The friendly Rice Krispies cereal trio — Snap!, Crackle! and Pop! — were briefly a quartet.
The characters for the breakfast cereal were conceived by artist Vernon Grant. Only Snap appeared on the boxes at first starting in 1933, but he was joined by his two other gnomish (some would say the modern versions are more elfish) brothers by 1941. The trio had been in radio commercials together prior to being on boxes.
Watch this 1955 TV commercial showing the three brothers:
Now what of this fourth character, Pow?
Smithsonian Magazine, in a recent feature about lesser known gnome, reported that Pow made an appearance — only twice — in the 1950s.
“[Pow] appeared in two TV commercials,” Kellogs wrote in an email to the magazine. “The spaceman character was meant to exude the ‘power of whole grain rice.’ He was never considered an official character.”
In these two appearances, Smithsonian wrote, Pow arrives on scene in a what the company documents called a “helicopter,” but that the magazine likens more to what we in modern day would consider a “hovercraft.”
“Pow means power and power’s nice! Rice Krispies power from whole grain rice!,” the voice in the commercial said, according to Smithsonian Magazine. ”Now Pow doesn’t say much…he just goes ahead and does things…like putting power into every…lightweight spoonful of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies!”
Pow’s hovercraft-like arrival and space-helmet go back to a time when everything was focused on space travel. You can see images of Pow in the original story boards on Smithsonian Magazine’s post.
It is unclear why Pow didn’t appear more than these couple times.
As for his more long-lived brothers, Smithsonian Magazine reported “they remain the first and longest-running cartoon mascots to represent a Kellogg’s product.”
Another Rice Krispies fun fact: did you know the Rolling Stones created a song for the Kellogs brand:
Read Smithsonian Magazine for more about Pow, including images of the story boards for commercials in which he appeared.