Saturday, June 11, 2016

Chew On This

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.

Hi-Bouncing Ball
"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:

I remember buying these frequently in grade school.  We played a game at recess that was simply someone throwing a superball as hard as they could against the brick gym building and then trying to be the one to catch it just so you could then be the next to throw it.  We were easily amused.  Man, I lost a lot of balls on the roof of that gym.

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.


  1. Those are really cool. That last one looks more like a Robotech knockoff. :)

    1. Thanks, Erick, I knew it was knockoff of something, couldn't put my finger on it. Those Japanese cartoons were just a little after my cartoon viewing period

    2. Looking at some images, I'd have to agree, they are Robotech knockoffs. Updated accordingly.

  2. These are absolute works of art! Thank you for purchasing, preserving and sharing them. So many of these are from the same era as my childhood, too. I think the French-burnt peanuts and Grr-ape are my favorites. There's so much cool stuff going on with the typography, too.


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