Take a look at the opening panel of Cap’n Crunch cereal box designs below. In a sea of blue bicome hats, naval coats with gold epaulettes, and white ‘staches, you might wonder why I’m writing about a mascot’s design evolution when he appears to have looked the same for over 50 years. Look closer — when it comes to Cap’n Crunch, it’s all in the details.
In 1963, the original Cap’n Crunch cereal set sail for grocery stores everywhere from the Quaker Oats Company, led by its signature fun-loving brand mascot Horatio Magellan Crunch and his faithful crew.
Jay Ward Studios, the folks behind classic cartoon characters including Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, and George of the Jungle, created Cap’n Crunch. In one of his first commercials, the Cap’n sails on the S.S. Guppy with faithful Seadog by his side. Struggling to wake up his crew to help man the ship (and protect its precious cereal cargo!), he finally rouses everyone awake by whispering that there is Cap’n Crunch, a cereal so “delightfully sweet and fun to munch because it keeps its crunch,” in the mess hall.
The cereal was an instant breakfast hit and would be followed up with Crunch Berries in 1967 and Peanut Butter Crunch in 1969. However, one has to wonder how our esteemed mascot was able to enjoy his cereals because Cap’n Crunch wasn’t designed or illustrated with teeth. (Made all the more problematic that he was born on Crunch Island in the Milk Sea.)
It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the Cap’n finally had teeth added to his grin and branched out to become a voyager at sea, on land, and, as seen in the commercial above, even outer space. His most recent makeover in 2005 featured a slightly slimmer Cap’n in commercials and on cereal boxes, joined by his pirate nemesis from the 1960s Jean LaFoot.
Crunch-a-tize me, Cap’n!
Image credit: Cap’n Crunch