Friday, May 05, 2006

Punchy from Hawaiian Punch

"How about a nice Hawaiian Punch?" --- A question that has been asked since the 1960s when Punchy hit the commercial airwaves pitching for Hawaiian Punch fruit drink.

I think it was always more of a statement than a question, because when he said that phrase, you knew the poor tourist sap was going to get popped.

Good times!

The Hawaiian Punch brand has been around for over 40 years. I believe Punchy arrived in the mid to late 1960s, and he's been around ever since -- appearing on commercials, powdered drink packets, drink cans and assorted premiums.

The "tourist", whose answer to the famous question was always "Sure!", was named either Oaf or Opie. (I've heard both). Anyway his main function was to take the beating from Punchy. I think the tourist has been gone since the 1980s, or so, when some sensitive types probably complained about the violence.

Hawaiian punch came in several different forms (juice, powder, flavor crystals) and flavors (regular, cherry, grape, lemonade, pineapple, etc.) over the years. Pictured above is an original animation cel introducing the pineapple flavor. Of course in the regular, traditional flavor of Hawaiian Punch "you taste seven kinds of fruit..." according to the old jingle.

Several premiums were given away over the years from Hawaiian Punch. Here are a few that I've seen:
  • Hawaiian Punch Board Game (1978)
  • Popsicle Molds (1970s)
  • Wristwatch (at least 3 different ones)
  • Punchy-shaped drinking cup (1980s?)
  • Yo-Yo (1990s)
  • Beach Towels
  • Frisbee
  • Punchy Radio (1970s)
  • Figural Punchy Keychains (1990s)
  • Pogs (1980s?)
  • Mr. Mixit Drink Dispenser (1970s)
  • Canned Wizzer Top (1970s)
  • Greeting Cards (1987)
  • Birthday Party Book (1976)
  • Plush Punchy Dolls (2 different: 1969, 1985?)
Here are a few more pictures:

The yellow Punchy figure above is a super-cool hard-plastic game piece that came with the 1978 board game. They came in 4 different colors (yellow, pink, orange and blue) to represent the different flavors at that time. I wonder if the figures were given away separately in addition to coming in the board game. Who knows?

Well, Punchy is alive and well today, and even has his own official website. Keep on punchin'! (Official Hawaiian Punch Website)
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