Saturday, October 7, 2023

Oh, Fudge!

Gary Gerani has spent over half a century entertaining people.  He's a well-known screenwriter in La La Land, an author and, to the point here, has created and/or contributed to hundreds of trading card and sticker sets.  This envious career arc essentially started at Topps way back in 1972 when he joined the New Product Department under the tutelage of Len Brown and Woody Gelman. He's now started to write a series of books that will take a decade-by-decade look at his trading card endeavors and his first volume tackles the Seventies in highly amusing fashion.

So I was in the middle of reading his enjoyably flippant book, which is titled The Card King Chronicles Vol. 1, when I happened upon a couple of paragraphs about a 1975 product called Bubble Fudge. It tickled a vague memory of seeing such a thing back in my reckless youth, although I'm pretty sure I never tried it, generally preferring my chocolate, then and now, in bar or better yet, ice cream form (chocolate chip to be exact). A little digging turned up a production piece for the outer wrapper and it is clearly part of the Super Bazooka line of softer gums Topps was somewhat urgently manufacturing at the time: 

That line was started by Topps to counter the very real threat of Bubble Yum, which had been introduced by Life Savers earlier that year and was laying waste to Bazooka's market share. Super Bazooka launched with a product called Smooooth N' Juicy and Topps kept coming up with new twists for the line, one of which was Bubble Fudge.  Five pieces look to have come overwrapped in that pack, as I found this out there in the wilds of  Pinterest:

That's clearly a promo shot but I can't say it made the product look appetizing. As it turns out, that image was either used in or created for a 1979 commercial for the product, starring Johnny Bench. Despite the misgivings of Mr. Gerani, it seems like the flavor was around for a few years and it may still exist overseas.

At the same time I was looking up Bubble Fudge, I found an eBay auction with a piece of Hot Bazooka, which, as it turns out, is a rare item.  Alas, I was too late but did get a couple of images:

I could not discern the last digit of the commodity code but a little goggling revealed this was a 1973 product. Jason Liebig, no surprise, over at his wonderful Collecting Candy blog has all the fiery details on this product. Now, I need to go find me a Hot Bazooka wrapper....

1 comment:

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