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Part of a Complete Breakfast: Cereal Characters of the Baby Boom Era Hardcover – September 2, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Snap! Crackle! Pop!™ Adventures in cartoon advertising

“You can’t find more comprehensive coverage on the subject than Mr. Hollis’s book.”—Gerry Matthews, voice of Sugar Bear for Post cereals

“Hollis is a practiced author and one who is happily excited by his subject matter.”—Bernard L. Herman, author of Town House

 Butting in every ten minutes to interrupt the exploits of Bugs Bunny, Underdog, or Rocky and Bullwinkle, a very different kind of cartoon series won the affection of viewers on Saturday mornings in the 1950s.
          Breakfast cereal commercials played out their own storylines in time slots of just a few seconds each. Soon, Cap’n Crunch, the Trix Rabbit, Toucan Sam, Count Chocula, and many more were household names, familiar as the cartoon personalities in regular television programs. Some creatures tried to swipe cereal from their friends. Others showed off the super strength given by their breakfast food of choice. Catch phrases even turned up in everyday talk, from “They’re magically delicious!” to “They’re grrreat!”
          Rediscover the heyday of these beloved cereal advertising characters in Part of a Complete Breakfast, which includes fascinating information about their origins. Did you know Tony the Tiger originally walked on all fours and had claws and sharp teeth? Or that Lucky the Leprechaun seemed to genuinely hate the kids who chased after him to take his Lucky Charms cereal? Meet cartoons who never made it into the public eye, including a “lost” Kellogg’s character named Nutrina, and a proposed fourth member of the Rice Crispies gang—a spaceman named Pow!
          Drawing from his personal museum of pop culture memorabilia, Tim Hollis celebrates the characters dreamed up by mid-twentieth-century mad men when television was an exciting new way to advertise. Vivid pictures give flavors of the earliest cereal commercials aired and the role they played in claiming the loyalties of young breakfast eaters up to the present day.

Tim Hollis is the author of numerous books on popular culture, including Wish You Were Here, See Rock City, Florida’s Miracle Strip, Dixie before Disney, and Selling the Sunshine State. He lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

From the Inside Flap

Butting in every ten minutes to interrupt the exploits of Bugs Bunny, Underdog, or Rocky and Bullwinkle, a very different kind of cartoon series won the affection of viewers on Saturday mornings in the 1950s.

            Breakfast cereal commercials played out their own storylines in time slots of just a few seconds each. Soon, Cap’n Crunch, the Trix Rabbit, Toucan Sam, Count Chocula, and many more were household names, familiar as the cartoon personalities in regular television programs. Some creatures tried to swipe cereal from their friends. Others showed off the super strength given by their breakfast food of choice. Catch phrases even turned up in everyday talk, from “They’re magically delicious!” to “They’re grrreat!”

            Rediscover the heyday of these beloved cereal advertising characters in Part of a Complete Breakfast, which includes fascinating information about their origins. Did you know Tony the Tiger originally walked on all fours and had claws and sharp teeth? Or that Lucky the Leprechaun seemed to genuinely hate the kids who chased after him to take his Lucky Charms cereal? Meet cartoons who never made it into the public eye, including a “lost” Kellogg’s character named Nutrina, and a proposed fourth member of the Rice Krispies gang—a spaceman named Pow!

            This highly illustrated narrative explores the history and evolution of these cartoon characters in an effort to both celebrate and measure their impact on American culture, focusing primarily on the years 1950–1979, when children’s programming became a powerful force and savvy advertisers realized that they could directly appeal to an enormous audience of kids through this new medium. In many ways these cereal commercials became extensions of the regularly scheduled programming featuring their own cast of animated characters.

Drawing from his personal collection of pop culture memorabilia, Tim Hollis celebrates the characters dreamed up by mid-twentieth-century mad men when television was an exciting new way to advertise. He takes us through the ups and downs of the rules and regulations imposed by the National Association of Broadcasters. Vivid photographs reveal the flavors of the earliest cereal commercials and the role they played in claiming the loyalties of young breakfast eaters. Part of a Complete Breakfast is perfect for members of the baby boom generation who knew and loved many of those beloved cereal mascots, and who still retain a warm place in their hearts (and stomachs) for them.

 

Tim Hollis is the author of numerous books on popular culture, including Wish You Were Here, See Rock City, Florida’s Miracle Strip, Dixie before Disney, and Selling the Sunshine State. He lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida; 1st edition (September 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081304149X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813041490
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.9 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #650,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By takingadayoff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you remember eating cereal and watching cartoons on Saturday morning, then this book will bring those days back in more detail than you could have imagined. I haven't thought about Puffa Puffa Rice or Linus the Lionhearted for many decades, but once Part of a Complete Breakfast prodded those memories, the jingles came back to me word for word.

It was a lot of fun reading about the ad campaigns and some of the behind-the-scenes details. The Linus the Lionhearted show started with a cast made entirely of Post cereal mascots, and the number of commercials in the cartoon show (which itself was a big commercial) was astonishing. I looked at one on the Duke University library site, which author Tim Hollis cites, and in a five-minute cartoon, there were three commercial breaks in the first two minutes (the archived cartoon did not include the commercials) and even more often in the remaining three minutes. I must have been aware of the ad saturation as a kid, but I don't remember feeling cheated or outraged, or even bored.

I also don't remember being loyal to any one cereal. Mom sensibly limited our cereal-eating to Saturday mornings only, so one box would last several weeks. We were rarely able to collect enough box tops to send away for the tempting promotional items offered, such as figurines to balance on your spoon handle, club memberships, and coloring books. Fortunately, Hollis has collected an impressive collection of such prizes and uses them to lavishly illustrate Part of a Complete Breakfast.

The cartoon studio/cereal manufacturer relationship was like the movie studio/fast food relationship now. Jay Ward, the Bullwinkle and Rocky producer, provided characters for General Mills and Quaker, Hanna-Barbera characters shilled for Kellogg's, Warner Bros.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From Tim Hollis comes this volume dedicated to our fondest childhood breakfast memories! A trip down memory lane- illustrated with fun images that evoke memories of a simplier time! From Snap, Crackle and Pop to Linus The Lionhearted to Captain Crunch - all of your favorites are here! Learn the "back story" of the animators, the voice-actors and the cereals themselves. Hollis's writing style tells a story that unfolds with a downhome charm that "speaks" to the reader like a friend telling a story.
I highly suggest this book to anyone who loves the nostalgia of breakfast long ago- and to anyone wishing to obtain a book that chronicles a history that stays crunchy - even in milk!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Enjoyed immensely this book invoking phantoms from my past. I enjoyed the humorous style of the writer and have shared it with friends and family, delighting all who come within 30 feet of this book.
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Very nice book! Thanks!
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