Before we start with the usual merriment, a little house cleaning: I know we haven’t posted anything new in the past 13 days, but there’s no cause for alarm; we haven’t quit or gotten sick or joined a biker gang without telling you, and we certainly haven’t been smuggling unicorn manes across the Canadian border. No, we just haven’t been inspired to do anything new lately, plus things have kind of busy in real life lately, so we’ve just been taking a little break until the next big ideas come along. We’ve got new entries coming down the pike, we promise. Now, onto the article.
Today’s Retroville scans the cereal aisle once more, this time uncovering a forgotten set of breakfast mascot heroes. Before there was Alfie the Alpha-Bits Cereal Wonder Dog, before there was Officer Crumb the Cookie Cop, before there was Apple and Cinna-Man, there were The Chexmates.
For the uninformed, the Chexmates were the ID characters for Ralston-Purina’s Chex family of cereals circa 1968. They were a trio of high-spirited kids who would avert disasters and perform heroic feats after fueling up on their namesake product. Think a late 60’s Teamo Supremo that shilled cereal.
The Chexmates’ roster consisted of:
Chexter, a tall, barrel-chested bohunk with large shoulders possessing colossal strength…
…Jessie Jane, the only girl in the gang, who wore rodeo gear and did amazing things with her lasso (more Teamo Supremo similarities, with the team’s only female member being a cowgirl who does rope tricks)…
…And finally, a little Asian boy in a white karate gi and bare feet (must be a fan of Ryu from Street Fighter) who talked in Charlie Chan-speak and was a karate master named Chop Luey.
Yes, the name is groan-inducing, and Luey’s fortune cookie mode of speech was more than a tad stereotypical (contrary to what you might think I’d say, a character like Chop Luey could easily fly in today’s media; he’d just have be rendered more fluent in English and drop the “Ah so”‘s and “Honorable”s from his dialogue), but the kid did have chops, not to mention serious Kung-Fu Grip, so that’s saying something. Here are the Chexmates in action.
By the way, if the animation and character designs resemble those of early Hanna-Barbera, that’s no accident: apparently, HB did the animation for the Chexmates’ spots.
Some more ads:
It’s probably best to stop here, since if we went any further you’d begin to wonder how 3 kids with no government ties, apparent technological or engineering skills or visible income managed to build a sophisticated working space rocket.
Nowadays, most of Ralston’s cereal properties are owned by General Mills, and cereal mascots aren’t quite the staples of kid-vid that they once were, but maybe one day someone will try to revive the Chexmates, as a heroic team united by breakfast.