Saturday, October 27 2012 01:12

31 Days of Halloween: The First Appearances of Count Chocula, Franken Berry and Boo Berry...

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Last month, I made my love of the General Mills Monster Cereals quite clear when I celebrated their return to stores for another season of frightfully-fantastic breakfast delights. Now that we're almost at the end of October, it would feel wrong to leave the boys out of 31 Days of Halloween here on The Rock Father, so for Day 27 we're turning back the clock to take a look at the first appearances of Count Chocula and Franken Berry and Boo Berry. I tend to think that my daughters will never have such an emotional attachment to a line of breakfast cereals...

The year was 1971. Deep within the dimly-lit stockrooms of Grocery Stores everywhere, Monsters began arriving by the truckload - all while hiding in plain sight. These creatures were terrifying perhaps only to parents or nutritionists. 

With his deliciously chocolaty cereal accented by sugary marshmallows, the Vampiric COUNT CHOCULA arrived in plain brown boxes alongside FRANKEN BERRY and his strawberry delights. As the duo battled-it out for supernatural supremacy in the cereal aisle, each appeared on television to tell you about their "Chocolate Sweeties" and "Berry-flavored Sweeties," both of which were noted in text to be "Vitamin Charged" (in what looks like the famous FRIDAY THE 13th font, pre-dating the movie by nearly a decade), both would find themselves scared silly by a very PEANUTS-looking character (the spot was created by Bill Melendez, PEANUTS animator) . 

And what about their (allegedly) stoned little friend called BOO BERRY? Well, the little blue guy in the jovial bow-tie didn't appear to haunt grocery store aisles until 1973, and rumor has it, the little guy actually gave Frank and the Count a little bit of a scare!

Are you inviting the General Mills Monsters to join you for breakfast this month?
James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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