When I was little, we didn't have a lot of money for frivolities, and that included the bank of bubble gum and toy capsule machines in the breezeway of our local grocery store and the front entrance of the K-Mart we visited on occasion. But my sister and I would always stop and look at them and debate which machine we would choose if we did have some coins. With gumballs, you might not have known what color you were going to get, but you knew it was a gumball and its flavor would last about 15 seconds. More exciting to me were the toy capsule vending machines whose header cards displayed the possibilities held within its plastic bubbles. When we got older and had an allowance ($1 a week), we learned to stretch it far enough to get some comics, candy and even a trinket or gum from those magical vending wonders.
Yesterday I was at the estate sale of a person who had been a major bubble gum machine collector and had dozens of models from all eras. They were priced way out of my range, but I discovered bags of old header cards that were priced just right.
Leaf Rain-blo Bubble Gum
Sol Leaf founded his company in the 1920's and began producing Rain-blo gumballs in 1940. Leaf was bought out by the Swedish candy company Cloetta in 2012 and the Rain-blo division was sold to Ferrara Candy.
Leaf Rain-blo Centuries Bubble Gum
Leaf Baseball Bubble Gum
Leaf Baseball Giants Bubble Gum
Leaf Super Colossal Bubble Gum
Leaf Wild Grr-Ape Bubble Gum, 1981
Leaf Jumbo Grap Bubble Gum, 1981
Jumbo Bubble Gum, manufacturer unknown.
Remember, kids, don't carry your jumbo gumball over rickety rope bridges.
American Chewing Gum Big Shot Bubble Gum
American Chewing Gum Crazy Fruit Bubble Gum
Concord Confections Peachy Peach Bubble Gum
Concord Confections was bought out by Tootsie Roll Industries in 2004.
Concord Confections Watermelon Bubble Gum
Concord Confections Jelly Bean Bubble Gum
U.S. Chewing Gum U.S. Bubble Gum
I'm guessing this was a tie-in with the 1976 Bicentennial mania.
Standard Specialty Co. Atlas Jaw Breakers.
"Pat and Lyn" say, "They're Fresh" Good enough for me.
Leaf Flavor Burst Candy
Standard Specialty Company French Burnt Peanuts.
I love those things. "Frenchy" the Chef is giving the universal hand sign for "C'est magnifique!"
And now we move into the non-edibles.
"Fantastic Action Regardress Gravitation". I'm assuming they mean "Regardless of Gravitation" which I guess is saying no matter what planet you're on, it will bounce high? The artwork is a direct ripoff of Wham-O's Super-ball packaging:
Super Hi-Bouncing Ball, in case the regular Hi-bouncing Ball left you flat.
Official Comic Medals.
The look of evil on those kids' faces makes me wonder what horrid acts they will unleash on society after gaining public trust as medal awardees.
Plug In Beads. Make your own zoo? I think they were reaching just a little.
Henal Novelties & Premiums Iron-Ons Baseball Transfers
And finally, apparently there are no words to describe these Robotech knockoffs.