Saturday, May 4, 2024

Hey, Mr. Spaceman

Friend o'the Archive Jason Liebig sent along a couple of amazing scans a little while back and they are, quite, literally out of this world.  Check this bad boy out:

First of all, kudos to Topps for showing the Emily Post approved pinky extension on our intrepid space explorer as he squirts a stream of sugary "something" into his gaping maw!  However, the lack of a visor on the helmet is pretty alarming but I'd say we can overlook it.

There's a partial scan of the box sides and bottom (the images were from a long time ago and they are as presented, with no enhancement possible):

Of interest, 60 units at two cents each yielded the standard $1.20 Topps retail priced box of this era! Looks like one or two sprung a leak at some point

The bottom indicia is cut off and there's no way to tell if there was a date shown there but look at the side panel ad here:

"National Pro Football" was a slogan only used for the 1962 Football set, which handily dates this sucker. Check it out:

1962 makes a ton of sense as John Glenn was not only the first American astronaut to orbit Earth, he was the first to consume food and drink in space, which occurred on February 20, 1962.  Topps clearly was milking the Space Race for all it was worth and these drinks must have been introduced in the late Summer or Fall of '62. I find it hard to believe the drink lasted very long after that given the obscurity of the product today.  

I have been unable to find anything else after searching a bit online and suspect this was a product that was more a box than a pouch, like the old milk cartons at fast food restaurants but possibly flatter.  The first juice boxes were also being developed around this time and may have debuted in 1963, albeit without the crucial little bendy-straws affixed. The Topps carton must have been tiny though, to fit 60 in one retail box.

Check out Jason's fabulous Collecting Candy website:

Or his more current Instagram here:

Better yet, see him on History Channel's "The Foods That Built America" and "The Mega-Brands That Built America" on a screen of your choosing! 

No comments: