AWESOME-tober-fest 2009: Supermarket Halloween Goodies from years ago

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**Start shameless self-promotion** Recently, a humor/nostalgia site called Monkey Goggles has asked me to write some articles for them.  Unlike on Cracked.com, I got my first article posted on Thursday.  It’s a repost of my Glorious Glass article about ’70s and ’80s collectors glasses.  If you don’t mind, click on over to my article on Monkey Goggles and take a look if you haven’t already (or even if you have).  Get some friends and family to click on over and check it out, too.  Let’s let MG know they need to feature more Pax articles.  **End shameless self-promotion**

Okay, back to business…

As you can tell, this week has been the “Supermarket Goodies” week of AWESOME-tober-fest. I’m continuing this theme today but I’m firing up the Flux Capacitor and taking us back in time. Let’s have a look at a few products from Halloweens past. It seemed like items back then were just more FUN.  Starting with…

Ghoul-Aid
Ghoul-Aid — Kool-Aid’s entry into the Halloween product parade back in the late ’90s.  There was also a Scary Black Cherry flavor, but this Scary Blackberry was a brand new flavor not seen before or since.  It has reached almost mythical status amongst the Kool-Aid enthusiast crowd.  How awesome is it that Kool-Aid man is dressed as a bat-winged “ghoul”.  I would say he’s a vampire but I don’t see any fangs.  Maybe he’s a Twilight “vampire” (notice the quotes, yes that was on purpose).

Halloween Rice Krispies
Halloween Rice Krispies — Snap, Crackle and Pop dress it up for All Hallow’s Eve (click the image to make it BIGGER).  Love the graphics on this box.  The three elves flying in on a witch’s broom.  So cool.  It’s funny, this is a box of the cereal, yet they are showing pictures of the Rice Krispies bars all over the front and back.  Hope you weren’t expecting that you were buying the bars instead of the cereal.

Dracula monster cerealFrankenberry_karloff_box
General Mills Universal Monster edition cereals –In the late ’80s General Mills did a special edition of their monster cereals.  The packaging for Count Chocula and Frankenberry featured the images of Dracula (Bela Lugosi) and Frankenstein (Boris Karloff), respectively.  On the left is the Count Chocula/Bela Lugosi box (click image for BIGGER).  On the right is the Frankenberry/Boris Karloff box (no bigger).  For some reason I could not find a good pic of the Frankenstein box.  I swear I saw it on Flickr, but it’s gone now.  Typical, since that’s my theme, I have to use a blurry image of the Frankenstein box.  Regardless, the artwork on these are gorgeous.  I’m not sure if they did anything for Boo Berry.

Frankenstein box Bride of Frankenstein box
Monster Bash Frank Pepsi Monster Bash 1
Pepsi Universal Monsters packaging — I’m am physically in love with these.  Seriously.  If I was a middle aged woman, these boxes would be my Twilight (why does that book keep coming up?).  Pepsi did a cross promotion with Universal Studios between 1991 and 1993.  Each year they came out with different packaging featuring the Universal Monsters.  The two boxes on the top feature the first promotion called Pepsi Monster Match from 1991 (click images for BIGGER).  The artwork features the classic ’30s Universal look of the monsters.  I’m showing you the Monster Match Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein because that’s my theme this year, but there was also Creature from the Black Lagoon and three or four more (I’m assuming Dracula and Wolf Man were two of them).  The two boxes below that are from the next year’s 1992 promotion called The Monster Bash (click images for BIGGER).  The boxes portray the Universal Monsters attending various types of parties.  As you can see, Frank is playing pool and Bride is at a toga party with the other monsters partying hard in the background. Other Monster Bash boxes include Wolf Man at a beach party and Dracula at a disco party.  The artwork on these are fantastic, I wish I had one or two of them. The third set of Pepsi boxes containing the Universal Monsters was in 1993. They featured more stylized depictions of the classic monsters (no crazy parties). Here are the Frankenstein and Dracula boxes.

Ben Cooper Frank boxBen Cooper Frank costume
Ben Cooper Frankenstein costume — Ben Cooper made tons of cheap costumes throughout the ’70s and ’80s.  The famous “smock and mask” costumes being cheap and available pretty much EVERYWHERE.  Supermarkets, toy stores, etc.  They also had the license for pretty much every property on the planet.  Not only did they make Universal Monsters, they made Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Planet of the Apes, Marvel and DC Super Heroes and many, many more.  They are dealt heavily on the secondary market on places like eBay.  You can also see dealers at flea markets.  I got a Yoda Ben Cooper costume many years ago.  This is one of the many versions of Frankenstein released by the Ben Cooper company.

I want to thank Jason Liebig for the photos of the Rice Krispies, Count Chocula and the Pepsi boxes.  If you want to see a killer collection of consumer food/drink packaging from the ’50s all the way up to the present, check out his Flickr feed.  Some awesome, awesome stuff there.  I promise you’ll find something you’ve never seen before.  Also, check out toyranch’s Flickr stream for more awesome Ben Cooper costumes including more versions of the Frankenstein monster.

So, that finishes off Week 1 of AWESOME-tober-fest.  Hope you enjoyed it.  What’s up for week 2?  Well, I’ll tell you this, the mini-theme for week 2 will be haunted “dark” rides.  Curious?  You should be.  Check back on Monday for Day 1 of week 2 of AWESOME-tober-fest!!


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

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8 Responses to “AWESOME-tober-fest 2009: Supermarket Halloween Goodies from years ago”

  1. Oh, so that’s what a Ben Cooper costume is. I had no idea they were called that. I just thought, who the hell is Ben Cooper? And why does everyone have such nostalgic memories of being this guy for Halloween? I figured he was a character from something like Dukes of Hazzard.

    I guess I’m dumb. By the way that dude’s Flickr stream is incredible.

  2. I remember buying those Count Chocula and Frankenberry boxes at the local A&P when they came out. That Rice Krispies box kicks ass. I love looking at your old pics of cereal boxes. For some reason breakfast cereal has been so important in my life and merely looking at the pictures of the boxes bring back so many memories. It also conjures up my disdain for the lack of personality and SPUNK that presently makes shopping the cereal aisles boring as hell.

  3. I think I remember Ghoul-aid… not sure though. Wonder how many old Halloween commercials for products I can find…

  4. Sign, companies tried so much harder back then. I wonder if they realize how batshit crazy a good chunk of the nerd/geek/horror community would go if say for instance Kool-Aid renamed Cherry, Blood for one month.

    I love that aside from the sweet Universal monster graphics on the Monsters cereal, you could also order a Munster’s video. And you got cool stickers. These days your lucky if the Trix rabbit has a Lone Ranger mask on.

    Also, beware everyone, following the link to Jason’s flickr page will take days away from your life, though it’s will lost to coolness…

  5. Wow, what a flash from the past! I love that Ghoul-Aid packet picture, and I totally remember those Count Chocula and Frankenberry cereal boxes! Thanks so much for that one….I had forgotten those! How fun were Halloween cereal boxes way back when? That Rice Krispies box is another example. Oh, and why can’t we have cool Halloween Pepsi boxes?!! It’s just not the same anymore. It’s either not worth the effort and expense to make themed packaging for just one month out of the year or people just aren’t as creative and free with the advertising. I am so willing to buy anything just because it’s Halloween-themed, but only if the designs are worth it.

  6. Congrats on your article being published! That is so cool 🙂
    I like those Pepsi monsters!
    Looking foraward to more posts during AWESOME-tober-fest.

  7. Fun finds! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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