From 1967 to 1971, Fritos were represented by the much maligned, but well-remembered Frito Bandito. That caricature became so etched into our minds that we almost forget that from 1952-1967, Fritos had a much more acceptable mascot, the Frito Kid. He was around well before my time, but when reading older publications I would stumble upon advertisements featuring this wonderful spokescharacter.
He was so popular he even made an appearance at Disneyland at the now defunct Casa de Fritos, which was a Mexican restaurant that was located in Frontierland. The Frito Kid mad an appearance and automated statue/vending machine. You put a nickel in the machine and got a delicious bag of Frito corn chips. I was very happy that the Frito Bandito was not given this job. Here is a pic of the Frito Kid in action:
I don’t think that the Frito Kid Statue talked, The Frito Kid did talk at Disneyland! (thanks to Michael from Progress City USA for this and you can see it in the comment below, but thought I would repeat it here)
“the Frito Kid at the Casa de Fritos *did* in fact talk. I don’t know if he was animatronic at all, but you can still find the audio track online. The Kid would order the bags of Fritos (“Another bag of Fritos, please!”) and someone named Klondike would send them down from the mine. Great stuff, though bizarre. I just want a time machine so I can go back and get Fritos for a nickel and Frito chili pie for .55!”
Michael was right and here is the Audio.
Listen to Frito the Kid in Disneyland
Great stuff and here is one of his classic commercial appearances from the late 1950s. So you can hear it with the animated little guy attached.
The Frito Kid – Gone, but not forgotten…