Lucky Charms was a favorite cereal of my childhood. It’s the less spooky vanilla version of Count Chocula, one of General Mills’s monster-themed breakfast cereals which were first released in 1971 with the strawberry-flavored Franken Berry. Count Chocula is more difficult to find these days, especially outside of Halloween season. As for Lucky Charms, which are in no short supply, the last box of sugared oats and marbits that I saw had a wonderfully simple back-of-the-box game:
The Power to Fly activity (2011):
Fold the book at line A to make the launch ramp that will send your star marbit on its way. Flicking your star is allowed to see how many times you can follow Lucky through the cloud.
In this digital age, Lucky the Leprechaun believes he can entertain kids by asking them to cut out a piece of cardboard from a cereal box, fold it, and flick it into the hole in the box. Simplicity: scissors, sticky fingers, and adult supervision = breakfast fun.
To gain the Power to Fly, kids do not need their parents’ permission to access a promotional URL or download an app requiring access to Facebook. They need not dig through the lightly sweetened settled contents for a compact disc which must be inserted into a computer (obsolete but memory lane). All they have to do is cut and flick. That’s so refreshing. (Note: naturally, luckycharms.com does have an online game.)
To that end, enjoy this Count Chocula commercial from 1980:
The ad depicts the joy that kids experience from the activity of applying fake Count Chocula tattoos on their friends (again, no electricity required). Now that I’ve covered the first point about simple pleasures, in Part 2 I discuss the specious health positioning of major cereals and other food products so that this is not an advertisement for empty calories.
Fun cereal facts:
1) In 1963, microbiologist Pamela Low developed the original flavor for Cap’n Crunch by recalling a recipe of brown sugar and butter that her grandmother Luella Low served over rice at her home in Derry, New Hampshire.
2) Apple Jacks cereal was invented by William Thilly, a member of Delta Upsilon Technology Chapter and now a professor at MIT. It was introduced to the U.S. in 1965 as “Apple O’s.” In 1971 advertisers renamed it “Apple Jacks.”
It is considered acceptable to add an apostrophe to a single letter in the case of “Apple O’s.”
Original 3/22/11 post updated 6/25/14