I have extreme 1980s nostalgia and something I have not been able to forget about since that time is the Cinnamon Toast Crunch commercial. The commercial, featuring three bakers, was so delightful and so was the breakfast cereal itself. Each commercial featured the singing bakers and a delighted child who would proclaim, “The bakers are here!” upon realizing the bakers were cooking cereal in the kitchen. In perfect harmony, each baker took a turning singing, “Cinnamon,” “toast,” and crunch.” Beautiful. Everything was perfect. If you don’t believe me, you can see for yourself below.
Everything was perfect until one day, in the early 1990s, two of the Cinnamon Toast Crunch bakers disappeared without a trace. The horror! Having one baker instead of three is like having one musketeer, Larry without Moe or Curly, or Snap without Crackle and Pop. Instead of three bakers, Wendell (the old guy) remained the only baker to represent Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The disappearance of the other bakers coincided with the addition of the cinnamon swirl to the cereal’s flakes. Were the two incidents related or a mere coincidence?
The disappearance of the other bakers has plagued me since the late 1980s and I am certainly not alone in my concern about the fate of the other two Cinnamon Toast Crunch bakers. Nobody can say for sure what caused the disappearance of the bakers, but there are speculations. One speculation I had heard in the early ’90s was that a jealous Wendell drowned the other bakers in the cinnamon swirl river. A less exciting theory is that the other two bakers were eliminated for marketing reasons. I guess we’ll never know the truth. Or will we?
I decided it was time for once and for all to get to the bottom of the whole missing baker debacle and go straight to the source to find out the fate of the two other bakers. I contacted General Mills via the consumer services section of their website. After filling out the required fields, I wrote the following note:
I am a huge fan of all your cereals and their respective commercials. I especially loved the Cinnamon Toast Crunch commercials as a kid. My favorite was the three singing chefs. I’ve always wondered, why did the other two chefs disappear from the box without a trace, making Wendell the sole mascot of Cinnamon Toast Crunch?
In a matter of minutes, I received the following auto-reply:
Thank you for contacting us.
Your message is being forwarded to a Consumer Services Representative who will review your inquiry and reply. Please be assured that we will respond to you as quickly as we can.
General Mills Consumer Services
I just hope this Consumer Services Representative has extensive knowledge on the matter and can, in fact, respond in a timely manner. I need to put a rest to this 20-some year mystery.
Thankfully, a Consumer Services rep did in fact respond in a timely fashion. Saturday morning, I received the following email:
Hello Valued Consumer:
Thank you for contacting General Mills with your inquiry.
Wendell was the only baker that was named, and due to consumer feedback, we chose to feature him as the “Cinnamon Toast Baker” where he has remained in this title role since 1991.
We hope you find this information helpful. Please let us know if we can help you again.
Case closed! Thanks to consumer feedback, General Mills pulled the plug on the other two bakers, leaving Wendell as the sole mascot of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Too bad I wasn’t more of a concerned consumer in the late ’80s or I would have campaigned for the other two bakers. I’m glad I can finally put this case to rest and I’d like to express my gratitude towards General Mills for replying in such a timely fashion. On a Saturday, too!
If I had known you were interested, I could have helped out here (must have missed the original tweet?). My Dad works for the Big G Division of General Mills. That is the section that makes breakfast cereal. We have had discussions about a number of mascots, Wendell included, but also Yummy Mummy, and a few others.
Most have met with this very fate: Consumer Feedback. But one, in the early 70’s, died in a horrible fire.
Ok, I made that one part up, but I’m not saying which part.
Wow, I am in awe of your connection to General Mills. I should have just asked you to ask your dad about the Cinnamon Toast Crunch bakers. I can’t believe it was consumer feedback that eliminated those guys. I kind of wish it had been something more exciting like death by fire. Or drowning in the cinnamon swirl pool. At least now I know the truth.
Well, to be fair, you didn’t ask just exactly how they were eliminated. Consumer Feedback takes some interesting forms and if enough consumers reply that they want a fat man rolled in sugar and cinnamon and then fed to bears, it jus tmight happen.
I’ve always wondered what happened to the other two bakers, and after some time thinking about it (recalling from childhood) I now remember (to the best of my ability).
