Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas from Willy Wonka!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas yesterday!

I wanted to share these old candy boxes with you for the holiday. These jawbreakers from Willy Wonka are mini versions called Christmas Gobstoppers. They are from 1991.

Christmas Gobstoppers - 1991

When I found them, the boxes were still full, though I have no intent of eating 19 year old candy! The previous owner had used them back then to make Christmas ornaments. Here's a picture of one as I found them.

Gobstoppers Sled - 1991

For sake of comparison, here's a more modern holiday-themed Gobstoppers box. I saved this box of Gobstopper Snowballs during Christmas of 2006.

Everlasting Gobstoppers

They still make Gobstopper Snowballs. I found them in larger sized boxes this year. The packages have been redesigned and no longer feature the cool Gobstopper mascots. Hopefully the folks at Wonka will correct that next year.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Fruit Of The Month - #8: Orange Julius / Orange Owen?

Here's my Fruit Of The Month post for December 2010 -- a festive little fruit mascot from Orange Julius!

This electronic coupon arrived in my inbox today in advance of my birthday this month. I take any opportunity I get to enjoy an Orange Julius, though that means a trip to the dreaded shopping mall. Still, I'll be cashing in on this coupon in the near future.

Orange Julius Coupon

You can sign up for OJ Quench Club and get one for yourself. You'll see the orange guy again here, where you can sign up.

Digging a little further on the Orange Julius website, I came across the "Fun Fingers" game. See the screenshot below which shows a different, animated orange character named Owen!

So maybe the birthday orange is Owen, too. Maybe not, but both oranges make for a fun little discovery this month.

Thanks to Julius Freed for inventing this delicious, frosty, fruit drink. I'll have one in my hands again in a few days.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fruit Of The Month - #7: Mr. Sketch Markers

Here's my Fruit Of The Month post for November 2010 -- a whole host of fruit friends from Mr. Sketch water color markers!

Technically, this product is not a fruit, of course, though most of the markers are fruit scented. A few are non-fruits, as you'll see. The Sanford company made this Mr. Sketch box in 1998. Sanford was nice enough to give us a mascot for each scent, making this piece a real bonanza of advertising mascots!

Here's the box front:

Mr. Sketch - 1998

Here's the box back:

Mr. Sketch - 1998

Here are close-ups of the mascots from the box back:

Mr. Sketch - 1998

The scents are Licorice, Cherry, Blueberry, Mint, Mango, Apple, Melon, Orange, Lemon, Grape, Cinnamon and Raspberry.

There are some other groovy, non-fruit, Mr. Sketch varieties shown on the box back. Big thumbs up for the great soap mascot!

Mr. Sketch - 1998

I don't have much information on the history of these. I believe this box style goes back to the early 1990s. The Sanford company was absorbed by the Newell Company in 1992, which is now called Newell Rubbermaid.

This box design from 1998 is obsolete, though I don't know when it was re-designed. The current box has only one mascot - the watermelon guy, which you can see here.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Jack in the Box - Haunted House

Happy Halloween!

Here's a fun paper premium from Jack in the Box restaurants in 1971. It's a haunted house. You open the perforated doors and punch-out the character strips and put them behind so you can see the characters through the doors.

We can see early versions of their 1970s mascots on the character strips. There's Jack, of course, along with Small Fry, Hamburger Meister, the Onion Ring Thing, Secret Sauce and the Shakes (Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry).

Jack in the Box - 1971

Jack in the Box serves hauntingly good food supernaturally fast!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fruit Of The Month - #6: Rascals Candy

Here's my Fruit Of The Month feature for October 2010 -- four fruit friends collectively known as Rascals, as in Rascals candy.

I have this old candy bag from 1989. At the time, Rascals candies were made by Warner-Lambert. These fruit-shaped candy bits were likely intended to compete directly against Willy Wonka's Runts candy.

Rascals Candies - 1989

Here are close-ups of the four mascots -- a Native American styled apple (or is that a cherry?), a punching orange, a silly strawberry and a swimming watermelon.

