After bringing up Aquafresh in the recent Happy Thoughts post, at least one commenter waxed nostalgic about Colgate’s ancient star-shaped toothpaste.
That’s all the excuse I needed to write this tribute, because sisters and brothers, not only do I remember Colgate’s star-shaped toothpaste… I actually still have a tube of it.
It’s a trial-sized tube, but still.
I *think* the stuff came out in the very late ‘80s. It’s officially titled “Colgate Junior Sparkling Star Shape Toothpaste,” but when toothpaste weighs in at ten syllables, it’s time for a goddamned nickname. From this point forth, we shall refer to it as “Colgate Triple S.”
Aside from a gentler flavor and more sparkly appearance, Colgate Triple S also appealed to kids because of its… ehhhhh hold on a sec.
Sorry, I’m not digging that “Triple S” nickname. Let’s call it “Colgate Starpaste” instead.
Colgate Starpaste’s shape was where the true glory lied. In theory, it was supposed to dispense in the shape of a cosmic star, which should not be confused with a non-cosmic star, like, say, the actress who played Jet Girl.
Holy shit, that was Naomi Watts?
In practice, the toothpaste wasn’t exactly star-shaped. More like piped icing-shaped. More on that in a minute.
The commercial was outrageous, turning the tube into both an anthropomorphic toothpaste ballplayer and an anthropomorphic toothpaste rock star. Given that I can’t go two posts without writing “anthropomorphic,” I guess I should come clean. I really, really like that word.
If your eyes suck, note that the first photo in the above spread isn’t actually a photo. Make sure you watch the video, because you NEED to hear the Colgate Starpaste song. “SU SU SU SUPERSTAR! SU SU SU SUPERSTAR!” It’s going to stay stuck in my head until I become certifiably insane, and I don’t want to be alone in that.
Also of note is the random “AVOID SWEET SNACKS” message. It seems unbelievably out of place. The cynic in me believes that Colgate only included it so they’d be able to label this as a PSA. Maybe there was a tax break at stake. I’ll look into it once I’m done marveling at how quickly the “brushing girl” morphed into Fido Dido. Check that shit out, too.
Either I’m the best photographer ever, or this is some seriously attractive toothpaste. What do you call this shade of green? Don’t say “sea green,” because that has a certain “swampy” connotation that can never befit something this pristine.
I think I’ll go with “emerald.” It’s nowhere near emerald, but that’s the only green that sounds fancy enough.
As you can see, calling this “star-shaped” is not completely accurate. The only way to make true stars from this toothpaste is by chilling it down and cutting it with a straight razor. I realized this as I was taking the photos, but by then it was too late. To make myself feel better, I drew Dinosaur Dracula out of Colgate.
Etsy, here I come. This is nothing if not OOAK.
I won’t pretend that the toothpaste was something we used to freak out about, because only complete psychopaths freaked out about toothpaste. Still, I come from a time when you had to find your pleasures wherever you could. Toothpaste that looked like a less-gross version of deviled eggs didn’t rule our world, but it sure made it a little bit brighter.
Our story should end here, but it won’t, because I’m 100% certain that if it did, someone would smarmily point out that that old sparkly Crest toothpaste was even cooler. So I’m going to beat that dick to the punch.
Hey look, it’s the only toothpaste in history that inspired me to wave big happy flags while singing Wreckx-n-Effect songs. Perhaps the subjects of this post are in the wrong order of priority. With all due respect to Colgate Starpaste, Sparkle Crest was the bómb de la bómb.
Everything about this toothpaste excited me. It was bluer than the bluest blue thing you could think of, arriving not in a tube, but in a hard dispenser that felt like it was shipped here from 2079.
Even better were the cute little “toothpaste guys” from the commercial. In terms of product mascots I desperately wanted special relationships with, they were right up there with Snuggle Bear. I wanted to pocket one of these guys like that kid did with the hairless one-legged monkey in Flight of the Navigator.
It’s only now hitting me. I grew up in during toothpaste’s best-ever era. When the time comes for my obituary, I hope my family remembers how proud that made me.