Essentially what happened was this: During the time when they introduced the Cinnamon Swirls to the cereal, General Mills also ran an elaborate promotion about it. A commercial was released where the three bakers entered into a fun house, where all the mirrors were distorting their reflections. One of the mirrors seemed to be swirly and, being confused and running around to find each other, Wendel “tripped” and pushed the other two bakers into the swirly mirror, where they literally fell inside like Alice through the Looking Glass. Being trapped inside, and Wendel being the only baker left outside the mirror, the promotion at the time was essentially about kids solving some sort of mystery on the cereal boxes and finding clues to save the other two bakers.
The problem was, those two bakers never were found, no matter how many children solved the mystery. After that promotion was over, only Wendel the oldest baker remained on the cereal boxes, and the other two chefs were never talked about again. Lost, alone, scared, and trapped in a fun house mirror, where Wendel left them to die.
In my opinion, this makes Wendel the greatest mastermind of double homicide in the cereal world, right up there with the Cookie Crisp Hound double crossing the Cookie Crook and sending him to jail for good.
Also, the other two bakers did actually have names.
Wendel, Bob and Quello.
But now Wendell is missing from the commercials for a while… AND he has left the box too! The only thing left are those annoying cannibal squares… All three bakers are gone now from what it looks like.
Oh no! Time to re-open the case! I hadn’t noticed that Wendall is gone. Must get to the bottom of this!
I always thought Wendall’s picture on the box towards the end looked demented, I always thought maybe he cooked the other bakers into the cereal.
After noting that Wendell was considerably heavier once he took the lead roll, I can only assume a truly dark and twisted tale. Wendell, drunk with power at bring the only named baker and consumed by doubt, fear, and jealousy that the other two bakers might someday have equal standing, used his culinary powers for evil to murder, cook, and eat the other two bakers. General Mills, knowing the PR nightmare that would ensue if the truth got out, later fired Wendell and had him permanently committed to the Dr. Hannibal Lecter Institution for the Culinarily Insane. The new mascots, the anthropomorphic pieces of cereal themselves, retain the cannibalistic nature as a tribute to the former chef driven mad in a quest for cereal mascot notoriety.
I couldn’t have said it better myself! I think you’re absolutely right.
I am so glad you mentioned that fact because I totally remember that there was something fishy about the cinnamon swirls and the disappearance of the other bakers, but I couldn’t quite remember exactly what happened. My older brother, to this day, maintains that the other two bakers were killed by Wendell exactly as you’ve described! I just couldn’t quite remember how it all went down. Wendell really is the greatest mastermind of homicide in the cereal world. Poor Bob and Quello.
Yeah… I wish they’d ATLEAST make a story to what happened… Like maybe Wendell made a bad batch of cinnamon toast crunch and in the end they turned insane and started eating everything? Even each other after devouring Wendell? It’d make a little more sense that way. I’ve noticed the same thing happening over with Cookie Crisp, how they’ve kicked out the cookie cop and the cookie crook after Chip the dog (Cookie crook’s sidekick at the time) got super popular and just became the mascot, leaving his thieving history behind. Then to be turned into Howler the wolf… who they renamed Chip (so technically it’s the dog in the wolf’s body I guess.) and he’s becoming a crook again. It’s weird. Anyways… that’s my rambling. I wish cereals would make a story up about their mascots and explain why they left or just keep the mascot like Trix, Lucky Charms and Coco Puffs.
PS. If Wendell did kill the other two bakers… that would make him my favourite cereal mascot. I tend to like the deranged characters. 😛
I completely agree, there needs to be a story behind all this! You can just take away the beloved mascot from a cereal box without telling us why! I totally forgot about the cookie crook! Why is he gone without a trace?! Perhaps it’s time to send General Mills another email to find out Wendall’s whereabouts.
I do in fact remember a commercial where, Wendell went crazy for the cinnamon (More cinnamon was added to the cereal.) and he took off on his own. I’m not too sure if the other chefs were drowned in the cinnamon swirl, but Wendell definitely left them in the dust.
The 2 bakers need to come back now!
Right?! I loved those guys. They need to come back.
Maybe those crazy cereal squares that eat each other in the commercials now are the old bakers back for revenge lol
I like that theory! I’m really not a fan of those cereal squares. Bring back the bakers!
Now they have a horrible new commercial with talking cereal. This is bad and forced me to Google the bakers, which led me to here. I am sure that decades from now we will not reminisce of the talking cereal commercials of today. Whoever came up with this needs to have their contract terminated and whoever approved this and funded it needs to be demoted.
