Monthly Archives: March 2012

Nabisco Thing

It's a Nabisco Thing.

Nabisco Thing was a mascot Nabisco attempted by using their own logo and turn it into a living abstract thing. The character first appear to the public sometime in the mid 90s. Where all companies were trying to stay up to date with today’s society by improving their logos, mascots, or in this case making a logo into a mascot. Nabisco’s logo is one of the most recognized in the world, as there’s no snack stand that wouldn’t sell Nabisco products. But what is the origin of that logo that is basically an ellipse with an antenna. Well from what I’ve read there’s an urban myth that states it’s an early European symbol for quality. Which might of been a medieval Italian printer’s mark that represented the triumph of the moral and good over the evil and worldly. The symbol isn’t used for marketing in Canada due to Oreos being under Christie brand name over there. While third world countries have Oreos under Kraft’s logo. So with that little history being said, now for the discussion on the Nabisco Thing.

The Nabisco Thing would always appear in his own commercials by coming out of the logo to form into what you see. It’s refer to as a thing as it’s gender is completely neutral. While it does not speak at all, the annoucer of the commercial does all of the talking. Each commercial is rather basic, Nabisco Thing appears, a couple of kids get to see what Nabisco has to offer, expensive use of CGI, and concluding the commercial with what the packaging of the products look like. And occasionally, there would be contests like giving away a stereo set, VCR, and big screen TV to one lucky winner(items that are now relics in today’s society). After some publicity, Nabisco Thing vanished before we all get to know him. And sadly I never did once heard anyone at my school ever talk about him. There’s claims it disappeared due to compliants that it’s a lame character. But I refuse to accept that as a reason, and am sure Nabisco Thing was canned for some other reason. And it’s unlikely Nabisco will revive the character unless they give it a new look in order to get the right reactions from the crowd. Due to lack of other info on the character, I won’t be able to make this article any longer.

So there you have it the five mascots that were on my header, but I never had the chance to review them until now. I haven’t done a beer mascot since last summer, so for next week will be on a really forgotten mascot called the Bud Ice Penguin. Until then, enjoy, whatever I could find on Nabisco Thing.

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Fry Kids

It's Fry Step time!

It’s been awhile since I last did a McDonald’s article, so let’s talk about another group of characters from McDonald Land like say…the Fry Kids. That’s right those multi-colored cheerleading pom poms that have eyes and wear shoes. Like the McNugget Buddies, these guys were among the citizens of McDonald Land. With the exception of being associated with french fries instead of mcnuggets. Let’s start with the bio on these little guys, as some of you out there might not know everything there is to know about them.

Don't believe in the reviews, it's not that great of a movie.

The earliest version of the Gobblins from the early 70s.

The Gobblins as they appear in the early 80s.

The Fry Kids first appeared in McDonald’s McDonald Land commercials back in 1972. Back then they weren’t called the Fry Kids, they were simply named the Gobblins. Yeah of all the depictions I’ve seen for Gobblins, I never once heard of french fry eating gobblins. But least these guys are more tolerable than the goblins from “Princess and the Goblin” movie, a film to this day I completely hated watching. They are usually always portray as mischievous little creatures in which they’ll do anything in order to eat french fries. That includes gobbling up various servings of McDonald’s french fries along with a jingle called “Keep Your Eyes on Your Fries” in most of the commercials that have them present. By 1983 they receive a new name which was the “Fry Guys”, however with the introduction of “Fry Girls”, it was changed to what we kids of the 90s know as The Fry Kids just four years after a recent name change.

Fry Girls, the reasons why they're called Fry Kids and not Fry Guys.

What Fry Guys look like in average commercials.

Grimace - "Seirf Hcnerf!" Ronald - "Bless you Grimace."