Rascals Candy Mascot

Rascals Candy Mascot

Rascals Candy Mascot

Rascals Candy Mascot

I don't remember ever eating these, but I did enjoy Willy Wonka Runts, and still do.

Here's an old Rascals commercial at Retro Junk.

Rascals are now made by Concord Confections, and I found a current image this page. The mascots have been changed, but still look like a lot of fun.

If you know more about Rascals, please let me know. I haven't found much else. I'm guessing they were created in the 1980s. We'll have to wait for more information to surface.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fruit Of The Month - #5: Top Crop Blueberries

September is here and it's time for the Fruit Of The Month announcement.

Recently I enjoyed this delicious package of blueberries from Top Crop. With many choices of fruits to eat, you can bet that I'm going for the one with the cool mascot on the label! This little guy is an anthropomorphic blueberry wearing a top hat and holding a cane.

I contacted the fine folks at Top Crop to get more information about their mascot. While he does not have an official name, he's often referred to as "Toppy" or "TC". They were very kind to send me an awesome Top Crop t-shirt and a keychain!

Toppy / TC is also featured on the company's website: Top Crop

This mascot evokes memories of the beloved Fruit Pie The Magician from Hostess fame. He's "No Ordinary Berry" indeed. Well done, Top Crop!

Top Crop Blueberries

Here are the front and back sides of the t-shirt:

Top Crop Blueberries

Top Crop Blueberries

Here is the keychain:

Top Crop Blueberries

And I can't forget the envelope these arrived in:

Top Crop Blueberries

Here's another in-store mascot photo courtesy of Donio / Top Crop.

Big thanks to Top Crop for the goodies and permission to use the in-store mascot photos!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's National Waffle Day!

Yes, that's correct -- today is National Waffle Day in the United States! This day marks the date of the first U.S. patent for a waffle iron. Cornelius Swarthout gets credit for that.

In celebration, I scanned in a few images from a 16mm commercial reel I have. It's a spot for Aunt Jemima frozen waffles from the late 1960s or early 1970s. Our old friends Wallace the Waffle Whiffer and Professor Goody are at it again!

Wallace smells waffles cooking and starts to react...

Waffle Whiffer

Entranced, Wallace flies right through the window at Professor Goody's house...

Waffle Whiffer

Professor Goody thinks about sharing his delicious waffles...

Waffle Whiffer

Oh the anticipation...

Happy National Waffle Day!

Professor Goody tries to set some ground rules...

Waffle Whiffer

I don't think Wallace was really paying attention...

Waffle Whiffer

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fruit Of The Month - #4: Chewy Extinguisher

Here's my Fruit Of The Month post for August 2010.

From the American Licorice Company in 2008 here's a box of Chewy Extinguisher candy, sour citrus variety. They treated us to four fun fruit mascots on this box -- Tangy Tangerine, Sour Lemon, Super Sour Lime and Berry Sweet Relief!

Along with the fun characters this was an easy grab for me because I really enjoy any kinds lime and tangerine candies. Apparently you're supposed to be so shocked by the sourness of the orange, yellow and green candies that you've got to down a blue one for some relief.

I assumed these would be outrageously sour, but they were actually rather mild. Still it was some very good candy and a delightful box!

See more of these guys at

Chewy Extinguisher

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fruit Of The Month - #3: McDonald's Maine Blueberries

Here's my Fruit Of The Month post for July 2010. (Sorry I missed June!)

The month we're going back to the late 1990s to enjoy these fine little Maine Wild Blueberry mascots from McDonald's. This is a promotional button worn by employees of McDonald's in Maine during blueberry season.

I'm told that they offered Maine blueberry pies and blueberry pancakes -- and possibly other items. This came to me from a lady who worked there at the time. Sounds delicious!

McDonald's Wild Blueberries

See you back here in August with the next Fruit Of The Month!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

This Hostess baseball card album is from 1976. It seemed like a patriotic choice to post on Independence Day. Have a great 4th of July!

Hostess Baseball Bicentennial

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Fruit Of The Month - #2: Mr. Melon

The Fruit Of The Month for May 2010 is none other than Mr. Melon!