Yes! Bring back the bakers!
Funny, I’m not a fan of cinnamon toast crunch, but I do remember the commercials. If I remember right, somewhere in the early 90s I would see the commercials with 3 bakers, and I do remember the “cinnamon, toast, crunch” little jingle they had going on. And I remember clearly that Wendell went crazy, or obsessed or something with the swirleds on the bite size cereal, and I remember watching the other 2 ba
I do remember their commercials. Somewhere in the early 90s I remember the commercials with 3 bakers, and I do remember the “cinnamon, toast, crunch” little jingle they had going on. I remember clearly this one commercial where Wendell went crazy, obsessed or something with the swirls on the bite size cereal. While Wendell was going insane the other 2 bakers were watching him cautiously, and soon there after that commercial both bakers disappeared. Shortly after that commercial aired Wendell regined his sanity and proceeded as the lone baker/spokesman for the cereal. What happened to the other 2 bakers ??? I dont know, they never appeared after that. How do I know this ??? I would watched cartoons everyday after school. Personally, I’ve never been to fond of the cereal, and I remember watching that commercial and thinking of how stupid Wendell was, and how stupid the other 2 bakers where. But hey it was tv time for me so I was kind of force to watch it, and that’s how I remember the commercial.
Great memory, thanks for sharing! I totally remember when Wendall went crazy and then the bakers disappeared so I thought Wendall had thrown them into the river of cinnamon swirl and killed them.
o.k. so now that we are the OFFICIAL consumers, can we protest to have Bob and Quello returned? Just say Wendell threw them in a Bermuda Triangle and they popped up 20 years later. It’s funny, I’m talking with my mom now and she is shocked by this thread. She only remembered Wendell (which is what they wanted us to do…forget the other 2) and I have been arguing her down for the past 3 years) that there were 3 bakers on the box. Amazing how we (the kids back then) were IN LOVE with those 3 and it was an adult decision to remove them from our childhood memories. I doubt they asked a bunch of 3-7 year olds if they want to kill our favorite mascots off.
I completely agree! Us kids loved the other two bakers and they never bothered to ask us our opinion on the matter. I fully support a protest to get Bob and Quello back on the box. I think it’s plausible that Wendell threw them in the Bermuda Triangle (aka Cinnamon Swirl River) and now they’re ready to return.
At least we still have Snack, Crackle and Pop. Thanks visit my blog.
You’re right! At least we have them. Thanks for stopping by!
My daughter theorized that the other 2 bakers were sent to equestria and turned into ponies.
I have embedded in my memory a sort of “event” in the continuity of the Cinnamon Toast Crunch bakers. At one point (told through a series of commercials, which completely worked on me as I eagerly anticipated them), one of the bakers was “missing”. I believe it was revealed that he was kidnapped by an evil scientist who started putting Cinnamon Sugar Swirls on the cereal. Though I always paid attention to the commercials, in hopes of finding out what happens next, I don’t remember there ever being a “resolution” to this story (or maybe I needed to send in UPC codes to find out, or to vote for who would be saved, or something like that). But I do remember that afterwards: the cereal stayed “swirly”, and only one Baker appeared in new commercials.
I can’t find this series of adverts *anywhere*, so it’s entirely possible I made this up.
This means that Wendel is the first Cereal Killer mascot.
Rest in peace Bob and Quello. General Mills might be complicit in your murder as an accomplice to Wendel in the cover-up, but I’ll never forget you.
I was in 5th or 6th grade in 1997 and remember being assigned “write to a company with a question or idea and see if you get a response.” Lots of other people got really cool responses and fun swag – but I got no response from General Mills to this very question. It has haunted me ever since. THANK YOU for solidifying for me now that my second greatest fear didn’t come true – that this was a Mendela Effect type memory. WHEW!
Wow! I’m glad I was able to help! This haunted me forever, too. Thanks for sharing your story!
The mystery of the missing bakers actually took a strange turn in my recounting of it. You see this was the last commercial I recall seeing with the other two bakers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxTHSl0BQ5I
Wendell was sucked into the “TV Realm” and the other two left behind on the other side. The world split into two and we all live in the “TV Realm” where Wendell is the only remaining Baker…
I noticed that all the bakers are gone now and have a theory for what happened. Its spooky though so beware! https://youtu.be/JEZOjR7fuZc