The Popsicle Parade – Part 3!

It’s been a while since the last edition of The Popsicle Parade, and summer isn’t getting any younger. Here are five more treats from yesteryear’s ice cream trucks, represented by big yellow stickers that photograph horribly!

 #16: Firecracker!

If you think this one’s boring, it’s only because you haven’t looked closely. First, let me point out the uncommon upgrade to “SUPERCICLE” in the upper-left corner. That means the Firecracker was large enough to give us those faint but heinous sores on the corners of our lips. The bright side is that a big cold popsicle would’ve immediately soothed them.

I’m also fascinated by the trio of flavors. Sour green apple is normal enough, but mixing that with cotton candy and red hot cinnamon made the Firecracker as unique as it was enormous.

I believe these arrived long after ice cream trucks became a thing of my past, but had Firecrackers existed when I was hailing them down, there’s no way I would’ve passed on mega rare RED HOT CINNAMON. In the world of popsicles, finding that flavor was like spotting Ho-Oh.

#17: Power Rangers Wild Force Popsicle!

Power Ranger popsicles always crack me up. They’d be recognized for what they are by those familiar with the franchise, but if you know nothing about Power Rangers, what the hell are you looking at? Viruses from Dr. Mario?

The gumball eyes are a normally welcome addition, but here, they only make matters more confusing. With those gumballs in play, the Blue Ranger looks like the front-view of a Molly-dropping trout.

#18: Ice Cream Shots!

This was an obvious attempt to steal some glow from Dippin’ Dots, and I completely understand their ambition. When Dippin’ Dots were relatively new, they were unbelievably popular. They seemed truly futuristic, and even after multiple experiences, eating them still felt like such an event.

I’m not sure if Ice Cream Shots were as finessed as true Dippin’ Dots, but the general idea was the same. And they came in containers that could be drunk from like boxes of Nerds.

#19: Jimmy Neutron Popsicle!

Here, Jimmy’s trademark pompadour becomes his biggest mistake. How were you supposed to eat this without chomping it off on the inaugural bite? Since the hair was the only thing that firmly identified this as Jimmy Neutron, you were only one taste away from Generic Boy Popsicle, the laughingstock of frozen treats everywhere.

On the plus side, you gotta admire the “cherry cola” ice flavor. Cherry cola is weirdly sensible for a popsicle made to look like human flesh. There’s no explaining it, but we can all agree that it is.

Also, his gumball eyes provide me with further inspiration to crossbreed olives with blueberries. Someday, somehow, I will be known as the guy who did that.

#20: Bubble Pop!

I love everything about this. Starting with the basics, the ice was flavored like fruit punch. Fruit punch translates fantastically in popsicle form, to the point where I’ll never understand why it isn’t one of the “staple” flavors of grocery store brands.

More importantly, they forewent the usual wooden stick for a paper-wrapped rod of bubble gum! This made Bubble Pops impossible to resist. Remember, we embraced gum a lot differently when it came from an ice cream truck. It just seemed so much more special.

And God, that tagline. “THE STICK IS GUM.” It sounds like some cryptic message delivered by wizards in the midst of their fatal heart attacks. That’s going to be my new go-to non sequitur, narrowly defeating Dick Tracy’s “we don’t want no kid coppa.”


51 Responses to The Popsicle Parade – Part 3!

  1. “The stick is gum” should be the way Dinosaur Dracula fans can identify one another in public. Of course, that means that we’d all have to go around muttering “The stick is gum!” all the time. Still, maybe it’s workable…?

    What about on a Dinosaur Dracula T-shirt, instead? I wish I had artistic skills, because then I’d design it for you. I don’t. This comment was entirely useless.

    Keep up the great work!

  2. >>The stick is gum” should be the way Dinosaur Dracula fans can identify one another in public.

    Seconded!

    THE STICK IS GUM!

  3. Only if you point to your crotch when you say it

  4. “Ayyyyyyyyyy the stick is gum. Whoa!”

  5. The goddamn pen is blue!
    The stick is gum sounds great to me!

    I must say, the thought of sour apple with cinnamon makes me a little ill. And cotton candy? It’s like a burger with a side of lasagna. Just not meant to be.

