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Friday, March 31, 2006

The Cheetos Mouse

The Cheetos Mouse made the scene around 1971, pitching for Cheetos chips. Actually they don't call them chips, rather "cheese flavored snacks", but we all know what they are. Anyway, they were called "Chee-tos" then (with a dash), and came in crunchy or baked puffs.

The Cheetos Mouse was a rather sophisticated, well-spoken mouse, who yearned for the crunch of his beloved Chee-tos.


In 1973 Cheetos gave away the wonderful pencil topper Mouse premiums in six-packs of single-serving bags. They came in several colors, shown here in green. This was the last in a series of pencil toppers from Frito-Lay (makers of Cheetos), following The Frito Bandito, The Fritos Muncha Bunch and W.C. Frito.

Yes, Cheetos -- "The cheese that goes CRUNCH".


Here's an actual commercial cel from the "Hail Chee-sar" Caesar spoof commercial.












There's a vintage commercial you can see on-line at RetroJunk.com. Very cool.

Here are a few premiums that I've spotted here and there. In addition to the pencil topper, there was a plush Mouse, several different packets of vegetable or flower seeds (yes, really), and an odd Cheesy Rider belt buckle of unknown origin -- perhaps an in-house item.



There were also box panels to color, from the six-pack tray. I have one, and need to scan it in someday.

As far as I can tell, the Cheetos Mouse disappeared in the late 1970s. Frito-Lay created Chester Cheetah in 1986 to represent Cheetos, and he's been there ever since.

Well 30 years later, I still say: "Hail Chee-sar!" to the king of cheesy snacks.

11 comments:

  1. I remember the Mouse,lol, thinking back it brings great memories yet makes me feel old at the same time. I seen a Bicycle on ebay that is a "Chester Cheetah Cheesy Rider" a replica of his Purple Harley in the commercial.Funny how the old "cheesy Rider" was a chopper and the newr one is a Heritage Soft Tail. Here is the link on ebay if you are curious to what it looks like. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=6637781482&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

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  2. Very cool. Thanks for sharing that!

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  3. Somewhere in a bag of old clothes from the seventies, I have a Cheesy Rider T-Shirt that I got as a mail-away premium. If I can find it, I'll scan the graphic and email it if you'd like. Thanks for the great memories in your blog!

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  4. Awesome! I'd love to see a picture of the shirt. Please post a response when you get a picture to share. Thanks for checking out my blog!

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  5. I have, sitting in my lap right now, a Cheesy Rider backpack from 1973. The logo is like the belt buckle shown on your page.
    I found your blog through Google & was glad I did. Thanks for posting! Kelly Taylor, American Comic

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  6. Wow, Kelly! I've never seen the backpack. If you have a way to post a picture for us to see, that would be cool. Thanks for sharing this information and for checking out my blog.

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  7. I had such a wonderful childhood playing with those cheetos mice that I have a collection of 18 of them. The fabled gray one has dogged me for years now. Beginning to wonder if he exists?
    Mark in Wi.

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  8. I work at this day care for dogs and the building it's in is an old warehouse.In one of the outside playgroup areas, i was cleaning out some old dog hair and dirt out of this 2-inch gap on this wooden ledge.Low and behold, what did i find but the old Cheetos Mouse pencil topper!it had to have been there forever!!! I looked it up online and learned about who he was.I thought it was so cool!What are the odds?!
    I love him!

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  9. [:::] Anonymous -- What a wonderful surprise that must have been! You found a fun little treasure there. I love those pencil toppers, too.

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  10. I wish I have had the chance to get one of those animation cels from those commercials when they showed up on eBay years back. Certainly an appealing character and from what I got some confirmation on, Paul Coker, Jr. was the designer for the little guy. It certainly reminded me of his work on several Rankin/Bass specials of the time.

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  11. [:::] Christopher -- Thanks for the comment. If you watch the animated special "Twas the Night Before Christmas", you can really see the Cheetos Mouse in the mice characters there. Those were designed by Paul Coker, Jr. as well.

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