Saturday, January 23, 2021


We visit Pennsylvania today kids, courtesy of our friends at Topps and a piece of their history that remains in the Keystone State and one that escaped.

The escapee first-I recently picked up this sheet sheet of Topps shelf labels that looks like it might have covered their full retail confectionery line from 1978 or so:

I was able to roughly date this piece, measuring roughly 11" x 14", due to the lack of additional Ring Pop flavors and the curved Topps logo, which was killed off for 1981. Ring Pops were introduced in 1979 (some sources say 1977) and are still made by Topps in Scranton, Pennsylvania; these messy and sticky bits of faux jewelry may be the last product they haven't outsourced. This is where the magic happens:

Sure hope they fixed the "t" in that logo! (EDIT 1/24/21-I just found a reference in the 1976 Topps Annual Report that this 33,000 SF building had been acquired and was expected to begin candy production by the start of the second half of their fiscal year.  The Topps Fiscal Year ran from March 1st so presumably it was purchased in 1975 and began production by October 1976).

I was surprised to see the former Bowman flagship Blony on there but I suspect that it was still a popular regional brand in the Philadelphia area and environs, if not Pennsylvania proper and parts of the region to the southwest once considered coal country. I certainly never saw it on Long Island.

Here's a help wanted ad from the Scranton Times that appeared last August that indicates Ring Pops are considered a Bazooka Candy Brand these days even as the iconic bubble gum is now manufactured under license:

Maybe there's still an opening, although employee reviews seem decidely mixed.

I never heard of The Pits or Munchy Mummies but was a major consumer of Gold Rush back in my younger days.  The little bags were useful for storing small objects and coins. I have no idea if they still make it but would be sad if it turns out they don't. This was The Pits:

Grubbits has all the deets on Munchy Mummies. Other than those two and Blony, I believe I sampled at least one flavor of every brand on the sheet as a kid!

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