Mr. Melon was a candy made by the Ferrara Pan candy company. Not surprisingly, it was watermelon flavored. Mr. Melon himself was a friendly little fellow, smiling and waving right on the box, inviting shoppers to pick up a box by the checkout stand.

This box is from 1985 and still full of vintage candy. I have no plans of eating it, of course, but wanted to photograph it for posterity. 

I don't know much more about Mr. Melon. When was he first created? How long was he on the market? Questions to be answered. Please post a comment if you have information to share.

For now, we'll just enjoy these photos and soak in some watermelon goodness.

Mr. Melon - 1985

Mr. Melon - 1985

Stay tuned for next month's Fruit Of The Month post!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Allen Swift (1924-2010)

Allen Swift (1924-2010)

The sad news broke recently that the amazing Allen Swift passed away last week at the age of 86.

He was born as Ira Stadlen, and later changed his name to Allen Swift for show business. His talents were as numerous as his credits. For me, it was his work as a voice actor in cartoons and myriad commercials that cemented his legacy.

Some of his work included Leonardo / Total Television productions, voicing many characters in the King Leonardo, Tooter Turtle and Underdog cartoons. Simon Bar Sinister set a high mark for cartoon villains in the 1960s.

Especially near to my heart was his voice work in the many Hostess commercials of the 1970s, as he audibly brought to life both Twinkie the Kid and Captain Cupcake. Those animated snack cakes, often performing heroic feats to provide treats to kids everywhere, still  live on in the memories of so many kids of the 1970s and 1980s.

Listen to the voice of Simon Bar Sinister in this Underdog clip (posted on YouTube by ReturnofLatinPupE), and compare it to the voice of Captain Cupcake in the Hostess commercial below (posted by rubberducky7171).

Rest In Peace. (NY Times obituary)

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!

I want to wish everyone a very Happy Easter today!

Here's a fun bag of Pixy Stix Green Grass from the folks at Wonka. Fresh off the shelf and ready to be consumed. The Oompa Loompas are dressed as rabbits and appear to be eating into the company's profits.

Easter Pixy Stix

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Fruit Of The Month - #1: Weight Watchers Fruit Snacks

Today I'm starting a new segment on the blog called Fruit Of The Month. At or around the beginning of each month, I'll showcase a fruit related advertising mascot or item.

Please try to contain your excitement. :-)

For the inaugural Fruit Of The Month segment for April 2010 is this delightful ad from back in April 1977. These lovable apple, peach and strawberry mascots were used on packages of Weight Watchers Fruit Snacks. What a treat!

Weight Watchers Fruit Snacks - 1977

Someone missed out on saving 15 cents on their next purchase.

Weight Watchers Fruit Snacks - 1977

Stay tuned for the next exciting Fruit Of The Month feature in May!

blog make-over

I'm enjoying the new "Blogger in draft" templates, which are highly customizable. I've re-designed the blog including a new header. There may be some more changes coming up, but this is what I like so far.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

International Waffle Day 2010

That's right! Today, March 25, is International Waffle Day.

The holiday originated in Sweden as VĂ„ffeldagen. For Christians it marks 9 months before Christmas and the day that Archangel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary that she was pregnant. It also generally marks the beginning of spring. Swedes celebrate by making waffles!

Here's a Roman Meal waffles ad from 1980:

Roman Meal Waffles - 1980

I got an e-mail from Monica at Konnect Public Relations this week, and she shared with me an ingenious recipe for "Bacon 'N' Batter Blaster Waffles". I haven't had Batter Blaster before, but I will need to give this a try soon! Here's the recipe she gave me:

Bacon 'N' Batter Blaster Waffle


-1 Can of Batter Blaster

-2 Strips of Bacon per waffle

-1 Waffle Iron

-1 Paper Towel


Take two strips of bacon and lay them across each square of the heated waffle iron. Close the iron and let the bacon cook and sizzle until almost done. Once finished, take a paper towel and very lightly clean any excess grease from the iron (make sure to leave some inside). Spray Batter Blaster into the waffle iron and let it cook together with the bacon. Take out the finished product and cover with syrup or other desired toppings. Enjoy!

