Did you ever have wild animals pop out of your toaster? If you were a kid in the late 1960s, that may have happened in a kitchen near you!
Popping off supermarket shelves and onto breakfast tables everywhere in the mid 1960s were new toaster pastries. There were Pop-Tarts by Kellogg's, Toastettes by Nabisco and Toast'ems by General Foods.
It seems that around 1967 Toast'ems launched another product specifically geared for kids called Toast'em Animals. These goodies came in colorful boxes, brilliantly designed with fun animals. The first flavors were Sugar Spice Lions, Chocolate Elephants and Berry Bears. (Oh my!) Sugar Spice Lions were also called Cinnamon Lions, though I'm not sure when the name changed.
My friend Dan has one of the original boxes on his blog: click here
And my friend PopTartsBox has an original supermarket display photo on Flickr: click here
According to the commercial and some loyal Toast'em fans, these pastries were bursting with flavor! Here's an image of the one-and-only Jungle Fred, a seasoned wild game hunter with a keen awareness of Toast'em Animals.
What a treat! Jungle Fred looks like he may have been a cousin of the great Cap'n Crunch.
Some time after the original three flavors hit the market, General Foods continued the line with three more -- Peanut Butter Buffalo, Munch-A-Berry Monkey and Tutti-Frutti Owl. I have this lovely fold-over coupon in my collection which shows the three new fun-to-eat varieties. It's undated but I'd guess it's from 1968.
We see here that there were other Toast'em brands including Fancy Frosted and Pop-Ups. As for premiums, I know of some Toast'em Animals iron-ons. There may have been other items, though I'm not an expert on this product line.
As for Jungle Fred, I can only hope that he had many more adventures and lived a long life full of pastries and stories to tell. If you have memories or more information about Toast'em Animals, click the comments link below and post a comment. Of course I'd love to find one of the original boxes if you've got one lost in the back of your pantry. :-)