Way back in 2007 I bought SIX different boxes of Halloween cereals, and taste tested them all. Then I combined three from one manufacturer and three from another, and taste tested the combinations. Then I combined all six cereals and gave that a go. And now that I’ve awakened from my 14 year diabetic coma, I can show you the pictures.
In order to gather data for an article I never wrote, Halloween 2007 was a time of mass carbohydrate consumption. In addition to the annual reappearance of the General Mills monster cereals, Kellogg’s decided to get in on the Halloween fun and monsterize three cereals of their own. Cocoa Krispies, Apple Jacks, and Froot Loops all got the business, but, sadly, Kellogg’s chose to go about it in almost the laziest way possible. The could have changed the cereal colors or thrown in new spooky shapes, but no. They just dumped in the same Hulk eyeball marshmallows into all three existing cereals and called it a day.
This is the sort of minimal effort that would usually draw my condemnation, but, like I said, it was almost the laziest way possible. Kellogg’s redeemed themselves with those box covers. Look at that art! Three enormous eyeballs staring out at you from the grocer’s shelves. Those eyeballs were absolutely irresistible back in 2007, and now, 14 years later, I would still buy them all over again. After I took these pictures, those boxes were carefully flattened and stored away, and are now a permanent part of my Halloween decorations. I’m not joking, I have them to this day. This old pic may not do them justice, but those beautiful creepy bastards are Halloween gold.
Before we go any further, let’s talk about the other thing Kellogg’s did right. They included Halloween candy. Yes, it was a shameless cross promotion. Kellogg’s is gonna put Kellogg’s candy in a Kellogg’s cereal. But, come on, it’s a Halloween cereal with a candy prize inside. They practically built trick-or-treating into this box. How could I not appreciate that? Besides, I remember eating these little things and they were good. Kind of like Fruit Roll-Up bits covered in something like that fake yogurt coating they put in some cereals. Considering Kellogg’s was the manufacturer, it was probably EXACTLY that fake yogurt coating they put in some cereals. It was tasty.
Kellogg’s also tried to sweeten the deal with some back of the box games. While this is pretty standard, kind of unremarkable stuff, I do appreciate the creation of some eyeball headed characters to help with the Halloween spirit.
Meet the Pupils! Rod, Cone, Iris, Cornelia, Lenny, and Octavious. According to the fiction on the Froot Loops box, Lenny and Octavious are the cousins of the other eyeball children. But what are Lenny and Octavious to each other? Brothers? Cousins? Lovers? How is the seemingly normal human farmer with the suspiciously eyeballish name Seesil related to all this? And what is the true identity of the man on the hayride, the deep cover operative known only as The Man In The Green Hat? His eyes tell us that he knows things… sinister things. Is he the Raymond Reddington of this dark conspiracy? Or are the Pupils the true masterminds? Kellogg’s isn’t talking, and the world may never know.
Ah, our old standbys, Count Chocula, Frankenberry, and my beloved Boo Berry, my second favorite cereal of all time, and my very favoritest of all the cereals currently made. Nothing tastes quite like Boo Berry, and I only get it once a year. General Mills is a stone cold tease like that.
I won’t bore you with a longwinded diatribe about how these cereals impacted my childhood, because they didn’t. I don’t remember ever eating any of these as a kid. But the first time I plopped down my own money and ate a bowl of Boo Berry, I was hooked. That shit spoke directly to my DNA.
Here we have what Halloween lovers affectionately refer to as the Monster Mash, a 1:1:1 mixture of all three Monster cereals. I had heard of it, but never tried it before this. It was enjoyable, but it seemed the flavors never really blended. The two berry cereals seemed to fight each other for dominance as I ate, with the occasional burst of cocoa flavor asserting itself just long enough to remind me it was in the mix. Not bad, but not something I’d miss if I never ate it again.
So let’s discuss Kellogg’s entries. We’ll go top to bottom on the left hand column of pics; click to enlarge to their 2007 digital camera fullness. The addition of marshmallows did not diminish my enjoyment of Cocoa Krispies, but it didn’t enhance it either. Both Cocoa and Frosted Rice Krispies are basically perfected cereals. You can add to them if you like, but you’d be hard pressed to actually improve on them. Basically the marshmallows were just an interesting texture that really didn’t alter the chocolatey goodness. As for the Apple Jacks and Froot Loops, those cereals are so crunchy that I really didn’t notice the change in texture the marshmallows brought. Apple Jacks can be kind of boring after a while, so I found the occasional burst of marshmallow sugariness to be a pleasant addition. As you can see from the pic, the Froot Loops were LOADED with marshmallow eyeballs, which worked well with the strong citrus flavor. Kellogg’s should consider adding marshmallows to these full time because it absolutely works.
The big pic on the right above is the mix of the three Kellogg’s cereals. I call it Thriller. Lemon and apple and chocolate are three flavors which make very little sense together, but it kind of works. In some ways, although it feels unfaithful to Boo Berry to admit this, Thriller works better than Monster Mash. I think it has a lot to do with the marshmallows. There are a LOT more of them than in the monster cereals, and when they start to soften and dissolve in milk, they become The Dude’s rug. They give the milk a sweet thickness, like a gentle vanilla malt syrup. The lemon and apple and chocolate become rounded and smooth. Much like river stones in a rock garden, the type and color of each individual stone no longer matters so much, because it becomes all about the shape. I don’t know exactly how it works, or why it doesn’t work quite so well with General Mills marshmallows, but those sugary little eyeballs really tied the room together.
It was never going to be possible that I wouldn’t mix all six of these cereals together. If you have a universe that contains, at the same time, six different Halloween cereals and any version of myself with arms and the ability to acquire six boxes of cereal, the result of that equation will ultimately be diabetes. But before that what you will have is a very satisfied me and one bowl of cereal which should not exist. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… Weird Science!
Like the events of the film Weird Science, a lot of things which should not work together somehow do, and the resulting nonsensical concoction is a better than it has any real right to be. This stuff was damned good. Of course, it probably had a lot to do with the methamphetamine-like sugar high that I was on. I’ve never smoked crack, but I ate nine bowls of Halloween cereal in one day to write this article, so I’m pretty sure I understand the draw. It was scary and exhilarating and next level. My belches tasted like rotted fruit and hot, spoiled beer, and I could feel my heart in my teeth. Yet, somehow, against all reason and instinct for self preservation, I craved more.
It’s really too bad that Kellogg’s doesn’t still make Halloween cereals because I’d probably grab a box of each once a year. Not to enjoy individually – which, if I’m being honest, would still definitely happen – but, because just once each Halloween I wouldn’t mind having a bowl of Weird Science. I liked it.