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Review: Count Chocula Monster Cereal (2017)

2017 Count Chocula Monster Cereal Review – Box

I feel like I’m starring in a movie trailer for an unnecessary 2017 reboot of a classic ’80s film. You know, the kind of trailer that inevitably starts with all the wizened and crow-footed stars of the first movie reuniting in their old haunt to topically argue about how things just aren’t as good as they used to be and crack jokes about iPads?

Yeah, that’s how I feel about buying my 2017 box of Count Chocula, because those trailers always open with someone muttering the same line: “Well, here we are again.” Or maybe, “Hello, old friend.” Or even, “Y’all haven’t aged a day.”

Even though a year has passed since I’ve tasted the Count’s sweet cocoa spoils (not counting the expired box I found in my pantry and begrudgingly—though not regretfully—ate on the 4th of July), I feel like this caped chocolate cruncher has never left my side. Like a warm memory or a Tamagotchi that just won’t die, the nostalgic spookiness of Count Chocula—who’s been on shelves for 46 years now, despite being an ageless vampire—is resonant enough to keep me thinking about old elementary school Halloween parties and goofy candy corn cupcakes all year long.

So while I’m sure I won’t find much new to say about Count Chocula’s taste that I haven’t said in previous reviews, I owe this trusty Hershey’s syrup-blooded bloodsucker his annual tribute. Let’s sharpen our canines and start munchin’! Continue reading

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Spooned & Spotted: 2017 Monster Cereals!

#supermarket starting to represent the #fall #countchocula #frankenberry #booberry #cereal #halloween #food #shopping

A post shared by Can'tBEAR2livewithoutitent (@cantbear2livewithoutit) on

And just like that, the residual sweat of summer’s dog days has been wicked away, replaced with the foaming spittle of Halloween’s werewolf days.

Early August has long meant the resurrection of Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry, but even when I know it’s coming, I still get giddy when I see those pointy teeth, head valves, and that little porkpie hat. They’re the edible harbingers of an entire spookily delicious time of the year—the literal breakfasts of Halloween’s eating season, if you will.

Instagram user @cantbear2livewithoutit has the enviable honor of being 2017’s first successful Monster hunter, having found the trio at a Foodworld store, though General Mills has confirmed that the cereals have shipped everywhere as of late July.

As far as themes go, the Three Muske-Fears here have scaled back from their grandiose 2016 election campaign. Despite getting points for effort, the online voting process was riddled with bugs and miscommunication, while consumers in general were a little too election-fatigued to be thrilled by a Transylvanian one (it was clear within a week that the Count’s name recognition would be unbeatable).

This year, Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry’s cereal box artwork simply puts a new perspective on 2015’s augmented reality boxes—but they add the novel idea of monster marshmallows! It’s a simply concept, but a refreshingly innocent one. Count Chocula keeps his iconic, cocoa-swirled bat marbits, but Franken Berry gets his lumpy head turned into sugar nuggets, while Boo Berry’s box is filled with sweet used napkins.

I mean sheet ghosts—sheet ghosts! Please don’t haunt me, ghost of Pete Lorre.

Can’tBEAR2livewithoutit was also kind enough to share the back of the box art. While the past few years have at least included cameos by cult favorite monster cereals Frute Brute and Yummy Mummy, it seems like this year they’re well and truly sleeping in their respective doghouse and pyramid. Instead, we get a suite of monster cereal cosplays from a bunch of other General Mills cereal mascots—and the Pillsbury Doughboy.

I love the idea of other food characters hanging out like some giant crossover episode, and I heartily hope that the Doughboy gets his own zombie-themed Pillsburied Alive monster cereal next year.

Until then, I’ll be hunting these boxes for a more comprehensive breakdown. Until then, our thanks go again to Can’tBEAR2livewithoutit for sharing the photo. Wanna see your own find in a Spooned & Spotted post? We’d love to see your latest breakfast haul, discovery, or feast: send it over on our Submissions page.