  6. Gotta love Dippin’ Dots. “The ice cream of the future!” I guess it’s not quite the future yet…

  7. I want a “The stick is gum!” bumper sticker, Matt, please get on that.

  8. Nice to see another one of these, Matt! Always enjoy seeing the many corners of the popsicle world.

    The gumball eyes on the Ranger pops actually aren’t that strange, seeing as how a lot of animal-based Ranger teams (Including the original one) have eyes on their helmets to represent the ones of the animals that their suits and zords are based on. Sorry, left Power Ranger nerd mode on. XD

    That Bubble Pop tagline IS quite glorious.

  9. I recognized the Gaoranger helmets immediately.

    I’m just sayin’~

  10. THE STICK IS GUM.
    Don’t forget to wear Krazy Lenses while wearing an unauthorized picture of Matt when greeting other fans.

  11. Being attached to a popsicle, and thus, being frozen, made those bubblegum sticks really firm and hard to chew.

  12. The one that appeals to me the most is the shots. I’m not much for cherry, or gumballs in ice cream, or Power Ranger and Jimmy Neutron.

    Sadly it says the shots are low fat, which makes me feel like I’m mother who is watching her figure(which I guess I am), who still wants to get something with her kid but can’t just kick back and fully enjoy herself, but it’s my choice and I will stand by it.

  13. Don’t forget the WOW! in the Stick is Gum!

    I’m also intrigued by the Firecracker flavor combo and can’t imagine how that would all taste together. I’m leaning toward terrible if you’re over 10 years old.

    Stray observation…the tile back drop in Popsicle Parades posts looks exactly like the tile in my kitchen. Thank you.

  14. Hmm, fruit punch popsicles… I think I need these in my life.

  15. Cotton candy is a horrible ice flavor. I bought some push ups a few weeks ago, some were cotton candy flavored, and tasted horrible, and got tossed in the trash. It was that bad.

  16. THE STICK IS GUM.

    The Firecracker’s flavors are odd indeed. I cannot imagine that mix. Sour apple, cinnamon and cotton candy? Does not compute. But I so would’ve tried it had I seen them.

  17. “But I so would’ve tried it had I seen them.”

    You mean you don’t have all the old ice cream to go along with these big stickers?

  18. The Power Rangers popsicles really do look like the viruses from Dr. Mario.

    I guess I’ll be the naysayer on the gum stick. How do you prevent the gum from becoming hard due to the cold? Chewing hard gum is jawbreaking. If it was taffy, maybe, but you would still have the same problem.

  19. I used to have a thing with the italian ice flavor shots…they were frikkin YUM! I would buy them at Blockbuster during my break…I would love that firecracker pop!

    There was a similar thing to the firecracker one…called Bingo Bomb…it was sorta Five ALive flavored..

  20. I now want to go to my local Walmart and yell “THE STICK IS GUM.” to see if anyone will respond.

    And I REALLY want to try all of these. Too bad I haven’t seen an ice cream truck in my town for YEARS.

  21. I had stop watching Power Rangers by the time Wild Force was on, but I’m way more into Power Rangers now than when I was a kid. So those PR pops would be the rare one I would pass on as a kid, but would be first choice as an adult. My only complaint is why are the visors white instead of black? I mean I understand doing that with the black ranger but the blue one ?!?

  22. Various scattered musings over all the stuff here that I’ve missed while I was without a computer:

    I remember when Pepsi Blue first came out that I had somehow missed the initial heavy TV advertizing push for it (I’m assuming there was one), and encountered it for the first time in a gas station mini-mart on the outskirts of the absolute nothingtown of Gustine, CA. There—in all its indigo glory—was case after case of the stuff, stacked precariously high to the point of nearly toppling over onto the customers, as if they were preparing to sell out of it in mere hours. For some reason, that image has stuck with me all this time. I never ended up trying it, and years later, I still regret it, despite so many accounts of it being absolutely nasty and medicinal. Mind you, I like Moxie, so maybe it would have been a hit for me.

    “In more direct terms: Fairuza Balk, hamming it up as a black magician. So of course I loved it.”Matt
    This is a line of thinking that I can sadly all too thoroughly relate to. By god, I actually sat through a harrowingly large amount of The Waterboy just because of the presence of her oddly attractive-yet-toothsome visage. Her in The Craft and Lori Petty in Tank Girl were no doubt an early contributing factor in my weakness for punk/goth/&c. girls. Come to think of it, they both had that raspy, “I probably smoke a lot” sort of voice, too.
    I’d also be remiss in not pointing out the fine use of that Art Nouveau-style font (I don’t remember the name offhand—cursory searching suggests “Lansbury”, but I have to believe that it predates that reference) on the website for The Craft, the same one used by Murder She Wrote, Smashing Pumpkins, and The Nightmare before Christmas. What an odd grouping.

    “I still have that shitty Puff Daddy song stuck in my head. ‘Come wit me..”Chris
    It has been years since I have thought of that awful butchering of “Kashmir”, and now I find myself wanting to throw things yet again, even more so than when I was just reminded by the Pepsi Blue article that Papa Roach existed. Thank you so much for that.

    I cannot help but pretend that the “Hercules, son of Zeus” Realms of the Underwold figurine is actually a young Brian Blessed portraying a Cimmerian pimp.

    That means the Firecracker was large enough to give us those faint but heinous sores on the corners of our lips. The bright side is that a big cold popsicle would’ve immediately soothed them.Matt
    You’re a stronger man than I for resisting the temptation to make a COLD SORES joke there. Bravo.

  23. #thestickisgum

    Make it trend fellas make it trend.

  24. “The stick is gum” is right up there with “Soylent Green is people” and “The Cake is a Lie!”

  25. “…finding that flavor was like spotting Ho-Oh.”

    “…the Blue Ranger looks like the front-view of a Molly-dropping flounder.”

    Sometimes, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    @Juge…”I’ve got Moxie.”

    THE STICK IS GUM.

  26. That’s too bad. Those were the best lines.

  27. I enjoy your reference to rare and wonderful pokemon.

  28. Gum is the stick and the stick is gum

  29. I’ll be flagging down a truck this year thanks to these.

  30. As mentioned in previous installments, ice cream trucks weren’t common at the Jersey Shore, and thus, I never saw any of these in their heyday. I remember seeing Firecrackers at 7-11s, but nothing like that one.

    While I don’t remember the Shots either, my little brother was a huge Dippin’ Dots fan. It was always his ice cream of choice when I lived in Wildwood and would take him to the boardwalk. I didn’t get the point. They were expensive, came in smaller cups than normal for most ice cream, and really didn’t taste all that different. Maybe I would have understood it if I’d been a 12-year-old in the mid 2000s.

  31. Actually, the flavours on the “Firecracker” sound good to me. Hot Cinnamon and Green Apple are two of my favourite candy/ice flavours, and I’ve got no problem with cotton candy.

    Plus, I love food with unusual flavorings. I recently polished off a bag of “Old Bay” flavored potato chips.

  32. Old Bay on anything = A+.

    Try it on popcorn, sometime.

  33. Out of all of the Saturday morning cartoons made post 2000 Jimmy Neutron is one of my favorites. Cannot explain why, it just worked. And Cherry Cola sounds good to me.

    The fireworks pop is strange enough to pique curiosity. I just fairly recently found out they make bomb pops other then the red white and blue, and superhero ones. I saw the watermelon variety and almost lost my shit. Still haven’t tried it though.

    The only time I have tried Dippin Dots I was disappointed. It seems McDonalds makes a big deal out of them having Dippin Dots on their menu. I would rather have regular ice cream.

    I tried the Blue Bunny Caramel fudge brownie sundae ice cream this week so good.

  34. The flavors of the Fire N’ Ice Firecracker are glorious. Would have loved to try it. Not sure cinnamon in ice form would have been a personal favorite but the oddball mix would have been worthy of me plucking down my two bits. The Power Rangers Wild Force pops hit a particularly strong nostalgic button with me. I’ve watched most of the various PR series’ over the years but that particular one my buddy Eddie and I watched during some marathon sessions in my parents’ basement back in the day. As such it holds a special place in my pop culture addled heart. Plus I met the Lunar Wolf Ranger from that show on my first trip to Disney Hollywood Studios (then Disney-MGM Studios). Lastly, sucker for cherry cola, so that Neutron popsicle would have been a must try, too!

