Happy Halloween! I chose Boo Berry to represent on this day because, while he’s an old standby, I’ve also never tried Boo Berry Cereal. I also refrained from using its true title, “Boo Berry Artificial Berry Flavored Frosted Cereal with Spooky-Fun Marshmallows”. I figured y’all had gotten the picture by this point. I do like the bold statement of “spooky-fun”, however. I’m holding you to that, Boo Berry.
A little history lesson, largely provided by Wikipedia, which is my primary healthcare physician, attorney, and monster-themed cereal expert: Boo Berry was introduced in 1973 and was supposedly the first blueberry-flavored cereal. Ambitious! Resting on its laurels, these days Boo Berry claims to be only berry-flavored, but I’m still okay with that. After 37 years, a ghost can sit back and take a break. From the look of it on the front of the cereal box, a ghost can also make creepy, eyebrow-raised facial expressions and grabby postures that look less like he’s going to steal your soul and more like he’s going to do something to your children that would cause Elliot Stabler to punch him in the face.
The back of the box delivers more innocent fun. I tried to capture images of the whole thing, but the text would have been too small to read, so I’ll spell it out for you: Count Chocula and Frankenberry are playing a racing game that looks like it was made in 1986. “One more lap and I choc up another Monster Truck Racer WIN!” Says Count Chocula, who is presumably hanging upside-down, which would make his win even more impressive until you realize Frankenberry is probably just mashing the buttons with his nerveless, pieced-together thumbs. “Not so fast, Count! I’m a turbo boost away from TASTING SWEET VICTORY.” Apparently they are playing a very shitty video game based on the 2008 television remake of Knight Rider.
Boo Berry then shows up out of nowhere and says, “Argue all you want, fiends, but when we’re talking cereal, my BOO BERRY ALWAYS WINS!” They were not talking cereal, and you are being an asshole for interrupting them with your cereal talk, Boo Berry.
Apparently they don’t mind, however, because they immediately stop playing to have a Monster Cereal SHOWDOWN! This involves a “scare-off”, wherein the scariest face wins. Frankenberry’s all like “MMMRRRRR!” with a face that looks more developmentally disabled than scary, Count Chocula goes “Blah-Ha-Ha-Ha!” looking more like he just ate something gross (I’m guessing Kroger Jelly Belly Pudding) than anything resembling scary.
Finally, Boo Berry says the traditional “BOO!” which is not in and of itself scary, but…HE’S WEARING A MASK THAT LOOKS LIKE WHAT MONSTERS APPARENTLY THINK HUMAN CHILDREN LOOK LIKE!!!!! Frankenberry jumps into Count Chocula’s arms and they both shit themselves out of sheer terror. Boo takes his mask off, flashing his classic pedo smile in victory, which is actually more scary than the mask of a child’s face with the expression of someone who just snorted about six lines of meth. Boo wins this round, but I’m sure the other guys get their own moments to shine on the back of their own cereal boxes. I wish I’d looked at the store.
Here’s the cereal! Yes, there’s actual food inside the box! Here’s your players:
From top to bottom:
The cereal itself has a subtle berry flavor that doesn’t really taste like any specific berry. It’s sweet, but not cloyingly so. It also has a definite “whole grain” aftertaste that I don’t remember from eating sugary cereals in my childhood. It’s been forever since I’ve had any kind of cereal, let alone corn-grain-and-marshmallow cereal, but I seem to remember them being way sweeter and less whole-grainy. I’m assuming the whole child obesity epidemic has pressured cereals into making them less sugary and more healthy than they were in 1989. Boo Berry cereal is chock full of vitamins and minerals, and has only 12 grams of sugar per 1 cup of cereal. I have no idea if that is any different than Boo Berry circa 1989, but I’m sure someone does. Feel free to comment.
The marshmallow pieces taste just like I remember them from olden times, which is basically like sugar and more sugar. They’re still firm yet tacky, and melt in your mouth in a delightful way. Marshmallows make any cereal better.
Boo Berry Cereal gets the honor of showing up on Halloween because it’s a classic. I don’t know how I never had any of the monster cereals before now, but I definitely remember loving their presence in commercials around Halloween when I was a kid. I’ve heard from friends that Boo Berry was always the hardest to find (excluding the short-lived Fruit Brute and his later equally short-lived and stupidly named incarnation, Fruity Yummy Mummy), so that makes him extra special. The cereal itself is your typical whole-grain with marshmallows fare, but the shapes are wonderfully Halloweeny and the box offers lots of fun for kids and adults like me who act like kids, even more so around this time of year. Boo Berry gets two thumbs up, even though he looks like a creepy pedo.