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Review: General Mills Count Chocula Monster Cereal (2016)

Count Chocula Monster Cereal 2016 Box

I feel like I’m giving a toast at Count Chocula’s wedding. I mean, what is there left to say about an old friend who has been by my side nearly my whole life? Am I right, folks?

I definitely remember having a box of the Count by my elementary school-aged side during those otherwise dismal autumns that heralded the return of homework and playground bullies. And this fanged friend reliably returned year after year like a bloodthirsty Santa Claus. It doesn’t matter that General Mills’ annual Monster Cereal news in late August is like a new Fast & Furious film announcement: we all may know it’s coming, but we still collectively lose our minds anyway.

The only bad part about Count Chocula & Friends’ yearly visit is that they must at some point leave us. And even though the Monsters’ departure from shelves is more of a slow bleed out (I’ve found Boo Berry in close-out stores through late July of the next year) than an abrupt goodbye, Monster-less November mornings are nonetheless marred by a few milky crocodile tears.

So this night’s for you, Count Chocula: may your marriage to the Countess be happy. But enough sentimentality—just because I’ve reviewed Count Chocula cereal before doesn’t mean I can’t make it my fall tradition. Who knows, maybe I’ll taste something I missed before.

Let’s free these chocolate ghosts from their plastic sarcophagus. Continue reading

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Election Fever: General Mills’ 2016 Monster Cereals!

(Update: My annual review of Count Chocula for 2016 is here!)

It’s September, which means I can finally start using the term “Halloweeny” in public without sounding like I’m talking about a cheddar hot dog that tragically came without any cheese filling. Though trust me: I will be making a lot of those crescent roll mummy Halloweiners.

So what better way to kick off the boo-na fide Halloween season than with everyone’s favorite spooky trilogy? No, I don’t mean a marathon session of all three I Know What You Did Last Summer movies: I’m talking about Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry cereals!

While these monster cereals have already been spotted in stores like Target, Big Lots, and Walgreens, I want to thank General Mills for generously sending me the spooker care package you see above, which contained the cereals themselves and so, so much more. I know what you’re thinking, and I agree. Couldn’t they have thought of more creative sequel names than I Still Know What You Did Last Summer and I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer?

But enough about murderous fishermen. Let’s start researching for an I Know What You Ate Last Autumn screenplay instead. Continue reading

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News: Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry Monster Cereals are Back…And They’ve Gone Political!

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(Update: My annual Count Chocula review is here, and so are Franken Berry’s and Boo Berry’s!)

Forget about all those Clintons, Bernies, and floppy hair-dos: the real election you should care about involves the Count, Boo, and Frank. You’ll never hear the phrase “lesser of two evils” in this election, because every candidate is equally lovable and sweet.

Which is ironic, because all three are monsters.

That’s right: Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry Monster Cereals are coming back to shelves for Fall 2016, starting in late August. But this time they’re not just here to spook and entertain. They vant your vote. Even though it’s only August 1st, General Mills is making the sweaty dog days of summer howl like werewolves with their debut of MonstersVote2016.com: the online headquarters for the Monsters Cereal Election. Here you can vote, take alignment polls, read monster bios, download posters, and see a live map of nationwide vote distribution.

This is exciting enough to make me taste ghosts of Boo Berry in the back of my mouth (though that might be from my stockpile of 2015 boxes). Every four years, Halloween fans get sad when the American presidential race overshadows their favorite shadowy holiday. So props to General Mills for capitalizing on this capitalist ennui with a playful twist of Halloween spirit.

There’s a lot to talk about here, so allow me to take a deep breath and cancel that impulsive tattoo parlor appointment I made to get #FrankenBerry2016 inked on my forehead. Continue reading

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Spooned & Spotted: Monster Cereal Mask Boxes!

CSH1ZlTWsAE7YSNNo time for a cheesy opening line: the monster cereal mask boxes are here! I can’t possibly mask my excitement!

Okay, I guess there was time for just one.

