Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sugary Snacks Of The 80's And 90's



There's no explanation as to why some foods come and go, specifically when it comes to marketed foods for grocery stores.  Rather, it's an uneven balance of get it while you can.  As children of the 80's, we often times find ourselves yearning for those delicious sugary treats of the 80's and 90's, that like most cereals of that decade seemed to come and go quicker than the blink of an eye.  Candies, gum, pies, and drinks came in various shapes and sizes, and these are twelve of our favorite sugary snacks that sadly you just won't find these days.


Gum was huge in the 80's.  Like smoking cigarettes in the 1940's, you couldn't have a movie with teens if someone wasn't chewing on a piece at some point.

Gatorgum, from Fleer, combined the aspect of chewing gun with drinking liquid to quench your thirst.  It even boasted that it contained electrolytes.

Sadly, the gum never actually hydrated the chewer, but had some really great flavors to make up for it.  Each piece would start out sour, then turn sweet, and eventually form into the flavorless hunk of rubber that most gum turns into after ten to fifteen minutes of chewing.

Despite the large package, there were only five pieces of gum inside.

Personally, we liked Candilicous so much more than Starburst, but for some reason this chewy candy treat never took off in a big way as the latter did.  Candilicous were softer, chewier, and didn't have that "old" taste that Starburst have.

Much like Starburst, the flavors varied from your typical variety of berries, to your typical variety of tropical flavors.

For those of you who have the chance, check out the vintage commercials available on Youtube for these.  They could attribute to why the candy never took off as it appears that anyone who ate these would be sent into a hallucinogenic state full of colorful cartoons and freaky characters.  Perhaps when the candy failed to deliver on such a trip, people stopped buying it?
Mmm...Bonkers.  Another chewy candy which came in a variety of flavors, to and include chocolate.  Each piece contained a deliciously flavored outside, and boasted, "an even juicier inside!"

More popular than the candy itself was the commercials.  Each one featured an uptight kind of person who would unwillingly take a bite out of a piece of the candy, only to be knocked into a hysterical laughing fit by a large piece of falling fruit.  Unfortunately for the candy, the commercials seemed to be the only thing that kept them in the spotlight, and once the commercials stopped airing, the popularity of the candy waned until it became harder to find, and eventually was discontinued.

It's rumored that in 2013, Bonkers will return to stores.  Whether it's a limited time only, or a full time thing will probably depend on sales.

Dweebs were the offshoot of Nerds, from Willy Wonka.  However, unlike Nerds which are crunchy and sour, Dweebs were sweet and soft, and much more tastier in our opinion.

What made Dweebs even better was that rather than having only two flavors of candy inside the box like Nerds did, the box boasted three flavors of candy inside.  What's not to love about that?

Combine that with a box that contains squishy little blobs of fruit doing things such as roller skating, skateboarding and yo-yoing, and you have not only a great tasty treat, but one that's hip to the times!  Way radical!

Willy Wonka kicked up the sales of gobstoppers when they unleashed Dina Sour Eggs on unsuspecting children of the 80's.  Why suck on a hard piece of candy for hours when you can get one that lasts for days?

What made these eggs so unique was that as you sucked on them they would change in flavors and color as each layer dissolved away.  Once you got to the center, you were treated to a powdery burst of sweet flavor.  It was sugar at its best!  What kid wouldn't want that?

For less than a buck, you got about a week's worth of candy out of one egg.  That was quite the deal to your average child of the 80's who was happy to boast about their three dollar a week allowance.

We can't for the life of us understand why PBMax isn't around today.  It was one of the only candy bars out there that actually had real creamy peanut butter inside.  Much tastier when compared to your average Reese's Peanut Butter Cup which to this day still has very crumbly, dried out peanut butter inside.

Your average PBMax consisted of a whole grain cookie which was topped with peanut butter and oats, and then covered from top to bottom in chocolate.  In other words, it's what your average energy bar these days would be like if it was all about the sugar.

For some odd reason, the only reason that PBMax was discontinued was because the Mar's family didn't like peanut butter, and thus didn't want to produce and sell a candy that contained it.

