I can’t find anything on the Internet that indicates Count Chocula Treats existed before this year, so I’m going to declare them a new Halloween product for 2012. Go ahead, try and refute me. Just don’t be surprised when you see someone wearing a hockey mask standing outside your window. That heavy breathing sound when you pick up the phone? Ignore it, I’m sure it’s nothing.
Count Chocula and his friends Boo Berry and Frankenberry have been around for over 30 years, making October mornings just a little more awesome for kids. Due to some kind of gross oversight, I was never one of those kids.
It doesn’t make sense. My mom loves Halloween. I love Halloween. I grew up in a time where parents weren’t worried about vaccines causing autism or sugary breakfast cereals turning their kids into obese blobs. I ate Lucky Charms and Frosted Flakes with the best of them. So how come I never ate any of the General Mills monster cereals? It is a perplexing mystery.
No use crying over unspilled sugary milk, however. Last year, I tried Boo Berry cereal for the first time. Now I’m going to sink my teeth into Count Chocula, this time in Treat form.
I usually give big points to any Halloween packaging that’s overstuffed with ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and whatever else you can fit onto a box or wrapper. Basically, I want everything to look like a Michael’s craft store threw up all over it.
That said, I like the cohesive minimalism Of Count Chocula’s Treat box. The color palate sticks to differing shades of brown, which keeps things looking clean and on-target with the product. Count Chocula keeps his appropriate font, and the other text also has a sufficiently spooky font.
The Treats are described as “Chocolatey Cereal Bar with Spooky-Fun Marshmallows”. Boo Berry also used the phrase “Spooky-Fun Marshmallows”, which I kind of like, but I also think General Mills isn’t giving kids enough credit. Just calling them “spooky marshmallows” would up the Halloween factor, and I can guarantee no child is going to be frightened by practically-formless blobs of sugar. By just calling them spooky, the fun is implied.
Moving on to Count Chocula himself. He has gone through several redesigns over the years, but his general undead spirit remains intact. I never really took a good look at him before now, but upon close inspection, he’s quite the interesting form of vampire.
First we have the cape with the giant collar, which is required for any self-respecting bloodsucker (or chocolatesucker, in this case). Then there’s his fabulous double-pointed hairstyle, which very few people could pull off, but Count Chocula does it with finesse and also with a wicked widow’s peak that would make any self-respecting vampire jealous.
The Choc-Man starts getting weird when we begin examining facial features. I respect his pointy ears that seem to extend almost beyond the top of his skull, But what is with that schnoz, man? I’ll skip right past the racist Jewish joke and ponder the idea that the Count is somehow related to Pinocchio and he just told a really big lie. I hope it’s not about the marshmallows being spooky-fun, or that his Treats are “naturally” flavored. He’s already got a loophole in describing the bars as “chocolatey”, which implies some degree of chocolateness but makes no claims in regards to actual chocolatude.
Maybe his big nose helps him to sniff out chocolate. Like Toucan Sam’s, it always knows.
I never noticed this before I started a triple-digit-wordcount-breakdown of every damn aspect of Count Chocula like he was auditioning for America’s Next Top Monster, but what is happening with his fangs, if you could even call them that? Dude, are you a vampire or some sort of undead human/nutria hybrid? It’s a good thing he’s a chocolate vampire and not a blood-sucking vampire, else he’d just be ineffectively trying to gnaw on people’s necks until they just got uncomfortable and squirmed away. Also, General Mills apparently does not provide dental insurance, because the poor Count has lost all his teeth except for two. That is sad.
Now that I’ve spent an unreasonable amount of time completely sperging out on Count Chocula, let me just completely contradict everything I’ve said and say that Count Chocula is awesome. It’s our flaws that make us beautiful, right? He may a buck-toothed big-nosed chocolate vampire, but he’s our buck-toothed, big-nosed chocolate vampire, dammit.
If you ask me, the one flaw in this packaging is that there’s too much emphasis on the cereal bar. You’ve already hooked us with Count Chocula and the promise of spooky-fun; I really don’t care what the dang thing looks like. The fang-ished guy doesn’t even make an appearance on the bar wrappers themselves. Give the immortal man his deserved time to shine (note: shine should not come from the sun).
Count Chocula Treats, much like the Count himself, aren’t exactly pretty, but sure do have a lot going on. Just on the surface, I could see chocolate chips, chocolate drizzle, Count Chocula cereal, and even a peek of marshmallows. There also seemed to be a sheen of chocolate glaze, and oh, by the way, the entire foundation of the bar is made out of chocolate.
In other words, this ain’t no Nutri-Grain breakfast bar. This is a chocolate mecca in cereal bar form. It’s seriously no wonder the Count lost all but two of his teeth.
But was it worth it? My mouth says yes. Biting into a Count Chocula Treat creates an instant chocoparty in your mouth. The Chocula cereal adds one of the many chocolate dimensions and a bit of crunch. The marshmallows are more formless and less spooky-fun; I think there’s a marshmallow ghost assistant that adds that chewiness and flavor that makes this a Treat (think Rice Krispies) and not just a “bar”.
My biggest complaint about these Treats is that the spooky-fun marshmallows are mostly hidden inside the bar and have no discernible form. At first, I thought this was a design flaw in the bar, but the more I looked on the Internet, the more I became convinced that Count Chocula cereal’s marshmallows never actually had a form. Just amorphous blobs. Hey, blobs have their own place in the Halloween echelon, but I’d like to see some effort to make them look like…something. Fangs, maybe?
The chocolate chips, drizzle topping, glaze and chocolate foundation all add to the overall chocolatey taste, but it’s the taste and texture of the Count Chocula cereal and the marshmallow goo that really makes Count Chocula Treats come together, as it were. If you’re not a fan of chocolate or marshmallow treats, you’re obviously going to hate this. If you love Count Chocula cereal and have always wished it could be made into an even less healthy and more chocolatey S’mores-like food, then these bars will make your Halloween just that much more happy.
Completely unrelated note: Count Chocula Treats were listed on my receipt as “COUCHO”. Little-known fact, Count Chocula is a long-lost Marx brother!
Count Chocula Treats