While the rest of us have been on a scary scavenger hunt (scare-venger hunt?) for the past two months, looking for the promised Walmart-exclusive, glow-in-the-dark masks on boxes of Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry, General Mills very sneakily decided to put them on the backs of non-monster cereals!

Stunned by this news, I quickly learned that GM have even updated their earlier blog post with this picture confirmation.12074975_895208750557697_5210404237571895701_n

That’s right, this is a trick and a treat all wrapped up in one. But we can forgive them, because Frute Brute and Yummy Mummy actually get to join in on the fun! As the picture above shows, in order to collect every monster’s detached cardboard visage, you’ll have to buy a family-sized version of 5 different General Mills cereals at Walmart. Frute Brute graces Cookie Crisp (an intentional reference to Chip the Wolf?), Yummy Mummy is on Lucky Charms, Count Chocula is on Cocoa Puffs (which tastes a lot like the Count’s cereal), Boo Berry is on Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Franken Berry is on Reese’s Puffs.12087087_955813281149302_7153979240774261524_o copy

In short: worth it. So worth it!

These are actually different than the Chocula and Boo masks released in Canada that we mentioned earlier, so if you want every single monster box from this season, you’re looking at a lofty 13 boxes! What an appropriate number.

Many thanks (more than 13 thanks) to Matt from Dinosaur Dracula, The Monster Cereals Army, and Mike H. for providing the photos! It’s this kind of wild goose ghost chase that makes the season feel so much more exciting and adventurous. If you’d like to see your picture or thoughts featured on a “Spooned & Spotted” post, click yourself right on over to our submissions page, or just email us at cerealously.net@gmail.com.

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Review: Count Chocula Treats Cereal Bars

IMG_3995Have you ever thought, “Gee, I love Count Chocula, but eating a bowl of it with milk in the middle of rush hour traffic sure is a hassle! I wish it were considerably more…rectangular!”

Well then it’s time to trick-or-treat yourself, because Count Chocula Treats have returned to save your morning commute from milk spills caused by unexpected brake-slamming.

Earlier this month, I mistakenly predicted that Count Chocula Treats would be a Canadian exclusive this season. While my neighbors to the north may still be the only ones getting Treats with orange chocolate, the cereal bars have finally made their way to American shelves.

What took you so long, Count? I guess when you’re an ageless, blood-sucking entity, you tend to lose track of time. Continue reading

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Special: Spooned & Spotted — Count Chocula Treats

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(Edit 10/17: I was wrong! The bars have finally made their way to U.S. shelves, just without orange chocolate. You can read my review by clicking here!)

See those little undead hands making the “👌” emoji?

Well that was the first thing I did upon seeing this image from user Danse Macabre (thanks!). In my earlier review of Franken Berry and Boo Berry Fruit Roll-Ups, I noted how Count Chocula treats—which have been a mainstay on grocery store shelves for several Halloween seasons—seemed to be M.I.A. for 2015.

But fear not, monster cereal fans (or maybe do fear, because they are, you know, monsters), the snack sized cereal bars are alive! The treats combine chocolate cereal pieces, chocolate chips, and marshmallows with a sweet and gooey sugar binding agent to hold them together into a singular mass.

This just makes me think. If I were to bite the end of a Count Chocula Treat into a point, would I be able to pound it through a vampire’s heart like a stake? What an ironic death that would be.

Interestingly, the icing and milky bottom on these bars appears to be an eerie orange this time around, whereas previous editions simply had the Count’s signature brown.

However, there is a catch. At the moment, these bars might be a Canada exclusive! Danse Macabre spotted them at a local Ontario superstore, and other reports have seen them popping up all over the country. Will the Count’s bar-shaped cereal expansion packs reach the U.S. this season?  I think it’s only a matter of time. After all, it’s like the wise Dwight Schrute once said:

“If a vampire-bat was in the U.S. It would make sense for it to come to a ‘sylvania.’ Like Pennsylvania.

If you’d like to see your picture or thoughts featured on a “Spooned & Spotted” post, click yourself right on over to our submissions page, or just email us at cerealously.net@gmail.com.

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