Monday, January 30, 2017

Toonfomercial: Remember Buffalo Bee? (1954)

When I was growing up, the only cereals bearing Nabisco's famous triangular logo were Team Flakes and Shredded Wheat. Wheat and Rice Honeys weren't readily available in my neck of the woods in the 60's and early 70's.

Wheat and Rice Honeys were introduced in the 30's as Ranger Joe's Wheat Honnies & Ranger Joe's Rice Honnies. Nabisco acquired the products in 1954, and rechristened them as Wheat Honeys and Rice Honeys, adding an animated mascot, Buffalo Bee, to promote the cereal for the kids.

Per Ira Gallen, whose TVdays YouTube channel served up this next item, Buffalo Bee made his television debut in 1959. A cowboy bee? Yep, but Buffalo Bee's voice has a certain feminine lilt to it, thanks to actress Mae Questel. Listen carefully, and you may just pick up some of Mae's vocal inflections as Olive Oyl.

Unfortunately, Buffalo Bee became a distant memory well before my mom first took me shopping. The Honeys were gone by the mid-70's after a couple of attempted makeovers failed to raise sales, including a licensing deal to have Winnie the Pooh appear on the box.

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