Snap, Crackle and Pop are all brothers and they are elves. They were adapted from Kellogg's radio ad and were first illustrated by Vernon Grant in 1933.
Snap is the oldest and is the problem solver, fixing what his two brothers create. Snap sports a chef's hat. Crackle is the fun-loving middle child. Crackle is also the leader of the group and the supposedly, smartest of the three. Crackle wears a red-and-white-striped hat. Pop is the jokester, youngest elf; Pop doesn’t take anything seriously and he wears a band leader's hat.
According to Mental Floss Magazine (2008) "A Second Helping of Cereal Facts" there was a fourth brother, Pow. - "In the 1950s, [Pow] was supposed to represent Rice Krispies’ explosive nutritional value. Sadly, four proved to be one cereal gnome too many, and Pow was given the pink slip."
I grew up on Rice Krispies, usually heaping three or four tablespoons of granulated sugar atop each bowl. I enjoyed the ads as a youngster, but who knows, maybe I would have enjoyed them 33% more had there been Pow...
Interestingly enough, the names Snap, Crackle, and Pop are changed from country to country in order to better fit into each culture, this process is called glocalization. Here are some of them (via the Wiki):
- Belgium - Pif! Paf! Pof!
- Canadian French - Cric! Crac! Croc!
- Denmark - Pif! Paf! Puf!
- Finland - Poks! Riks! Raks!
- Germany - Knisper! Knasper! Knusper!
- Holland - Pif! Paf! Pof!
- Italy - Pif! Paf! Pof!
- Mexico - Pim! Pum! Pam!
- Norway - Piff! Paff! Puff!
- South Africa - Knap! Knaetter! Knak!
- Sweden - Piff! Paff! Puff!
- Switzerland - Piff! Paff! Poff!
- United Kingdom - The mascots were portrayed, for a while, as cows instead of gnomes.
What's your favorite? - I like South Africa's...