Buzz, also known as the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee, is the mascot the Honey Nut Cheerios cereal by General Mills. He was first introduced in 1979, alongside the Honey Nut Cheerios cereal. The bee did not have a name until 2000, when Kristine Tong, a fifth -grade student from Coolidge, Texas, won a national contest to name the bee, dubbing him "BuzzBee". The name was later shortened to Buzz, which was the submission that took second place in the contest. Buzz has also gone through several different voice actors in his career. He was originally voiced by Arnold Stang until 1992. He was then voiced by Billy West and Charlie Schlatter. as of 2015, Buzz is currently voiced by Jason Marsden.
History with the Macy's Parade
While the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee was still in the conceptual phase, General Mills feared that the character would be too commercial to make the cut. Then-Parade leader Jean McFadden confirmed that a year or two before then, the balloon would have been rejected due to the lack of personality. However, by the time of the 1999 Parade, the honey-loving bee had developed a personality.
The Honey Nut Cheerios Bee would later make his Parade debut that same year in 1999, to celebrate Honey Nut Cheerios' 20th anniversary. The balloon measured 37.2 feet tall, 33.5 feet wide, and 60 feet long, with a volume of 15,000 cubic feet of helium. He also became the first and only-ever bee balloon in the Parade's history, as well as the first-ever cereal mascot balloon (if one doesn't count Linus the Lionhearted, as Linus was created as a balloon due to his TV series and not his cereal brand itself). Additionally, the balloon would appear on the back of Honey Nut Cheerios boxes at that time.
Birthday Buzz Bee
In 2001, the balloon was given a special birthday tuxedo in honor of Cheerios' 60th anniversary, which was created by a handful of third graders from Beeville, Texas. After his flight that year, he was retired from the Parade, and a new balloon of the character has yet to be created.
- In 1999, when he made his debut, his antennas were down due to the rain.
- In 2000, his left antennas were slightly bent.
Listed below are the music tracks that played during the balloon's appearances on the NBC telecast.
- "Flight of the Bumblebee", Instrumental (1999-2001)
- In the mid-90s, Cheerios started looking at developing the Buzz Bee balloon. There was just one problem--Parade organizers didn't think he had enough of a personality to be recognizable, and later confirmed that if a formal application had been made, it would have been rejected. The cereal brand developed the character more, and by 1999, BuzzBee was deemed worthy of flying in the Parade.