The Outcome:

A delicious bacon-infused waffle! The best of both worlds, the Bacon 'N' Batter Blaster Waffle fuses the taste and texture of a waffle with the added savory flavors of a crisp piece of bacon.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day at McDonald's

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here's an old coupon card from a Kansas McDonald's restaurant in 1976. You could punch out the shamrock to wear and cash in the coupon for some free McDonaldland Cookies.

The happy little leprechaun seems to be enjoying a Shamrock Shake, while ready to smoke that pipe in his other hand.

McDonald's Leprechaun

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Funny Face Cartoon Update

I wanted to take a few minutes to pass along some updates on the Funny Face cartoon series project. (A little background here if you're not familiar with it.)

Lefty Lemonade

While the project is still going strong, there are no specifics on when it might appear on TV. There are a number of interesting updates however:

1) McDonald's -- The team is working with McDonald's to get some air time on their in-restaurant televisions. Many newer McDonald's have screens inside which show a variety of content, typically aimed at kids. The exposure could be 30 restaurants or so, likely on the West Coast.

2) Plush Toys and T-Shirts -- It is expected to have a deal signed soon to produce plush toys and t-shirts of our favorite little Funny Face friends. I would imagine these being very popular among adults who loved Funny Face long ago and want to pass along the fun to their kids.

3) Food Marketing -- There have been discussions with an unnamed company to produce a healthy snack pack for kids which would use the Funny Face name. How cool would it be to see Goofy Grape and friends back on store shelves, even if not in drink mix format!

4) Daily Motion -- The team has an official site on Daily Motion, which is like YouTube, showing some of the cartoon shorts that they've produced. It's a good sampling of what to expect from the series. The shorts are just fantastic in every way! I encourage everyone to visit the site (click here), sign up on Daily Motion, post positive comments and help spread the word.

Here's an embedded Daily Motion jukebox with some samples (Flash plugin required).

As you can see, the project is very promising in many ways to revamp our beloved Funny Face characters!

For now I'll leave you with this vintage Choo Choo Cherry canister label from the mid 1970s. (Click through to see a larger version on Flickr.) Certainly these updates will leave everyone, uh, thirsting for more!

Choo Choo Cherry Label

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olympic Fruit Pie Fever!

With the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics beginning, I thought this would be a nice tribute to the games that we'll enjoy over the next few weeks.

This Hostess Fruit Pie wrapper is from 1983, promoting a contest for a trip to the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. Our pal Fruit Pie The Magician is in his rightful spot, waving his wand to make that contest logo appear out of thin air, covering up the customary blueberries. Poof!

Looking at the runner-up prizes on the back, I'm certainly curious about the 5,000 4th place prizes -- coupons for free Fruit Pies! Though I'll probably will never find one, I like to imagine it was something spectacular looking with the Magician on it. Ah, maybe one will turn up some day...

If you come across any other fruit pie wrappers, drop me an e-mail. I'd love to see them and know what's out there.

Olympic (Pie) Fever!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

King Ding Dong shirts at Target!

I enjoy all of the retro t-shirts that have been on the market in recent years, especially those featuring advertising characters. Last week I was shopping at Target and popped over to the men's department to see if they had any new shirts.

And oh boy, it was my lucky day!

"Zoinks!" I said as I discovered these new Hostess Ding Dongs t-shirts featuring the honorable King Ding Dong. Fortunately the department was void of customers and my outburst did not cause a scene. In my own way, I had just won the lottery.

King Ding Dong t-shirts are out!

It's such a joy to find things like this. It's been 40 years since King Ding Dong was introduced as spokes-cake for Ding Dongs, well over 25 years since he was last on product boxes and a few years removed from the Hostess Cakes website. This is officially licensed by Hostess and dated 2010.

Naturally, I bought one to wear and will get another to save as-is. I sure hope this trend continues and that we'll see more shirts featuring the old mascots we used to know and love so much.

Hail to The King, from this loyal, sweet-toothed subject!
[:::] Thanks for visiting my blog. Older articles can be found in my Blog Archive.