Surely you remember Cinn*A*Burst!
The legendary gum was Warner-Lambert’s attempt to do battle with Wrigley’s Big Red. How on Earth did they lose that war?!
Cinn*A*Burst hit the scene in September of 1991, coinciding with my entry into the seventh grade. I hated all of middle school and most of high school, but the seventh grade was a special kind of awful.
I was awkward and unpopular. I wore terrible clothes. My hair looked like the world’s biggest mushroom cap. My only two modes were “easy to ignore” and “easy to target.”
I mention this because Cinn*A*Burst was my best weapon in the struggle to survive eight periods of doom. In junior high, you could buy your way out of plenty of trouble with the right gum. And this was, no doubt, the RIGHT GUM.
Cinn*A*Burst was infused with “flavor crystals,” giving it a boost of candied spice along with an oddly pleasant crunch. Everybody loved Cinn*A*Burst. At least, every kid in my junior high school did.
Five days a week, I’d bring at least six packs of it to school with me. Generally speaking, the kids I might’ve had issues with chose to let me live… as long as I shared my gum. I was like Augustus with his corn doles, only instead of becoming a beloved ruler, my reward was being able to come home without more ammunition for “TIME TO DIE” diary entries.
Guess that’s pretty sad?
I don’t know exactly when Cinn*A*Burst stopped being made, but it did. By that point, I wasn’t paying attention. This amazing gum that meant so much for my mouth and social status went out with a whimper, and I’ll forever regret not being there during its time of need. All I can do now is help to keep the memory alive.
To jog your memories, below are examinations its five best TV commercials: Read More…
Playmates’ original collection of Ninja Turtles toys survived for longer than you might’ve noticed, because if you’re around my age, you probably outgrew five-inch Donatellos before the rest of the world did.
It’s a shame, because as the line entered its final years, Playmates made some desperate but creative attempts to keep those Turtles afloat. Objectively speaking, many of the collection’s best figures came out near the end.
Here’s one example:
Believe it or not, this existed! “Sumo Raphael,” released in 1995, was just one of the seemingly countless revamps to the main Turtles, who by that point had been everything from astronauts to cowboys to Universal Monsters. I always preferred unique characters to the endless Ninja Turtle revisions, but when they worked, they really worked.
And a big-bellied Raphael with Yokozuna’s hair? Yeah, that really worked. Read More…
If you’ve been around Dino Drac long enough, you’ve probably read my article about the legendary Toys “R” Us Treat Box. Of course, “legendary” may be too strong a word, since I seem to be the only one who remembers them. Thank God for material evidence.
Brother, you missed out. At scattered points during the ‘90s, TRU paired up with various sponsors to give away cardboard “lunchboxes,” filled with samples and coupons. More importantly, every time they ran the promotion, the box had a different and even more awesome theme. (I already told you about the Batman Returns version, which included, among other things, a cutout Catwoman mask.)
Now here’s another, from later that year: The Jurassic Park “R” Treat Box!
Jurassic Park debuted in June of ‘93, but this box is actually from late ’92. That should give you an idea of how long and deep the film’s marketing ran.
These giveaways were promoted in TRU’s Sunday circulars, and whenever they came around, I was always there. I cannot possibly overstate how much I loved the “R” Treat Boxes! They were free with any (literally any) purchase, so it’s not like you had to jump through any major hoop to get one.
I don’t have the original samples that were once tucked inside, but imagine things like a pack of gum and a teensy bit of Crest toothpaste. If you were lucky enough, there’d even be a bag of chips or cookies. I remember treating those things like priceless artifacts that were to be left unmolested for all of time. (For roughly ten minutes. Then I ate everything.)
The free junk made me feel like such a star, but even the empty boxes were worth celebrating. Covered with good reasons to cut them into a million pieces, here are the key features of the Jurassic Park version: Read More…