a while, but without their milk-gun-armed robot master, what good were they? And couldn’t he turn his ship into a giant Megazord-like robot?

    Yeah, good times.

    At least he has an amusing talk show now. http://www.youtube.com/user/realcapncrunch

  20. My usual grocery store doesn’t sell Christmas Crunch (or Monster cereals), so it’s been a few years since I’ve enjoyed a crunchy bowl of festive cheer. Now that we have babies and I buy a lot of formula at Target, I’ll check out their selection. That’s where I found all 5 Monster cereals. Maybe they’ll even have the Christmas Capri-Suns that my usual store also fails to stock.

    I know I’m a couple of days late on this, but on the Christmas Commercial entry, you guys were discussing Jell-o Jigglers that fall apart. If you use half the water or, preferably, add an extra box of unflavored gelatin to the mix, they should hold together quite like the cubed Jello-o chunks at a Chinese buffet.

  21. I missed out on Halloween Crunch this year (I saw it once, didn’t pick it up, and never saw it again), but I don’t intend to miss out on Christmas Crunch. And did I see someone mention Sugar Cookie Pebbles? I haven’t seen those yet, but I’ll be looking for them!

    Judging by the box, we’re aiming more for “Pepto-Bismol” than “blood.“

    Well, that makes sense. You don’t want blood milk for Christmas. You want blood milk for Halloween!

  22. This song has dinosaur Dracula in it!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAYf9YJSKXc Well, in the song it’s a vampire T-rex but isn’t that what dinosaur Dracula is?

  23. Holy crap. I just now noticed the new site header. That is amazing.

  24. @Teddy Ray/CosmicSparky: Yup, Pebbles finally did a new Christmas cereal. It’s been many years! I think “Winter Pebbles” was their last one, in 2006? Covering it soon!

    @PurpleDerp: Harry is a friend and has been really kind to me/the site since its launch. That’s meant to be Dino Drac! :)

    @Stunt Zombie: Jason always does such a great job. I’m very thankful that he makes time for these, because his own workload is perpetually growing and whatever I pay him still marks all of these logos in the territory of “favors.” Luckily, he likes dinosaurs!

  25. Always a fan of your point of view, Matt!

    Also, I’m just going to come out and say it.

    I miss Waiterbot.

  26. Swooshing through the snow
    It’s your favorite kind of day
    Down the hills you go
    Munching all the way!

    It’s a treat that can’t be beat
    With your milk all red and bright
    What fun it is to munch & eat
    Such a crazy, colorful sight!!

    Oh, sprinkle here! Sprinkle there!
    Sprinkle all around!
    Oh what fun it is to turn breakfast
    Upside down!

    I don’t know why, just felt that the jingle needed to be transcribed ;)

  27. I’m glad you saved me the trouble! And I want to meet the space alien who wrote that.

  28. Ok, weird that this will be my first ever DD/X-E comment, but…

    How did Dino Drac get so far down his list before he asked for blood? My best guess is he listed it more than once. Really need help with this one.

  29. @A WINNER IS YOU – Perhaps DD assumed that blood was a given, but then worried it may not be and added for safety sake?

  30. Oooh, the Cap’n Crunch Christmas tree garland. Craft number 2 on the back of the box. I always want to make it, but I know then I’ll just munch on the tree while I watch TV. Guests would think that was weird.

    Is it just me or are two of the three crafts on the back of the box essentially the same? One is decorating a pre-made gingerbread house. One is decorating a graham cracker homemade gingerbread house. I guess I have too much time on my hands because it bothers me every time I look at the box.

  31. I think I might vaguely remember that box. 1998 was the year before I started working at a grocery store, so maybe my brother had it.

    Alas, though I did see the Monster Cereals, I have yet to encounter either Sugar Cookie Pebbles or this year’s Christmas Crunch. I’ll keep an eye out for both.

  32. I just watched the video PurpleDerp mentioned. Does this mean there could be animated Dino Drac adventures in the future? PLEASE SAY THAT’S WHAT THAT MEANS!

  33. Thank goodness that they’re not jingle bell crack rocks.

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