I’ll be honest: I wrote the rest of this article first, and saved the intro for last. Then I forgot to write it. Now I’m five minutes away from my arbitrary publishing deadline, and I have no intro. Words. Aalsalslals. Aososdoso. There, now this looks like a paragraph.
Below: Three cereals from three decades that each came with a horror-themed freebie. I like my article themes to be abstruse.
Kellogg’s Rice Krispies (1988)
I’m generally not fond of “cutout” premiums, but if you don’t think that I’d make an exception for Boglins masks, you don’t know me at all.
This was just one of three different Boglins-themed giveaways from Kellogg’s — an amazing volume for such a modest toy line. Previous prizes included Boglins stampers (complete with ink pads) and sheets of like 60000 Boglins character stamps.
It’s too bad that they couldn’t figure out a way to tie these masks in with stamps, just so I could spend the rest of my life wondering what the fuck was going on with Kellogg’s, Boglins and stamps. Even 2 out of 3 warrants sleepless nights.
Anyway, I’m always down to ruin collectibles if it gets me a few easy paragraphs, so yeah, I cut out the mask. Below are the results:
(Note: To pick up the slack for all of the jerks who go #nofilter, I used every filter.)
That the mask didn’t fit me was no surprise, but I have a hard time believing that it’d even fit over a typical eight-year-old’s face. What’s bigger than a grapefruit but smaller than a cantaloupe? Whatever it is, this mask is that big.
It’s almost exactly as wide as one of the actual puppets. Like, to the point where it could stand in for one during some tropey sitcom segment between a complaining Boglin and his “good friend” who is totally there listening and not at all watching a Boglins baseball game back home.
There were three masks available, each representing a different Boglin. I got Vlobb, who according to the box was the smartest Boglin. I bet that’s why his brow looks like pages.
Monster in My Pocket Figure!
Nabisco Frosted Wheat Squares (1990)
This was legitimately one of the coolest cereal premiums ever. Toy companies spent decades whittling their retail items down into manageable cereal-giveaway form, but here Matchbox had the opportunity to just straight up hand you the exact same shit you were buying at Toys “R” Us!
I was and remain a huge fan of the Monster in My Pocket line, which acted as both the spiritual successor to M.U.S.C.L.E. and a gateway drug for prudish souls who hadn’t yet fallen in love with gory monsters and giant cryptids.
I love that this promotion was exclusive to Frosted Wheat Squares, too. So unexpected! Seeing a box of Frosted Wheat Squares covered in Monster in My Pocket logos is like watching Grandma get a tattoo.
There were six figures available as part of this promotion. Naturally, Matchbox picked the ones that were most likely to drum up interest. In fact, three of the six were rare twenty-five point figures, including the two shown above, Werewolf and Great Beast. (I trust you know which is which.)
Way to go, Nabisco and Matchbox. Should you ever again team up, might I suggest scrambling the letters in your names to present a united front? Something like Bobcat Nachos Mix, or maybe Bobcat Chaos Minx? Really, I don’t care what you pick so long as it includes Bobcat.
Spooky Music and Sounds CD!
Count Chocula (2001)
Digital downloads were pervasive enough in 2001, but I’d still say that a free music CD was a high-end freebie. I dig how they worked the CD right into the front, both for the elegance factor and because removing it turned the box into a game of bean bag toss.
Here we had Count Chocula teaming up with Fox Family’s 13 Days of Halloween event for an unlikely mix of creaking doors, screaming cats and songs about Digimon. I had a sneaking suspicion that exactly four of you would want to hear this CD, so I encoded the whole damn thing:
It’s actually… kind of wonderful? And eclectic!
The CD begins with a message from Count Chocula, slides into songs from shit like Digimon and Angela Anaconda, and eventually ends with seventeen minutes’ worth of generically spooky sound effects. It’s like an old Hallmark cassette mixed with a Halloween Kidz Bop album. I’m impressed, and I’m not just saying that because none of the nine tracks got flagged on YouTube.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my tribute to three unbalanced breakfasts. If Spooky Cereal is your favorite subgenre, these older Dino Drac articles might also hit the spot: