Guys, I have big news. Big news to me, at least. For the rest of you, I guess the weight of this news depends wholly on how much stock you put into the continued visibility of Frute Brute.
Monster Cereal fans know that the situation with this year’s Walmart-exclusive “mask boxes” was a bit messy. There were three distinct box styles released this year, including the previously-covered Target exclusives with those awesome cutout castle pieces. Walmart’s boxes were supposed to come with glow-in-the-dark masks.
And they did. Sort of.
Earlier this month, many of us came to the sudden realization that nobody had posted proof of these reported “mask boxes.” Further digging showed that they did indeed exist, but only in Canada.
Well, as it turned out, the masks were right under our noses for several weeks. As told to me by Dan from Cerealously, it wasn’t the actual Monster Cereals getting the mask treatment, but rather random, unrelated General Mills cereals.
A quick trip to Walmart confirmed this. Lo and behold, on the back of a family-sized box of Cocoa Puffs, there was the elusive Count Chocula mask. General Mills had delivered on their promise, and if they were guilty of anything, it was just being oblique.
But that’s not the big news…
Okay, so you can find the Count Chocula mask on boxes of Cocoa Puffs. If you want to dress like Franken Berry, consult Reese’s Puffs. Boo Berry fans will need to plow through an enormous box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. All well and good.
But the big surprise was the return of FRUTE BRUTE and FRUITY YUMMY MUMMY, in mask form! What?! A FRUITY YUMMY MUMMY MASK ON THE BACK OF LUCKY CHARMS?!
In 2013, General Mills shocked the world by resurrecting both of the long-discontinued Monster Cereals. By 2014, they went “back in the vault,” with no guarantees made that we’d ever see them again.
I expected General Mills to downplay their significance, as there’s little money to be made from publicizing mascots for cereals that no longer exist. The first sign that they’d instead decided to embrace their full canon came by way of Frute Brute and Yummy Mummy’s hidden cameos on this year’s Monster Cereals Castle. That, admittedly, was just a minor nod to major fans, but these masks mean sooo much more.
Look, I get that some of you aren’t going to be happy until we see the full-blown return of both cereals. Personally, I care less about eating Frute Brute cereal and more about the continued acknowledgement of Frute Brute himself.
The idea of him and Fruity Yummy Mummy — or just “Yummy Mummy” now, apparently — acting as the outliers of the Monster Cereals universe, unburdened by static roles and free to make cameo appearances wherever the fuck, MAKES ME SO DAMN HAPPY.
I’m thinking about the future, here. Maybe Frute Brute and Yummy Mummy can be “side panel mascots.” Maybe I’ll get to dig through boxes of Boo Berry for a free Yummy Mummy sticker. Or maybe this surprise attempt to keep FB and YM fresh in our brains is paving way for the return of both cereals, next year. I don’t know what’s coming, but I’m so stupidly excited about it.
The really neat thing? Despite the fact that these boxes have been out for weeks, a great many of us are only now hearing about them. I’ve never stumbled upon such hot Halloween news this far into October before!
If I’m being honest, September usually ends up feeling like the most Halloweeniest month of the year, because that’s when everything comes out. Learning about these masks less than a week before Halloween was exactly the boost that October needed.
Frute Brute’s mask can only be found on boxes of Cookie Crisp, while Yummy Mummy’s is exclusive to Lucky Charms. Specifically, they can only be found on the family-sized versions of those boxes, which are so freakishly large that you can practically use the sealed cereal bags as pillows.
All five masks are purportedly exclusive to Walmart, but if Monster Cereal history is any indication, you might see them pop up in other stores by mistake.
Downsides: The masks aren’t large enough to fit human heads, and the arduous process of cutting around the eyeholes is enough to make anyone curse God and God’s brother and God’s cat. Still, when you consider the bigger picture, these are minor gripes.
Welcome back, Frute Brute and Yummy Mummy! We can’t eat you, but we can look at you and marvel at you and make our skinned torso props dress like you. For me, that’s totally enough.
For those seeking out any of the five masks, here’s the full guide:
Count Chocula: Cocoa Puffs
Franken Berry: Reese’s Puffs
Boo Berry: Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Frute Brute: Cookie Crisp
Yummy Mummy: Lucky Charms
Happy hunting, and happy Halloween!