Breakfast cereal is awesome. As a kid, my mom wouldn’t let my sister and I have “sugar cereals” so we only had Rice Krispies and Cheerios. That meant that once I became an adult, cereal could be for dinner too because they taste so good! We’re all familiar with the Trix Rabbit, Lucky the Leprechaun and more. Some of us may remember the mascots of the past like Honey Bear, Fred Flintstone or even Ice Cream Jones. And we may have even seen some of the old fashioned mascots of the past – simpler versions of Tony the Tiger or the fairly racist So-Hi and her Rice Krinkles. But some mascots came and went very quickly, probably because their concept was just too weird or complex to understand. Here’s a list of the 10 that we found the weirdest.
We are taught at a young age that bees can sting you but they also make delicious honey so we understand how they become mascots. Heck, the Cheerios Honey Bee has evolved but stuck around for decades. But the Rice Honey Bee is also a cowboy with two revolvers. He’s one guy I wouldn’t try to steal cereal from. Perhaps most bizarre is the addition of Mr. Banana Face, a sort of proto-Mr. Potato Head. What’s he doing in a honey rice cereal?
9. Bixby Beaver
Bixby Beaver isn’t necessarily TOO weird in and of himself. It’s not like a rabbit or a tiger is somehow more appropriate than a beaver. It’s the fact that eating logs doesn’t sound very appetizing. And when those logs look like logs of poop? Well, Bixby Beaver, you have failed Kellogg’s.
8. Big Otis
Big Otis is some Scottish weightlifter who loves cereal that looks like Os and Ks. Because Scotland grows oats. Most children did not make that intuitive leap and were instead mildly terrified (or aroused) by the Br-r-awny man shoving cereal at you. He lasted a little over a year until Kellogg’s licensed Yogi Bear to far more success.
7. The Blue Gnu
Kombos tasted like orange. Because orange and milk goes so well together. The Blue Gnu was the mascot because when you think corn and oranges, you think… the plains of Africa? And he was blue because… the cereal wasn’t? To finish it off, they gave him a pervert’s trenchcoat and weird legs that look like they’re broken. It all came together to make a bowl of “huh?”
6. Harry S. Hippo
Cap’n Crunch has always been popular so he’s had several spinoff cereals. These days if you see a Crunchberries or Peanut Butter Crunch spinoff, the Cap’n is on the box. But Quaker tried giving him supporting mascots. There was a white whale with lipstick for Vanilly Crunch. And then there was Harry S. Hippo. He of the soft eyelashes who spoke about “little pink rings with big pink flavor.” What is pink flavor? Because this mess couldn’t sell itself, the cereal promised a soap shaper. Basically a plastic knife. Harry was just ahead of his time. He’d probably be more accepted in today’s culture.
5. The Freakies
Ralston created these unappetizing monsters in 1973. Boss Moss, Cowmumble, Gargle, Goody Goody, Grumble, Hamhose and Snorkledorf formed The Freakies. But they looked like boogers. Gross.
4. Grins, Smiles, Giggles, Laughs, and Cecil the robot
Ralston had weird ideas for their mascots. In this overly convoluted story, four people named Grins, Smiles, Giggles and Laughs would taunt a “computer monster” named Cecil. Eventually, they would make him laugh upon which time he barfed up boxes of the cereal that they are all featured on.
3. Mr. Wonderfull
If a man calling himself Mr. Wonderful, who wears a periscope for a hat, offers your children a surprise creamy filling from his balls, just back away. Call the cops once you are a safe distance.
2. Major Moon
And here’s Ralston with another convoluted breakfast cereal mascot story. The moonstone cereal is mined from the Moon by the Moonbeam creatures. They are led by Major Moon who majored in Cerealogy at Moon University. He forces his people to work hard mining cereal because he’s disgusted by their lazy neighbors, the Moonbums, who live on the other side of the moon. In case you couldn’t tell, this cereal came out in the late 70s at the height of the Cold War.
1. Krinkles the Clown
If this clown began spitting up blood, I would not be surprised. If you think he’s terrifying as this illustration (those eyes are windows into pure madness) then this live action commercial will give you eternal nightmares: