I had so much fun showing you old bubble gum a few weeks ago, I thought I’d do it one more time. (A few weeks from today, I’ll say the same thing. And onward goes this thing of ours.)
This time, I’m breaking out some of my heaviest hitters. If it could be argued that bubble gum collections really can have trophy pieces, there are definitely a few in this set…
Made by Amurol in 1993, Game Boy Bubble Gum is weep-worthy perfect. Where a lesser confectioner might’ve settled on Game Boy ripoff packaging, Amurol actually secured the rights, and thus were able to make a bubble gum container that looked almost exactly like the real thing. (Albeit around half the size, and with a sticker representing buttons rather than actual buttons.)
I can’t remember what kind of gum was inside, and I’m not unsealing this pristine antique to find out. Even so, it’s obvious that the container was the real star. I don’t care if the gum was tiny and cement flavored. GAME. BOY. CONTAINER.
To make the most of their partnership, Amurol also tossed a few Nintendo trading cards into every box, effectively guaranteeing that everyone within bubble gum’s target demo was going to want these things.
While Amurol paid handsomely to make official video game gum, others avoided such aggravations through parody. Made in the mid ‘90s by Uniconfis, Mortal Gumball was one of several like-styled sweets sold in “floppy disk” containers.
The resemblance is so on-point that you might have to look twice before realizing that there probably wasn’t a computer game called Mortal Gumball.
It’s a riff on Mortal Kombat, of course, right down to the modified logo, which replaces the usual dragon with some kid blowing a giant bubble. (The silhouette could also be construed as a kid getting smacked in the face with a bowling ball, but then art is always up to interpretation.)
It is completely impossible to look at this gum and not imagine the guy from the Techno Syndrome song screaming “MORTAL GUMBALL!” Don’t you deny it.
As a neat side effect, that vision will make you forgive the fact that this definitely isn’t a gumball.
While Trident still employs bubble gum as a flavor, this was an attempt to make real bubble gum — the kind that might steal a little glow from Bubble Yum and Bubblicious.
Released in 1984, the packs were small, the pieces were comfortably cubed, and the color scheme was so damn pink. Clearly Trident had grown tired of its reputation for mature, boring gum, and desperately wanted to be chewed by tweens at the schoolyard. Their efforts could not have been very successful, because Trident was sugarless and kids hated that word.
(I can’t believe that I have 24 packs of this stuff. Should our planet suffer catastrophe and my apartment survive unscathed, future civilizations will have such screwy ideas about what made us tick.)
This Rain-Blo Bubble Boom Box was just one of countless attempts to turn every last electronic device into a pack of gum. Made in 1994, the container is battery-powered and quite capable of making noise. A few buttons on the top let you switch between “rock,” “swing” and “rumba,” because nothing said “kids of the ‘90s” like swing and rumba. They were right behind grunge.
Expectedly, the batteries are long dead, and I’m not going to perform tiny screwdriver surgery on this just to hear a three-beep rumba song. Sorry.
Between the theatrics and the inclusion of fifty gumballs, I assume that the original retail price was pretty high. The Bubble Boom Box had to cost a few dollars, which in gum terms might as well have been fifty thousand dollars.
Was it worth it? Yeah, probably.
Longtime readers should remember this old favorite. Yes, it’s Slimer Bubble Gum, made in 1986 by CPT Holdings. (CPT Holdings isn’t a fun enough name for a company that made Slimer Bubble Gum. “Wizardry Circus” would’ve been better.)
Branded with The Real Ghostbusters logo and aided by that cartoon’s popularity, I imagine that the gum was a must-have for any kid lucky enough to stumble upon it. Working like a tube of toothpaste, the gum inside was extremely sugary, extremely slimy and extremely GREEN. Picture wasabi just a few shades deeper, and with roughly the same consistency.
If you remember those old tubes of soft Bazooka gum, this was basically the same thing. (Same flavor, too, no matter how hard it was to accept green gum that tasted like pink gum. Slimer Bubble Gum knew how to blow your mind.)
Thanks for reading about old gum. You know, again.
PS: If you missed the news, I now have a column for Star Wars Dot Com! In the first edition of Collectibles from the Outer Rim, follow along as I open a box of Pepperidge Farm Star Wars Cookies from 1983! I’ll be dusting off obscure Star Wars items every few weeks, and yes, I’m very excited to be connected to the actual Star Wars brand, even if it’s in some infinitesimally small and ridiculous way.