In case you hadn’t noticed yet, Kellogg’s has killed off Fruit Loops mascot Toucan Sam.  All right, killed is a little strong.   It’s more like a total makeover, and not too many people seem happy about the changes.

One of the biggest criticisms is that the new Toucan Sam looks more like a two-dimensional cartoon, where the previous Sams looked more 3D and more like a living character.

The beak also has a fuzzier, more “rainbowy” look, and some big “unicorny” looking eyes.   And the mouth?   It’s sort of an afterthought that seems to be crammed in on the wrong end of his beak.  And it’s half on the face and half on the beak.

A recent commercial uses the new Toucan Sam but the box of Fruit Loops sitting on the table next to the kids has the old Toucan Sam.   That’s a head-scratcher.

The old Toucan Sam isn’t even the oldest one, as you can see here from this photo on an eBay ad.

Toucan Sam-Original -Ebay towncri-68

Things change all the time with our favorite products.  In 1963 when Kellogg's introduced Fruit Loops, they used only red, orange and yellow loops.  The colors on Toucan Sam's bill represented those original colors. In those days, the great Mel Blanc was the voice of Sam.   In the 90's, they added green, blue and purple.

My first thought was that the newest "Son of Sam" is designed to appeal to young girls.  After all, the only critics who really count are the kids that Kellogg’s is hoping will make eating Fruit Loops a habit.  I can’t remember the last time I had to “follow my nose” to pick up a box.  But I’m certainly not in the target group.  The only thing I remember about Fruit Loops was that you had to scarf ‘em down quick before they got soggy.

A lot of people have weighed in on the Fruit Loops Facebook page.    Several who claim to be artists or cartoonists say there wasn’t enough effort put into the new design.  Some have even re-drawn the character to what they think it should look like.  Here are some of the selected comments.

 

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