White chocolate is the best!  Way better than milk or dark.  Unfortunately, this opinion seems to be limited to very few people as Nestle's Alpine White with Almonds failed miserably when it hit local shops.

Despite being around for the longest time, white chocolate was still a relatively new concept to most people, and many passed on it simply for that fact.  Others simply didn't like the flavor and consistency, as white chocolate tends to be creamier than milk chocolate.

Though many white chocolate candies are around these days, Nestle never brought back the Alpine White bar.  That's a real shame.

Take a light and delicious chocolate wafer, add chocolate filling, peanuts and caramel, then cover the whole beast in a delicious chocolate shell, and what do you get?  BarNone!

While this tasty candy bar fared well in its initial taste testing run in California, once it went global, it failed quite miserably.  It's a real shame, because BarNone bars have a lot going on for them, and despite being light in weight from the wafer inside, they were quite a hefty bit of candy to eat.

Though in 1997 Hershey ceased selling the BarNone in the United States, it's still fairly popular in Mexico, and still sold to these days there.

When the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles took off as household names in the 80's, so too did merchandising.  Not only did the iconic heroes in a half shell have several toys created after them, but also food.  Pizza, ice cream bars, and fruit snacks were just some (to name a few), but none were as tasty as the Hostess made Turtle Pies.

Hostess had already found great success in supermarkets selling various types of pies since the 1930's, and it was only natural that the company would use iconic images to stay current throughout the various decades.  The Ninja Turtles quickly became their new poster children...Er....Mutants.

Each pie contained a vanilla pudding filling with a green sugar coated crust.  Later versions reversed this process to have the inner filling green, and the pie a normal baked pie color.  This fell in line with the "ooze" concept from the second live action film.  Each pie also had a collectible sticker inside, and in later renditions a trading card.

Um.....Yummy!

WWF Superstars of Wrestling Bars were the best, and probably should have been illegal.  What you got here was an ice cream bar that held nothing back.  A layer of crisp cookie imprinted with your favorite wrestler, vanilla ice cream, and a thick layer of chocolate coating on the back of the vanilla side.  All of this conveniently packed on a stick for easy grubbing.

To make the ice cream even more appealing to kids, each box came with a collectible card on the back that could be cut out.  When a second series of cards were produced, they were packed inside of the box.  Today these cards are worth a small fortune.

Good Humor and WWF made a killing on this delicious treat, and it's a real surprise that neither company appears to have any interest in bringing it back.  For some areas, the local ice cream trucks are still very popular, and these would make a great novelty treat.

All these delicious treats above were awesome, but still needed something refreshing to wash them down with.  For that, one could turn to the equally delicious Ecto Cooler from Hi-C.

Despite the name, this drink wasn't all that bad.  In fact, it was simply a name change from a previous Hi-C drink, Shoutin' Orange Tangerine, which in and of itself was also a name change from the prior Crazy Citrus Cooler.  In short, Ecto Cooler was an orange drink.

What's interesting to note is that the drink itself was actually more popular than the animated The Real Ghostbusters cartoon in which it was based on, and went on to sell for more than a decade after the show ended - Even after the character, Slimer,  was removed from the box due to licensing coming to an end.
Last, but certainly not least, we come to the delicious, high sugar, great flavor Hubba Bubba Soda.  Believe it or not, this soda was never produced by the folks behind the gum, but rather was the brain child of Steve Roeder.  He had been tinkering with soda flavors using snow cone flavoring extracts, and essentially stumbled onto the concept of bubble gum soda.  Roeder and his long-time friend Larry Wilson contacted Wrigley, and purchased the rights to produce the soda under the Hubba Bubba name.  What really helped sales out was that the duo also managed to work a deal with Toys R' Us to sell the soda in their stores.

The concept of bubble gum flavored soda may be odd to some folks, but what's even odder to us is that the duo bothered to make a diet version.  What's the point?

Thanks for joining us for this look at some of our favortie treats of yesteryear.  We hope you saw some that you too remember fondly, and encourage you to leave a comment with your favorites if you didn't.

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