Cookie Crisp is a breakfast cereal introduced in 1977 by Ralston Purina and attempts to recreate “the great taste of chocolate chip cookies and milk.” It is currently manufactured by General Mills in the United States since Ralston Purina’s spin-off of cereals in 1997 and Cereal Partners (under the Nestlé brand) in other countries. The cereal was once available in a vanilla wafer flavor as well.
The first Cookie Crisp mascot, Jarvis (1977–1985), was a wizard in the Merlin mold, with a wand, long robe, pointy hat, and big white beard. Both the wand and the pointy hat were decorated with chocolate-covered chocolate chip cookies. During his administration as Cookie Crisp mascot, Cookie Jarvis actually presided over three versions of Cookie Crisp: Ralston’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Crisp, Vanilla Wafer Cookie Crisp, and Oatmeal Cookie Crisp. In the commercials, with one wave of his wand, Cookie Jarvis magically turned cereal bowls into cookie jars, usually chanting rhyming incantations along with it.
Eventually, Cookie Jarvis was phased out in favor of a new mascot, the Cookie Crook (1981–1997). The Cookie Crook was an anti-hero mascot who often attempted to steal the Cookie Crisp. He had a comb mustache, and wore a red chef’s hat with cookies all over it. He also wore a purple shirt, and a black mask that covered his face and nose.
The introduction of the Cookie Crook was followed by another new character: Officer Crumb (1982–1997). Officer Crumb (sometimes known simply as the Cookie Cop) was a police officer who was always trying to thwart the Cookie Crook's attempts to steal the Cookie Crisp. He was dressed in a standard blue police uniform, and had a big nose, a thick brown mustache, and a unibrow hanging over his eyes. He spoke in an Irish accent and was often a diminutive character. At first, he was portrayed as a bit of a dupe who was always foiled by the Cookie Crook, but eventually it was decided that having a criminal constantly thwarting a police officer was sending the wrong message to kids. As such, for the majority of their tenure as mascots, Officer Crumb would emerge the victor, repeatedly preventing the Crook from stealing the cereal. A typical ad would begin with the Cookie Crook attempting to steal the cereal from a live-action breakfast table; often he and Officer Crumb were portrayed as no larger than mice, so their pictures on the cereal bowl were “life size". The Crook would have some new gadget or scheme to steal the cereal, but then the Officer would arrive and save the kid’s cereal in the nick of time. Despite his heroics, Officer Crumb was a secondary character; the ever-failing Cookie Crook remained the cereal's main mascot. Eventually, the format of the ads changed to full animation, and the duo was portrayed as the size of normal humans. A more slapstick approach (similar to Looney Tunes) was used in these commercials.
In the early 1990s, the Cookie Crook was given a sidekick named Chip the Dog. Chip would howl the cereal's name ("Coo-oooooooooookie Crisp!"). In each ad before he and his master were inevitably foiled by Officer Crumb. Despite starting as a sidekick, Chip soon began getting larger parts in the ads, until finally, in 1997, he took over as the main mascot for the cereal, and the Cookie Crook and Officer Crumb were dropped altogether. In the new format of the ads, Chip was a friendly pooch (no longer wearing a mask) who offered Cookie Crisp to a group of kids. Typically an adult would interfere on the grounds that cookies are not breakfast food, including Officer Crumb in one of the earliest of these ads, but they would change their minds once Chip gave them a taste of his cereal.
In 2006, Chip was radically redesigned, gaining a change in both attitude and species. He is now Chip the Wolf (originally known as a Howler), a slim gray wolf in a red sweater and blue pants. His new design seems to have come with a change back to his criminal ways—the new ads generally depict him fruitlessly attempting to steal Cookie Crisp from children, just like the Cookie Crook, using various schemes (in these ads, he describes the cereal as well, "It looks like chocolate chip cookies. Tastes like 'em too. But it's a breakfast cereal!"). In this respect, he is much like cereal mascots such as the Trix rabbit or the children in the advertisements for Lucky Charms. In this incarnation he is voiced by Marc Silk.
In 2007, a double chocolate flavored variety of Cookie Crisp was introduced, titled Double Chocolate Cookie Crisp.
In July 2009, Cookie Crisp Sprinkles were introduced. They are vanilla cookies with small sprinkles on them. The cereal is said to be gluten free.
In some foreign boxes of Cookie Crisp, the mascot is a panther who is light grey in color and wears Chip’s clothing. The panther resembles a mix between Bagheera and the Pink Panther. His team consists of him, The Trix Rabbit, Koko (a brown koala), Stars (an astronaut bear), and Snow (a polar bear) who represent other cereals.
In Summer 2009, Nestle released new packaging for the UK version of Cookie Crisp with sprinkles.