M&M’s Are So Sporty!

May 1986

Masters of the Universe #1

M&M’s are a classic candy that has been around for generations. The colors shown here are the ones I remember growing up: orange, yellow green, light brown, and dark brown. I remember red being added (and upon looking it up, that was in 1987), but apparently red had already been used from 1960-1976, until people started to believe that red dyes caused cancer. I still think of the blue ones as the “new” M&M’s, and still think they look out of place, but apparently they’ve been around since 1995!

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Fun fact: Did you know that Steven Spielberg originally wanted to use M&M’s in the movie E.T., but Mars turned him down? So instead he approached Hershey, which was more than happy to have Reese’s Pieces featured in the film!

 

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I’d Trade a Frantic Family for a KitKat! Or for a Regular Cat…

January 1998

Thunderbolts #10

KitKats have always been one of my favorite candy bars, so I’m excited to finally be posting an ad for them! And in a historical note: This ad features a kid taking a selfie – long before selfies were a thing!

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This one is done in the style of a Mad Magazine fold-in – but who wants to fold up and crease their classic comic books?! Well, thanks to the magic of photo editing software, I’m able to show you the finished result without having to harm my book:

1998-01_KitKat_P2

 

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Actually, It’s a JPEG

May 1986

Masters Of The Universe #1

Unscramble the letters? But the first one is already a perfectly cromulent word: GIF! Could this possibly be the first-ever use in print of that term??

Just for fun, I looked up anagrams for the rest of them. It turns out that “apple” can be rearranged to “pepla,” which is the plural of “peplum,” which is essentially a type of toga, so… toga-flavored Newtons! I couldn’t find any good anagrams for “cherry,” but for blueberry, take your pick: beery blur, blurry bee, burly beer, lube berry, or rubber lye (or several other options, but the ones listed seemed like the best)! Hmm… given those options, I think I’d have to go with lube berry…

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I’ve always thought that choosing fig as their go-to flavor was kind of an odd move. I did a little research, and I found a little info on its origin (apparently eating fruit and biscuits were considered good for health, and this was a convenient solution that included both), I couldn’t find any info on why figs specifically were chosen over other flavors that may have been more popular/appealing. Maybe figs were just “in” back in the 1890s?

I was actually surprised at just how little information seems to be out there on such an iconic snack – even from the brand’s own website! We all know that fig is the original flavor, and according to an ad I posted earlier, apple had already been introduced by 1985. This ad introduces cherry and blueberry, so we know those were new for 1985/’86. Apparently the current fruit lineup is: fig, blueberry, strawberry, and mixed berry. So I’m not sure at what point apple and cherry disappeared, or when strawberry and mixed berry were introduced (and I’m sure no one besides me really cares anyway!).

 

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Oreos! In!! Space!!!

May 1986

Masters Of The Universe #1

This is one of my favorite types of ads from my childhood – one that includes some kind of game or activity rather than just telling you to buy something. Though I’m not really sure why this maze is set in outer space…

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Fun (or not) behind-the-scenes CBA fact: I usually try to get my ads as straight as possible when scanning them, and then make minor corrections (if needed) with software before posting. Well, I had one hell of a time with this one, because LOOK AT THE BORDERS ON THIS THING! No matter how I did it, it still looked crooked… and then I realized that the borders of the ad itself were crooked (sigh).

 

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Clark (Kent?) Bars

January 1978

Secret Society of Super-Villains #12

I don’t know about you, but I’m not very familiar with Clark Bars. I might have seen them around when I was really little, but I don’t remember ever eating them, and I certainly haven’t seen any recently.

1978-01_ClarkBars_P

I’d just assumed that these went out of production years ago, which is why I was so surprised to find out that these are still in production today (and have been in continuous production since 1917)! Maybe it’s a regional thing? Or maybe they’re only available from places that sell specialty/retro candy?

Does anyone out there ever see any of these candy bars at your local grocery or convenience stores? I’m curious to know…

 

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Satisfy Your Meat Tooth!

January 1978

Secret Society of Super-Villains #12

Now I get it! So, a while back I posted this ad for Slim Jims and was puzzled about the werewolf reference. After finding this ad, it all became clear: It must’ve been part of this ad campaign, with the advertisers assuming that you’d already seen this one, and would therefore associate Slim Jims with werewolves.

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Have a happy Halloween, everyone! And if a werewolf comes after you, just toss him a Slim Jim!

Tang Team!

March 1988

Visionaries #3

Here’s your chance to join the Tang soccer team… by sending in Tang labels. Hmm… that doesn’t seem like a very effective method of finding the best players.

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Then again, membership includes “Pelé’s best soccer tips,” so I guess maybe that helps the more mediocre players improve their game.

I don’t know about you, but “Tang brand breakfast beverage crystals” sounds way less appetizing than just “Tang” – I guess maybe that’s why you don’t normally hear the full, official name.