Unforgettable yet somehow forgotten, the Halloween cereals of the late ‘90s were THINGS TO BEHOLD. With amateur digital photography and word-of-mouth internet advertising still in their collective infancy, the goal — unlike with so many of today’s spooky foodstuffs — had nothing to do with “getting people talking.”
Instead, the spooky cereals of that era had an arguably more genuine charm. They were Halloweeny in the most on-the-nose sorts of ways, and given the design trends of the time, they all came in positively gaudy boxes. Love it!
Collected below are four Halloween cereals from the very late ‘90s. Some of these boxes are extraordinarily rare, and I’m just the type of idiot who will take great pride putting the first photos of them online. Course, when someone at Buzzfeed steals ‘em next month, that pride will turn to piss.
Kellogg’s Monster (Corn) Pops!
Did I say late ‘90s? Whoops — these are actually from 2000. Let’s assume that all of my prior points still hold. (They do.)
I’ve already written about 2001’s Candy Corn Pops, which came in one of the coolest cereal boxes from any era. Now that I’ve found this version, I dunno… I think I might like it even better.
The front of the Monster Pops box positively begs to become a six foot poster. Many of us have openly pleaded with General Mills to add a rights-skirting spin on Gill-man to their Monster Cereals lineup, but back in 2000, Kellogg’s came pretty close on their own! (We never found out exactly who that green paw belonged to, but come on… it had to be the Creature from the Black Lagoon.)
While the cereal resembled candy corn, I don’t believe it was actually meant to taste like it. I’m thinking this was some weird lemon/orange concoction. Edible Pledge.
I realize that the photos don’t offer much in the way of scale, but this is the largest box of cereal I’ve ever seen. (If we’re not counting the giant boxes from wholesale clubs, at least.) Aside from the increased height, it’s at least twice as thick as a normal box. It actually intimidates me!
From 1999, Halloween Honeycomb mixed colorful bat and pumpkin shapes in with the usual cereal. I recognize those shapes from some of Post’s other Halloween editions, and I gotta tell ya… I’m not sure that they would’ve paired well with Honeycomb. Those bats and pumpkins were essentially rocks, while Honeycomb is kind of airy. To me it sounds trying to eat Jawbreakers with church wafers.
The box is completely badass. I’m especially fond of the font Post used for “Halloween,” which to do this day remains the most easily accessible of all cheesy Halloween fonts. Also noteworthy is the inspired art on the back, which features the Craving — that “me want Honeycomb” dude who used to star in all of the TV commercials — trying to uncover hidden monsters.
Note: A side panel offers a recipe for a “Trick or Treat Snack Mix.” If interested, toss 4 cups of Honeycomb cereal into a bowl, along with 2 cups of caramel popcorn, 2 cups of small pretzels and 1 cup of candy corn. (If you actually do this, please send me a photo.)
Halloween Brew Fruity Pebbles!
Here’s another from Post’s 1999 lineup. (Note the design similarities between this and the Honeycomb box!)
Each box came with a packet of “scary sprinkles,” which could be added to your bowl to turn a cereal that was already kinda candy into outright candy. Amazing! The bat-and-pumpkin sprinkles — which I’ve of course retained a package of — were basically the same hard bits you might find topped on a late October cupcake.
The box is as colorful and engaging as the comics section of a Sunday newspaper, featuring five different games, from a spider-themed maze to a spooky word scramble. I sooo miss being young enough to use puzzle-packed cereal boxes for recreational reading.
Boo Berry with Scooby-Doo Marshmallows!
This one’s also from 1999, which was an interesting time in Boo Berry history.
If I’m remembering things correctly, Boo Berry — like his chocolate and strawberry brothers — had not yet been designated as a strictly seasonal release. Ostensibly available all year, Boo Berry was way harder to find than Count Chocula and Franken Berry, to the point where many of us — myself included — thought him to be entirely extinct.
This special version of Boo Berry came with Scooby-Doo marshmallows, plus a swank cutout mask on the back. Can’t say I’m not tempted to find some scissors and make tonight interesting.
Had to mention this, too. One neat byproduct of studying old cereal boxes is getting to see some other old foods, typically advertised within the boxes’ least-inspected corners. Lunchables Waffles with Tang, anyone?
Thanks for reading! I mean it! I suspect that I’m in the small minority of people who are really and truly infatuated with old cereal boxes. If you’ve made it this far, I owe you some Monster Pops.