Butting in every ten minutes to interrupt the exploits of Bugs Bunny, Underdog, or Rocky and Bullwinkle, a very different kind of cartoon series won the affection of viewers on Saturday mornings in the 1950s.
Breakfast cereal commercials played out their own storylines in time slots of just a few seconds each. Soon, Cap'n Crunch (TM), the Trix Rabbit (TM), Toucan Sam (TM), Count Chocula (TM), and many more were household names, familiar as the cartoon personalities in regular television programs. Some creatures tried to swipe cereal from their friends. Others showed off the super strength given by their breakfast food of choice. Catch phrases even turned up in everyday talk, from "They're magically delicious!" (TM) to "They're grrreat!" (TM)
Rediscover the heyday of these beloved cereal advertising characters in Part of a Complete Breakfast, which includes fascinating information about their origins. Did you know Tony the Tiger (TM) originally walked on all fours and had claws and sharp teeth? Or that Lucky the Leprechaun (TM) seemed to genuinely hate the kids who chased after him to take his Lucky Charms cereal? Meet cartoons who never made it into the public eye, including a "lost" Kellogg's character named Nutrina, and a proposed fourth member of the Rice Crispies gang-a spaceman named Pow!
Drawing from his personal museum of pop culture memorabilia, Tim Hollis celebrates the characters dreamed up by mid-twentieth-century mad men when television was an exciting new way to advertise. Vivid pictures give flavours of the earliest cereal commercials aired and the role they played in claiming the loyalties of young breakfast eaters up to the present day.
Tim Hollis is the author of numerous books on popular culture, including Wish You Were Here, See Rock City, Florida's Miracle Strip, Dixie before Disney, and Selling the Sunshine State. He lives in Birmingham, Alabama.