Today in Wal-Mart, I made an important discovery: two new variations on Cap’n Crunch: Throwback Crunch and Homerun Crunch. This is why I’m delivering to you this very important CAP’N CRUNCH NEWSFLASH on a Saturday afternoon. If I was smarter, I’d know how to make the font blink and scroll, but I’m not, so please accept the bold.
Ah, Cap’n Crunch. Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch. We meet again. This is my absolute favorite cereal–a cereal that was also awarded the worst nutritional score of any cereal marketed to children. I consider this to be a very prestigious award.
Cap’n Crunch was created by Jay Ward’s cartoon studio, the studio also responsible for Dudley Do-Right and Rocky & Bullwinkle, but the Cap’n was Ward’s most enduring character–still having new adventures to this day. In fact, Cap’n Crunch was the most popular cartoon character in America in the 1960s. The budget of the 1960s cereal ads were sometimes more than that of the morning cartoons they interrupted.
The back features some trading cards, and features characters I’m not too familiar with such as Jean LaFoote and the various children who all have names. I can respect Jean LaFoote whose hobbies are listed as “dastardly deeds.” We’re friends already. And I’ve alearned from Wikipedia that at one time, Mr. LaFoote even had his own discontinued flavor, Cinnamon Crunch. I’m intrigued.
Additionally, it appears there are new retro boxes of Crunch Berries and Peanut Butter, though I could only find the original. Which is fine because the peanut butter makes me want to puke, and the crunchberries hurt my mouth. Their jagged surfaces bust up my mouth. They’re really more like hateberries.
By the 1980s, Cap’n Crunch’s campaign rivaled Levi’s Jeans and Jello in their advertising. I have fond memories of watching the commercials–I prefer to call them miniature epics–of the Cap’n chasing the Soggies away from the cereal bowl. The Soggies were evil–they were always trying to sog out the crunch. And of course, everyone knew Cap’n Crunch was part of a complete breakfast, which also included orange juice, a side of sliced cantaloupe, and a plate of bacon in the commercial.
Which made me wonder: if it was only part of a complete breakfast, how come it was the only thing I was getting for breakfast? Where’s the Jimmy Dean round sausage patties, Mom? I’m a growing child over here.
In recent years, cereal advertising has scaled back. Toys rarely come buried inside the cereal, and the commercials are no longer like cartoons. Visit the websites, and you’ll be greeted with a cheerful disclaimer, “Hey kids! This is advertising!”
Cap’n Crunch has scaled back, too. In the past, there has also been Punch Crunch, Vanilly Punch, Choco Crunch, Deep Sea Crunch, Galactic Crunch, Mystery Volcano Crunch, CoZmic Crunch, Polar Crunch, and about fifty others that promised to change the milk color, make the milk pop, and expand your mind. I remember when he released his special batches of Christmas Crunch or Halloween Crunch annually–not the rare one that pops up every four or five years now.
Cap’n Crunch himself has gotten downright stuffy in his old age. Whenever I go to the cereal aisle, my choices are the same old boring Original, Crunchberries, or Peanut Butter versions. I was pleased to see a “summery” edition of the Cap’n on the shelves with Homerun Crunch.
I was also excited to see that they at least tried to make the offering a little different by including baseball bat-shaped berries.
However, my excitement was short-lived.
I keep looking back at the bats on the box, and then the actual bats, and questioning what went wrong here. The bats look more like inbred crunchberries.
Ah, but why complain? It’s summer. It’s the last day in July. It’s freaking Saturday. And tomorrow morning I will wake up and have a nice bowl of summer-themed cereal with the damned hateberries. And yet, they’re bat-shaped. Like the addition of a small paper umbrella to your drink, sometimes it’s these little things that make all the difference in the world.