The Golden Age of Freakies

http://www.mysteryisland.net/freakiesarticle

What’s that you say? Not enough cereal in the Cartoons & Cornflakes archives? All right, well, my absolute favorite childhood cereal was FREAKIES, not so much for its generic “crunchy, sugary” breakfast cereal goodness, but for its overall A+ packaging and cereal treasure delivery.Freakies had the best commercials, best cereal icons (the Freakies family themselves), and the absolute best cereal prizes, again, the Freakies themselves!

The first prizes were the best, hard plastic (PVC) figures of the Freakies.

Seven Freakies existed: Boss Moss (the leader), Cowmumble, Gargle, Hamhose, Grumble, Goody-Goody, and Snorkeldorf (my favorite for unknown reasons).

They just looked really cool, small monsters you could carry inside your pocket. Hey, the original “pokemon” so to speak. Pocket monsters.

After the PVC figures, rubber versions showed up in the boxes, then Freakies in cars …

then boats, then magnets, and the budget seemed to dissolve into mushy cereal nothingness from there.

Freakies, a unique brand of cereal, a terrific gimmick, only lasted three years: (1973-1975), but a very magical time period from my perspective, my key comic book buying days, skateboard and bicycle riding, and living in a perpetual world of imagination inside my 9 to 11-year old head.

I wrote a poem about the Freakies a few years back. The strange tribute was published in Robert Berry’s pop culture book: Frankenberry Uber Alles and can now be found at retroCRUSH, featured in the TOP 100 Monsters list.

“Freakies Cereal Article” by Bradley Mason Hamlin © 2006 Mystery Island Publications. All rights reserved.

~ by gorightly on October 31, 2007.

12 Responses to “The Golden Age of Freakies”

  1. Thanks for the piece on Freakies, Adam, but personally my favorite cereal from yesteryear, hands down, was Waffelos. The

    koolest thing about Waffelos: you could collect the boxes, as there were nine different buildings which made up the Old West

    town of Waffeloville!

    Here’s more on Waffelos:

    http://neatocoolville.blogspot.com/2006/11/waffelos-cereal-howdy-pardners-to-start.html

    Friday, November 17, 2006
    WAFFELOS CEREAL

    “Howdy Pardners! To start the day right you need the right kind of breakfast. So here’s one breakfast that fills the bill.

    First. You get yourself a bowl, fill it with Waffelos cereal, and pour on some milk.

    Second. Have some fruit or juice.

    Third. Try a little warm toast with butter or margarine.

    Fourth. Wash it all down with a glass of milk.

    My horse reminded me to tell you that Waffelos with 1/2-cup of milk give you 25% of the recommended daily allowance of 8

    essential vitamins plus iron.

    There’s a lot more to Waffelos than great Taste!”

    Waffelo Bill

    This good advise from the one and only Waffelo Bill was found on the side of each cereal box of Waffelos.

    Introduced in 1979 by Ralston, this cereal was mighty tasty and a real hoot to boot! Waffelos came in two flavors Maple or

    Blueberry. Waffelo Bill rode into the sunset with his guitar playing horse in 1982, but luckily he left behind some nifty

    premiums.

    Reminiscent to the 1948 Lone Ranger Frontier Town cut-out buildings on the backs of Cheerios boxes was Waffelos own version

    called Waffeloville. (You know, that’s just down the road from Neato Coolville)

    You had the opportunity to collect all nine buildings off of the backs of Waffelos cereal. To have the complete town you

    needed Bill’s Milk Bar, Waffeloville School, General Store, Waffeloville Bank, Railroad Station, Blacksmith, Livery Stable,

    Waffeloville Hotel, and the Stage Coach Office.

    Also as a bonus, each box came with one of five Waffeloville stand-up characters!

    Some of the other premiums that were made available was a maze game, a belt buckle, Wacky Packages stickers, and two Wacky

    Packages posters (box panels). You can see those and a scan of the Blueberry Waffelos box over at Wacky-Packages

    Also there were these three glass decals for drinking glasses, windows or mirrors.

    Now I think I’ll go an fix me up some waffles then break off the squares into a bowl, pour in some maple syrup and milk and

    relive a childhood memory.

