Last year, General Mills’ Monster Cereals celebrated 50 years with their annual Halloween-time appearance. This year, the monsters are back with a whole new (and temporary) look as inspired by artist KAWS. Franken Berry, Count Chocula, Boo-Berry and – for the first time in nearly a decade – Frute Brute Monster Cereals are back with the limited-edition boxed designed by the artist.
Inspired by classic horror film characters, the Monster Cereals have been fan favorites for more than half a century and this year renowned American artist and Monster enthusiast KAWS was inspired by the vintage styling of the original boxes. In addition to the individual box designs, KAWS has also designed corresponding collectible cereal prizes of each character, which are available as a set of four via an on-pack sweepstakes.
“It’s been a thrill to collaborate with General Mills and Monster Cereals,” said KAWS. “I’ve been a big fan of the cereals since I was a kid. Even now, I love the original box designs and the creativity and imagination they invoke.”
This year’s seasonal Monster debut is also marked by the return of Frute Brute, which joins the other monsters on shelves with its first appearance since 2013, as well as other spooky surprises to come later this fall. Frute Brute is known for its “howlin’-good taste of fruit” and is considered by many collectors to be the most sought-after vintage cereal, in part due to its appearances in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs films.
This isn’t the first time that the Monsters boxes were updated. In 1987, boxes of Count Chocula and Frankenberry shared space with Universal Studio’s Dracula and Frankenstein. In 2014, General Mills worked with DC Comics artists for a limited facelift. Count Chocula was designed by Terry Dodson, Frankberry by Dave Johnson and Boo Berry by Jim Lee.
“Our Monster Cereals are some of our most iconic, and while we know fans are always excited to see them, we want to be sure that we’re able to offer something new and different with each release,” said Mindy Murray, senior marketing communications manager at General Mills. “KAWS’s love for these characters made him the perfect partner to bring them to life and offer multiple ways to celebrate this season. We can’t wait for fans to find each box and experience the latest versions for themselves.”
KAWS (aka Brian Donnelly) is a modern painter and designer who rose to fame in the early 1990’s. Starting out as a street artist, he has moved more toward painting and sculptures. He appears to be equally known for creating his own characters as well as adapting other known characters like Mickey Mouse or Snoopy with his own spin on it. While hugely popular with some, others consider his work a rip-off. Often his art features characters with crossed out eyes and this year’s Monster Cereals art is no exception.
Franken Berry, Count Chocula, Boo-Berry and Frute Brute Monster Cereals boxes are available now at retailers nationwide. Each Monster Cereals box comes with a unique code on the back that fans can enter on www.kawsmonsters.com for a chance to win a set of the highly coveted KAWS-designed collectible prizes.
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.