Like the McNugget Buddies, these characters were puppets as well. The use of blue screen or green(which ever the production company prefer to) created the illusion that the Fry Kids were able to walk on their own. While the voice work was done in post production where the voices were given the Chipmunk treatment by speeding up the voices to give them a squeak tone. Some commercials the Fry Kids would be silent, or talk gibberish, but I always remenber the ones where they speak normally. Other than stealing fries from various characters in McDonald Land, the Fry Kids have attended various activities with the Ronald McDonald gang including sports and visiting a local McDonald’s. Keep in mind that there were hundreds of Ronald McDonald related commercials, so I know I haven’t seen all of them. Though the only Fry Kids commercial I remember to this day was the Fry Eating Bush(a group of Fry Kids bundle up to form a bush) commercial. That was the only one that remain stuck in my mind to this day, while all the other ones that are focus on the Fry Kids I either don’t remember seeing them or I never have seen them. By 1996, the Fry Kids were among the chosen to get canned from the McDonald’s advertisements. Though they did appear one last time in the Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald Direct to Video series. Which feature Kath Soucie, Paul Greenberg, and Nika Futterman as the voices of a Red, Blue, & Yellow Fry Kid. After that, they weren’t seen ever again in any McDonald’s commercials.

I told you we should of been a tree.

Ronald inspects the "Fry Eating Bush".

This is usually called the Fry Eating Tree.

The Fry Kids were very iconic like the other McDonald Land characters. There was even a Happy Meal toy editions that are now as collectable as the McNugget Buddy toys. in my opinion, the Fry Kids were a fun set of characters. Also the easiest character to portray in a commercial as they lack a mouth so you can lip synch anything for dialogue. In fact that would make a fun school project, have a kid dub over a Fry Kid commercial and the best one gets extra credit. But sadly no kid today would know who the Fry Kids are unless their parents educate them that there was a time when French Fires at McDonlads had characters to be paired with. I’d love to do another McDonald’s article, but that’ll have to wait for another time as I’ll be doing something else for next time.

Remenber when McDonald's Cookie boxes were decorated like this?

Fry Kid Happy Meal Toys

Comparison to the Fry Kids from the commercials and their Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald appearance.

For next week will be about the last mascot on my header that I haven’t reviewed yet, which is the Nabisco Thing. After that will be something that isn’t on my header.

references:

http://www.simonswebsite.co.uk/goldenarches/articles/articles/art_originsofmcdonaldland.php

Sprout

When I grow up, i'll be just like the Green Giant.

When it comes to vegetables the one thing that comes to our minds is the colossal Jolly Green Giant. But beside him there was another character in his commercials named Sprout. Like the green Giant, except he’s smaller and talks more than the Giant himself. Since the Green Giant commercials still advertise with their own trademark mascot, I won’t be doing an article on him since he’s no where close to be forgotten. Unlike his friend Sprout who tragically hasn’t been in a commercial for many years now. For this week, I would love to talk about the history and impact Sprout had to offer when it comes to advertising vegetables.

The Giant is proud to have someone to teach about vegetables.

Sprout first appeared in the Green Giant commercials back in 1973. He is the giant’s apprentice who helps tend the crops within the valley. Curious and enthusiastic, Sprout represents the voice of the consumers who buy vegetables and learns everything from the Giant’s wisdom on vegetables. Every commercial takes place at the Green Giant valley, which is always being watched by the giant observing his crops being harvest into frozen food. Sprout would always be seen either learning something new about plants or helping out the farmers who are the same height as he is. Along with advertising the product whether it’s canned corn or peas, they cover everything the Green Giant valley has to offer. The commercials always conclude with the Giant’s “Ho Ho Ho” quote or sometimes Sprout would say it along with him. By 1989, the character was excluded from the commercials perhaps Sprout finished his internship at the valley and moved on to grow up to be a giant of his own farm. While to this day the Green Giant still watches over his valley in the most recent commercials.

Over the years Sprout became a likeable character even after he became excluded from advertising. Those who remembered him have created various collectables, spawning merchandise from bobble heads to keychains. I was age 1 when Sprout was no longer on TV ads so I have no memories of him as a kid. My first exposure to Sprout was when I bought a Sprout Keychain which I recalled my parents told me who he was cause I had no knowledge of there being a companion for Green Giant all those years ago. As of today you can find a considerable amount of Sprout merchandise at either those collectables stores that have items representing TV shows ranging from 1950s to 1980s(really cool stores to go to). So Sprout is seen at certain areas of America it’s just it’s unlikely Green Giant company will bring him back, unless there’s plenty of fan support.

