The foil wrappers, introduced in 1947 in nickel form were mostly similar to this one on the outside, with some slight variation over the years, although the earliest ones didn't have the Parents Magazine seal:
They only sold nickel packs of Bazooka until mid-1949 when the penny tabs came out but I'm not addressing those in this post.
The oldest of these Shep offerings also Willard Mullin artwork, namely the 1950-ish Know Your Sports, which is also known as Sports Oddities in some circles. Behold the master:
Yes, that is a reference to the Harlem Rens in the lower right corner, who were founded before the more famous Globetrotters. It seems like the fact the team had been together 28 years when the comic was released would help date the issue but it's complicated. The Rens were founded in 1923 but had moved to Dayton, Ohio after the war, disbanding after the 1948-49 National Basketball League season when the NBL merged with another league to form the NBA (the NBL was integrated, the NBA would not be until their second season), so....I think Mullin jumped the gun and missed the team's dissolution. So it's 1950-ish for this one.
If you think that's one tough, here's an even tougher one, with two known comics having survived in the series. Topps obviously had an affinity for the bazooka!
The Bob Burns story can be found here and and the Topps Bazooka story has been covered here before. Click the links at right for a boatload of Bazooka posts if that one doesn't do it for you.
Pixie is from 1953 and hardly ever seen:
Lots to do there!
Last up is a late entry, namely an oddball from 1969 that harkens back to the originals of the 40's and 50's:
Love the discount sticker from Grant's!
Even the comic was a throw back, although Bazooka Joe had reigned supreme since his introduction in 1954 and the phasing out of the third party produced comics:
Based on that fortune, I'll bet someone just got their clock cleaned! It's a little odd to see a sepia Joe in the late 60's but what the hey.
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