Ok, this is supposed to be a list of the five favorite candies and toys, memorabilia, or pop culture items that they don’t make anymore, but I just couldn’t limit it to only five. So, the following is a list of 10 favorites from my childhood, I just didn’t have the heart to leave any of my favorite out.
Quisp, Count Chocula and BooBerries Cereals
I have to start this with my all time favorite cereals. originally released in 1965 by The Quaker Oats Company, Quisp was a ufo-flying saucer-shaped sugar-sweetened breakfast cereal, with a great commercial- very Rocky and Bullwinkle type. Count Chocula, Frankenberry and BooBerries were the General Mills monster cereals and were always a hit at our house. Believe me, breakfast cereal was a very big deal in our house. As kids, we’d fight over this more than any other one thing, (even more than which cartoons to watch, but of course Bugs Bunny & Loony Tunes always won out- now they have creepy Teletubbies and strange scary characters that I wouldn’t let my 13 year old niece watch), but back to the point here, Quisp cereal…remember that? With the cool martian on the front of the box? It was so good, and I was heartbroken when they took it off the shelves. Same goes with Count Chocula and BooBerries Cereals…man, they were so good, and wham! Just like that they ripped them off the shelves. God only knows why…actually, I’m afraid to ask why, maybe it was some creepy ingredient that made all the kids want to eat it. You can see one of the ads on Youtube now, see it here, you’ll definitely laugh. I found a quote that pretty much sums it up, “When the flakes were gone, and only a slurry of wheat-flavored sucrose and milk was left, I would drink it for the final satisfaction.” Yeah.
Pop Rocks candy was one of my favorite candies from the 1970s that exploded in your mouth. Pop Rocks rocked! The bubble gum flavor was the best, but we always got in trouble trying to eat it in school because of the effect in had sizzling and popping as soon as it hit your mouth. Ahh, memories of rebellion. I don’t quite remember exactly when they took Pop Rocks off the shelves, but teachers from all across America probably joined together to have the candy banned for all the disruptions it caused in their classes.
Bazooka Bubble Gum
Yeah, the original , that’s been around since the 1930s, but was always a huge hit in our house. My Grandfather would always give us some if we were good, so we always tried our best. My brother and I would trade jokes from each piece which featured a comic of Bazooka Joe and his gang, and they were actually pretty good jokes too. I remember Grandpa cracking a smile and even a few laughs would escape from his usual sour-puss whenever we’d read the Bazooka Joe jokes.
Real Candy Cigarettes
Of course I have to include the real old-fashioned candy cigarettes, not the “politically correct” candy stix they make now, but the old-time ones with the red tips on the end that come in boxes that look just like packages of cigarettes. Candy cigarettes were first made in 1915, but were still a hit with all the kids trying to be just like the adults. My brother and I loved “smoking” these and pretending to be like Dad. We thought we were so grown up puffing away on these, but it never lasted long, we’d eat them up faster than he’d go through a pack of his real cigarettes. It’s probably a good thing thing they changed these though, God knows we don’t need any more mothers shaking their heads in disgust at their children smoking cigarettes at 7 years old.
And how could I forget the old-fashioned Clark Bar. They just don’t make ’em like this anymore, real chocolate-covered peanut butter crunch, that had a much better peanut butter flavor than the Butterfinger does now. Clark bars have been around since 1917, but we enjoyed them all through our childhood until they took them off the shelves and stopped making them.
Fruit Stripe Gum
Oh, and who could forget the crazy Fruit Stripe Gum? A big pack with 17 sticks of multi-fruit-flavored gum that had crazy colorful zebra stripes and even included wash-off zebra tattoos on each wrapper. Fun times! We loved this gum as kids, and had a blast with the zebra tatoos. We really thought we were cool smacking away on the fruity gum. The only problem was the flavors were great, but they just didn’t last very long. Most likely that’s why it was taken off the shelves.
Glow worm dolls, well, I can’t say I ever actually had one, but all my friends did and I begged Mom for one for years (ok, maybe for months), but these snuggly light-up cuties were on all little girls Christmas list back in the mid-70s. The song in the advertisement was enough to get any little kid in a tizzy begging their parents for one. If I ever find one of these, I’m definitely buying it.
I couldn’t have a complete list without including Stretch Armstrong. My brother got one of these amazing stretchy toy guys for Christmas one year, and we both ended up having more fun with him than you’d ever imagine. We really stretched poor “Stretch” to his limits! And after a few weeks of playing with him, (or maybe it was a few days, who remembers?) my brother and I decided we needed to do surgery on him to figure out how he stretched so far. So we sliced him open with an xacto knife we pilfered from Mom’s craft box. He oozed and “bled” for hours and we couldn’t , no matter how hard we tried, glue his cuts back together again. Poor Stretch was never the same. Memories!
There were smurfs in there somewhere too, and I was addicted to those cute little blue guys. It started from a Saturday morning TV cartoon, and turned into a super franchise, smurfs were on every kid’s list in the 80s. I must have had every tiny replica of every smurf, even Gargamel and his cat, and of course, Papa Smurf, Brainy Smurf (my fave), and one they couldn’t live without, Smurfette. I’ve even heard that they’re doing a movie about the Smurfs, wow, they really are running out of material in Hollywood aren’t they? Check out the trailer for The Smurfs on IMDB.com . The one thing that bothers me about the Smurfs is that there was only ONE girl smurf (Smurfette) in the whole group of them…don’t you think that’s a bit odd? I used to want to be her, surrounded by all those men trying to impress me, but now when I think about it…it’s a bit disturbing. I would miss my girlfriends! Plus, it would be horrible being surrounded by only men, I’d probably have a breakdown, that is if the other 100 smurfs didn’t already molest, pillage and pilfer everything from the only woman on the block. Oh the horror!
Barbie & Ken
Ok, they still make these, but I HAD to include them because the old cliche is really pertinent to this one…. they just don’t make them like they used to ! Barbie and Ken were the “it” couple when I was growing up, and having the airplane, the corvette, the house and all the stylish clothes were a must. We even went as far as making play dough food and toys for them. The tiny McDonalds hamburgers and little pizzas were fun to make. Our Barbies (and Kens) had it made. They were so sturdy back then, but apparently not sturdy enough because my brother got mad at me about something or other and ripped poor Barbie’s head off. So of course I freaked out and had to retaliate. So I took his G.I. Joe, poured lighter fluid all over him and lit him on fire. He melted into a camouflage puddle. Ahhh…memories, those were the days.
Check out the picture I put together of many of my favorite retro candy, cereal, and toys from days gone by.
What were some of your favorites from long ago?
youtube; Quisp cereal
Count Chocula commercial; http://wn.com/70s_*Count_Chocula*_Cereal_Commercial
The Smurfs on IMDB.com
Nostalgic candy; http://www.nostalgiccandy.com