  35. This is not a pipe.

  36. While the Bomb popsicle certainly sounds interesting, there is an easy way to figure out how it tasted. Of course, this is for the adults in the group, which I have to assume, if we are all nostalgic, is everybody.

    Mix:
    1 part cinnamon schnapps
    1 part cotton candy vodka
    1 part green apple schnapps

    Pour into popsicle trays and freeze. Voila! Relive your childhood as an adult.

  37. I fondly remember going to Washington DC this year and seeing how dated all the ice cream stands were. Look it’s The Powerpuff Girls! And Batman: The Brave and the Bold!

  38. I’m surprised Taco Bell hasn’t tried to get their hands on Choco Taco and gave them a Doritos Locos spin.

  39. Some weird shit in this batch. The bomb pop sounds nasty. Jimmy Neutron is about the most normal looking one here, cherry cola sounds like it would taste awesome!
    If Jell-O were to come back with Pudding Pops, the REAL Pudding Pops, then I could die a happy man. The Popsicle brand ones from a few years ago were the wrong shape and the wrong texture.

  40. I know I should post it in the boardwalk thread, but I wanted to increase the chances of it being seen. Have you seen the new Travel Channel show “Bikinis and Boardwalks” yet? It airs on Sunday at 8 EST, and the first episode was last week. You might enjoy it.

  41. There’s an ice cream wholesaler in my neighborhood; if you have one near you, I recommend it highly; it’s like taking a trip back to a theme park based on the early 90′s.

  42. Brian- the have Choco Tacos at my ice cream wholesaler.

  43. Goob- Blue Bunny makes some great stuff. At the ice cream wholesaler, you can get three or four different kinds of sundae cones: there’s a strawberry cone with strawberry ice cream, coated with white chocolate. It puts Drumsticks to shame.

  44. These are by far my favorite series of articles on DD. By the end, I need a drink of water because I’ve expended so much mental energy imagining being 6 years old again and running out front to catch the ice cream man.

    Our house resides in a neighborhood that was full of families with large numbers of children. Our little cluster of children was the jackpot for local ice cream men and they’d actually make the effort to slow down completely and/or stop in front of our houses to allow ample time to rummage through the junk drawer for change to buy a Screwball.

    I sincerely thank you for that kind of vivid memory conjuring.

  45. They not only still make Choco Tacos but they came out with two new flavors last year. Peanut Butter and chocolate. They are a little pricier then getting ice cream sandwiches or ice cream bars but they are good every once in a while. They sell them at Walmart. I also love the salted caramel pretzel klondike bars that are fairly new. Klondike bars are pretty inexpensive for what they are. And I like the portion control aspect of them. If I eat one that night, I will not eat another one. But a bowl of ice cream, I swear when I scoop ice cream it’s like a third of the carton.

    I see yogurt pops that look a lot like pudding pops every time I go to Walmart. I need to get them I haven’t yet. They probably won’t taste the same, but at least I can try them.

    Tim Alcohol doesn’t freeze. That would be an exercise in futility. I have heard of a recipe though you put in some Root Beer Schnapps into regular root beer and vanilla ice cream and make an alcoholic root beer float.

  46. I apologize for going off topic, but I know a lot of people on here were interested in this film. Pacific Rim was damn good. Top notch acting and directing. And those fights my god. But my favorite thing had to be the world they crafted for this movie. It’s so well crafted; I really want to see some more stuff set in that world.

  47. The bubble gum that came with ice cream – I usually found it to be of poor quality.

  48. The Stick Is Gum…

    Just had to say it. Should we work on a handshake, a high five or do we point to our crotch as previously mentioned?

  49. the stick is gum…..

  50. This may be my favorite installment of Popsicle Parade yet. The Firecracker, Ice Cream Shots, and the Bubble Pop all look awesome!

    THE STICK IS GUM!

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