Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lucky Charms and the Four Realities??

There is no doubt in my mind that the original commercials for Lucky Charms cereal had an indirect but powerful influence on the thought process that eventually lead to the formation of the Four Realities.

When the product rolled out in in 1963, I was 12 years old. I have no idea why my mother allowed me to eat this cereal, but she did. I was crazy for the weird taste and mouthfeel texture of the little marshmallow bit; called "marbits" by those mad scientist food engineers at General Mills.

The commercials themselves really didn't break any new ground, they were an upside-down-and-backwards variation on the tried and true "Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids" theme. Instead of a determined, stalking fantasy character desperately trying to steal cereal from children; in the Lucky Charms ads a group of sleuthing kids are on the hunt for the breakfast cereal being withheld by the elusive and bratty mascot--Lucky the Leprechaun

In every commercial Lucky always catalogued the four magical lucky charms: "Yellow moons, green four leaf clovers, orange stars, pink hearrrrts" Whenever he would recite "pink hearts" his voice would drop and quiver a little and he'd draw out the word. It was incredibly cute and in my junior high school "pink hearrrrts" became a bit of a catch phrase for a time.

As time went by, I lost interest in the cereal and barely noticed as the roster of marbits changed. Blue diamonds, purple horseshoes, red balloons, rainbows, pots of gold, leprechaun hats, shooting stars, and the recent addition of an hourglass.

I read the press release when the new hourglass was announced and to my jaw dropping surprise, I learned that sometime over the last 35 years, the storyline about the marbit shapes had evolved into the actual source of Lucky's powers!

"The cereal contains Lucky’s magical charms, each of which bestow upon
Lucky their own special powers: hearts (power to bring things to life), shooting
stars (power to fly), horseshoes (power to speed things up), clovers (luck, but
you never know what kind of luck you’ll get), blue moons (power of
invisibility), rainbows (instantaneous travel from place to place) and balloons
(power to make things float).

The new hourglass shape gives Lucky "the power to control time."

Anyway, somehow, someway, sometime at the end of the '70s or early '80s, the idea of the Four Realities as the raw building materials of the Beanworld nudged its way into the storyline and, in fact, became central to it.

In my mind, for Proffesor Garbanzo the (originally) elusive Twinks were the emotional equivalent of "Pink Hearrrrts." Thinking about them often made Proffy sigh. "Oh, Twiiiiiinks." They were also were the cause of endless frustration until the discovery of the Float Factor. All of this came flooding back into memory as I starting poking around YouTube looking at Lucky Charms stuff.

I haven't had a spoonful of Lucky Charms in at least four decades, but I loved this clip about Sarah Collins and her obsession of sorting her Lucky Charms by category before eating them.

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