    Hmm… You know that sounds like a bad idea. I’ll just go buy some of that new Eggo cereal instead.

    Posted by Mayor Todd Franklin at 5:51 PM

    Neato Labels: 1970’s, cerealville

    ***

    Oddly, X-Entertainment.com, that hip repository for retro-cool pop kulture, pretty much rips the cereal in it’s review:

    http://www.x-entertainment.com/messages/200.html

    Waffelos — Mmmmm! Waffelos! Now, cereal designers, a question for you. Does this tagline suggest a premium product? ‘A

    Sweetened Cereal With Artificial Maple Flavor’. I’d be more inclined to think this cereal was good for me if they wrote

    ‘Cereal is Made Entirely From Sugar & Evil Glucose Concentrate’. We also run into a bit of a problem with the choice of

    mascot – this ugly cowboy dude. I’m sure I speak for all of us – who would want to look at that while eating the most

    important meal of the day? See the horse in the background? Tell me he doesn’t look guilty for supporting such an inferior

    product.

    Waffelos was one of many in a string of cereal brands which felt the best way to go was to simply pour sugar syrup over

    unflavored toasted corn. It’s a simple formula, actually, and it’d work if you’d make even the slightest effort to promote it

    as anything but that. Waffelos didn’t do that, and when you compile that in with the ridiculous cowboy idiot on the box,

    you’ve got a real loser.

    ***

    Perhaps the final word of Waffelos, though, comes from the great author Don DeLillo, who, in his 1985 novel White Noise includes it on his riff on modern korporate kuisine: “the junk food still in shopping bags — onion-and-garlic chips, nacho thins, peanut crème patties, Waffelos and Kabooms, fruit chews and toffee popcorn; the Dum-Dum pops, the Mystic mints.”

    Kaboom (or more properly, Kaboom!) got a greater claim of pop culture fame in 2003, when Vivica A. Fox used a box of the breakfast treat to conceal a gun she was using in a attempt to blow away Uma Thurman. That was the problem with Waffelos, unlike Kaboom: it was just too intelectual to be appreciated by someone like Quentin Tarantino…

  2. Darn it, I don’t remember Freakies. I have been searching for the name this cereal though, kind of looked like cap’n crunch but more oval, and had a vanilla creme filled center. I can still taste it. I also still remember the exact taste of Space Food Sticks too. God those were good.

  3. Yes, those lovable Freakies were probably a bit before your time.

    Hmmm, kind of looked like Captain Crunch, but more oval…I’m at a loss, and you are talking to a connoisseur of late 60’s early 70’s cereals—my god, I remember living off Captain Crunch and Lucky Charms and a dozen other sugar coated cereals during my formative years when I should have been eating more fruits and vegetables…Good times, good times…

    And yes, I loved Space Food sticks, and can still taste them in my thoughts…a cross between a nowadays chocolate PowerBar and a Tootsie roll, but with a somewhat softer texture.

    And don’t forget Tang…do they still sell that stuff?

  4. Indeed they do. I believe I even saw a Tang Recipe book or something similar not too long ago. I was 6-8 when Freakies was being sold, but I do suppose that was before we were picking our own studd out at the store. My favorite was always Fruity Pebbles and Frosted Flakes, kind of boring. But I’d add sugar even to those, and loved the happy silvery lumps at the bottom of the bowl.

  5. own *stuff* out, that is.

  6. Freudian slip 🙂

  7. Happy silvery lumps…yum…

    btw, I’ve just posted some YouTubes with Freakies, Tang and Space Food Sticks.

  8. you FOUND A commercial for space food sticks? I could barely even find a mention of them anywhere!

  9. gotta luv YouTube

  10. I too remember the creme filled cereal but cannot remember the name. I’ve searched all over the net and still can’t find it. Driving me crazy!! I remember it being more like Kix but lighter and more delecate balls filled with a tiny amount of creme. They were delicious! Hopefully someone else on here remembers the name…?

  11. Oh, somewhere in the back recesses of my brain the following tune popped out: “Snorkledorf they call me, so handsome and pretty, re do do do di do do.” Yes, I was a big fan of the Freakies too. I know I had most of those plastic toys.

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