Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Crunchberry Beast

[ Well, I'm back in the blogging business after a break, though I have been posting pictures on my Flickr site. Grab a plate of waffles and enjoy! ]

What better way to start the new year than a little post about that beloved, polka-dotted, cereal muncher known as The Crunchberry Beast.

The Crunchberry Beast represented Quaker Oats Crunch Berries cereal from approximately 1968-1985 as part of the Cap'n Crunch cereal family. His appropriately simple name reflected his all-consuming passion -- the eating of the Crunchberries.

Our unusual friend had yellow skin with big red spots, a long snout, buckteeth, corkscrew tail and a tuft of bright red hair.

By all accounts and recollections, "C.B." -- as he was often called by Cap'n Crunch -- was a rather energetic and hyperactive little guy, getting mostly enthused when there was some scrumptious cereal to be had.

He seemed to have a lot to say, but generally used very few words. His typical utterance was something like "boop boop boop boop boop!", spoken in a cereal-crazed frenzy.

As the story goes, C.B. was living a peaceful life on Crunchberry Island. One day Cap'n Crunch and friends arrived, discovered the Crunchberry Trees, and later C.B. himself. C.B. quickly joined the crew and set sail for further cereal adventures on the S.S. Guppy.

While Crunch Berries cereal was first on the market around 1967, the original cereal boxes featured only the Cap'n and a Crunchberry Tree, but no Beast. (Actually he wasn't even in the first Crunch Berries TV commercial.)

Starting in the early 1970s, C.B. took his rightful place on the box alongside the Cap'n.

Here's a box from the late '70s.

The Crunchberry Beast was another fantastic character from the minds of Jay Ward and Bill Scott. Jay Ward created the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon, among others, and such memorable advertising characters as Cap'n Crunch, Quisp, Quake and of course Wallace the Waffle Whiffer. Bill Scott provided the voices for many characters including Bullwinkle and our pal the Crunchberry Beast.

Here's a list of some cereal premiums featuring the Crunchberry Beast:
  • "Beast Inside" iron-on patch
  • "I'm Lost" bumper sticker
  • "State of Confusion" pennant sticker
  • unicycle glass sticker
  • padlock and key
  • farm animals stamp album
  • Book of Fun & Games
  • Crunch Money dollar
  • cardboard dominoes game
  • 4 different posters
  • storyscope watch and story disks
  • glow-in-the-dark puzzle
  • a few smaller stickers
  • movie viewer strip
Unfortunately, C.B. did not make the cut for some of the cooler plastic premiums like the balloon racers, surfers or spaceships. Those would have been great. I think his only individual appearance in plastic was this super-cool padlock and key set.

I'll interject here to say that Crunch Berries cereal was quite delicious during my prime cereal-eating years of the late '70s! One of my all-time favorites, it was the standard Cap'n Crunch taste with just the right amount of strawberry-flavored bites mixed in. Quaker added some different colored berries in the post-Beast years, and I can't say that I really approved of the change.

Here's a commercial featuring the Crunchberry Beast foiling Jean LaFoote's plot. (This is embedded from YouTube, and should be playable here if you have Flash installed in your browser.)

Here are some pictures of premiums I've acquired over the years.

Well the Crunchberry Beast was retired around 1985, along with most other Cap'n Crunch characters, besides the Cap'n himself. Bill Scott passed away in 1985 and Jay Ward's contract with Quaker Oats was over, after a long and tremendous run.

The Crunchberry Beast was such an effective advertising character, at least for this author. I put away a lot of his cereal, and remember him fondly over 20 years later. And every now and then I get that sugar-charged excitement in finding a new collectible that I hadn't seen before, like the dominoes set I recently discovered!

C.B. lives on, of course, in the many vintage collectibles and classic commercials that have survived. I imagine he's off in animation land munching some crunchy cereal right about now, and telling tales about his many adventures on the S.S. Guppy.


  1. Welcome back!

    The "Beast inside" sticker looks like CB is emerging from the fly of someone's jeans. I'm sure that's not quite what they meant...

    I hope not, anyway.

  2. Thanks, Jeff.

    Yes, in retrospect the iron-on design was probably a bad idea. It was in a set of "pocket iron-ons" along with the other Cap'n Crunch characters. They were intended to be ironed on as a shirt pockets, with an opening at the top to put things in.

    In today's market, those probably wouldn't make it past the censors.

  3. Great post! I loved "C.B." and his cereal too!

  4. I don't like how he's eyeing those Farm Animals!

  5. Wonderful ephemera...I'm looking for a collector of this type of material to interview for my blog...send me an email...couldn't find a contact link on your blog or I'd've sent this directly to you...anyway, cool site.

  6. Man, I'd fogotten how much I love Crunchberry Beast. Thanks for the info, I had no idea who the creators were. I remember the pennant premiums very well. I wanted 'State of Confusion' so badly but I wound up with Lafoote on 'State Penn.' My dad had to explain that one to me.

  7. Thanks, Kirk.

    I remember have the Jean Lafoote bumper sticker on my door as a kid. It said "Be Reasonable. Do it my way!"

  8. Marty -- Thank you. I've been meaning to reply and contact you. Soon...

  9. I remember the CuncHBerrY BeasT and I reaLLy liKed him and aLL the comeriaLs I Really loVed thaT cereral sooooooo MucH, I wisH the cuncHBerrY BeasT neVer wenT away He's so ReTro oLd scHooL buT He's so cooL, thanK You for remembering Him, noT to manY peopLe Do .......


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