For next week, I’ll be doing another McDonald’s article which isn’t 100% nutritious unless you order the meals that have the less calories. Until then check out whatever commercials I found on Sprout.

references:

http://www.greengiant.com/our-story

First Burger King

Where kids are king.

Back in 2011, Burger King officially announced that they will no longer be using anymore kings for their advertisements. Which not many people cared when the king they were using since 2003 was a guy wearing a king mask and appears in random areas as if he was a stalker. I’ll do an article on him another time, as I feel it be more proper to do an article on Burger King’s first king. That’s right they had not only one but two kings before the recently retired king for their own advertisements minus the BK Kids Club(which I’ll do an article on them sometime in the near future). So for this week, I’ll be discussing the first king of them all.

Last promotion ad on the original King.

First one in Jacksonville, Florida in 1953.

Logo used for packaging.

Back in 1955, the company was already two years old and had started small in the state of Florida. The first illustration of their own king was used for their signs displayed in front of their restaurants starting at the one located in Miami(way before Tony Montana became kingpin). These signs would later be evolved from an illustration of the king to an illustration of a king sitting on a large burger dub the “burger throne”. It wasn’t until the late 60s to early 70s when Burger King decided to advertise their restaurants with an animated king. The king was short with red hair, and consisted the stereotype necessities that makes a king look like a king. Complete with robe and crown, the two characteristics that would lead any person that’s able to think immediately say “It’s a king” upon seeing the Burger King. The king star in a series of commercials where he either orders something from the menu or present small gifts to the kids that want his autograph or just watch him in amazement cause he’s king of his own fast food corporation. After the scenario, the commercial concludes with the slogan “Burger King, where kids are king”.

Who's the idiot who forgot to paint the parking lanes?

His tricks never work.

Have it your way king.

The commercials have a similar quality to the School House Rock series, but sadly Bill from Capital Hill is nowhere to be seen. The king was voice by the late Allen Swift(original voice of Underdog’s arch-enemies Riff Raff & Simon Bar Sinister(who were a bald scientist and a wolf in the original cartoon, not a non bald scientist and Doberman in the movie). The king would be replaced by his successor in the 1970s where it was a live actor portraying him instead of a cartoon character, but that’s a story for another time. The original king would make one last appearance in BK’s ads as a puppet retaining his appearance with the exception of his medallion now resembling the current logo used in the mid 2000’s rather than the original logo from the 50s. This puppet give away occurred sometime before the abolishment of the current mask king. After that, the original king became just a memory from the past.

Did most of the voices in Rakin Bass's Mad Monster Party.

In opinion, this king was an amusing character. While the commercials are as similar as a 60’s animated cartoon, the ads were a product of their time. Also interesting to see what the restaurant was like back then. There were still cardboard crowns that come with a kid’s meal, but instead of a soft drink it’s a shake that comes with every meal. The same went with McDonald’s first kid’s meal which also came with a shake. The king’s no comparison to his 2000’s successor, it’s like how original Riff-Raff & Simon were no comparisons to their live action counterparts. I know I just mention them,  but it’s ironic that both the king and them were voiced by Allen Swift and both were ridicule by the public due to their future unusual appearances. I apologize if I sound like I’m trying to attack the live action Underdog, but the last time I watch that film, I thought it was an out rage towards the original cartoon. Yes it was just a live action cartoon adaption, but I’m glad I’m not part of the current youth generation cause least I remember an era where people refer to Underdog as an independent shoe shining dog who has no master and not refer to him as a pet dog name “Shoeshine” instead of “Shoeshine Boy”. I could rant on about my complaints of the Underdog movie, but I’ll save it for another article. For now enjoy the commercials I found on the first Burger King. For next week I’ll be doing a nutritious article for the first time, which will be Sprout a friend of the Jolly Green Giant.

What brings you to Burger King?

This is how the king gets to Burger King.

Back when the logo was a burger.

references:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Burger_King