The Popsicle Parade – Part 4!

This will probably be the last edition of The Popsicle Parade for 2013, so please, a moment of silence from those who have enjoyed looking at old ice cream stickers.

Thank you. That was special.

#21: Firecracker Root Beer Float!

I’m loving the discovery that this “Firecracker” popsicle was actually a family of popsicles, identical in shape but with wildly varying colors and flavors.

Remember the bizarre version from my last review, which mixed red hot cinnamon with cotton candy? Well, here’s one with a slightly less iffy theme. Firecracker’s “Root Beer Floats” blended root beer and vanilla ice to create something that’d make the freaks at Jack in the Box proud.

More importantly, it looks like that super special Jell-O Pudding Pop – the one that married chocolate and vanilla into one swirlrageous piece of magic that every self-respecting junk food junkie had to eat first.

#22: Tingly Centers!

“Tingly Centers” may be the worst-ever name for a popsicle. I guess you could admire its directness, but it still seems like a stone’s throw from “Candy Coated” or “With Stick.” It doesn’t even flow nicely. Go on, say it. “Tingly Centers.” Yuck.

It only gets worse if you surround it with context. “Hello, Ice Cream Man. I’ll have a Tingly Center, please.” God, no way. Never. I don’t care if they taste like Rose Nylund’s Sparhuven Krispies. I’m never saying that, or anything even remotely like that. I have limits.

On the plus side, the popsicles make me think of Pac-Man ghosts wearing rain ponchos. Squint, stare, and I know you’ll see it too.

#23: X-Treme Sport Lemon Lime Ice Tube!

I guess this was the Gatorade of the popsicle circuit? A way to feel like you’re doing your body good as you slurp down a frozen rod of unnaturally green sugar ice?

I’m sure this wasn’t the case, but when I look at that label, I can only imagine the ice tasting like a 5-Hour Energy Shot. That’s not a mark in the “pro” column, by the way. They should’ve just called them “Fruity Wizard Wands,” or maybe “Luke’s Lightsabers.” And they really should’ve reconsidered the shape and color of that “Cool Fuel” burst, which only works if you find explosive snot appealing.

#24: Cherry Collision Crush Zone Cup!

Okay, now we’re back on track. This sounds delicious! Like a Marino’s Italian Ice, but much more fun to say. “Cherry Collision” implies some sort of cherry rubber room, where dozens of psychotic berries crash into each other until there’s nothing left but a puddle of gooey entrails, which are then collected, mixed with ice, and evenly distributed into paper cups. I am so down with all of that.

Take a look at those little cherry symbols on the cup. I once had a notion to get a tattoo similar to those, until several people suggested that I might look like a creepy virgin stalker, obsessed with “popping cherries.” That seemed completely ridiculous to me, but the fact that several people reached the same conclusion meant that there would be no permanent cherries on any part of my body. (In retrospect, thank God for their crazy brains. I didn’t need to add “cherry tattoo” to the list of things that make people question my place in society.)

#25: Klondike’s Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwich!

I like this one. It looks like a full meal.

It’s also a reminder of how odd I was whenever someone brought out a box of Neapolitan ice cream, with its neatly separated slabs of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.

For some reason, I would only ever eat the chocolate out of those boxes. God help you if there was a single drop of vanilla or strawberry in my bowl. It made no sense, because it’s not like I had any aversion to the other flavors. This was possibly the first sign of an OCD complex that still remains unchecked after thirty fucking years. If only someone had forced me to eat the strawberry, then maybe now I wouldn’t treat every light switch like a goddamned balancing scale.

PS: The polar bear had an iPad before any of you.

#26: Twin Pop!

You’re familiar with these, of course. Everyone is. I’ve always giggled at the idea that half of a Twin Pop could be split off and saved for later. Nobody has ever done that. Claim otherwise, and the world will know you as a liar.

Eating Twin Pops was such an adventure. Unless you prematurely forced the split to avoid drama, you just never knew which bite would separate the twins. You always had to be prepared for that. It was tempting to risk fate by holding the Twin Pop by a single stick, but if you did that once too often, you were guaranteed to experience the unimaginable pain of half a Twin Pop on the floor. In a quiet way, eating Twin Pops was like playing Russian Roulette.

#27: Strawberry Shortcake Cone!

I don’t know if these are still around, but yeah, Strawberry Shortcake bars came in ball-shaped “cone types,” too. I don’t think I’m a fan. Feel like you’d be trading an awful lot of crunchy coating for an everyday cone.

Something about this struck me as peculiar, and I think I’ve figured out what. Take a look at that bite mark. The innards look like cured Italian meat!

I’ve narrowed it down to prosciutto or sopressata. As much I’m trying not to, I can’t help but find this a tiny bit appetizing. My sincerest apologies to those I have offended.

#28: Rich’s Cotton Candy Twirl!

I’m not sure who this “Rich” guy is, but since I have around six hundred stickers that bear his name, he must know a thing or two about popsicles.

Rich doesn’t have the name value of Good Humor, but he sure makes up for it with his wacky flavors. A cotton candy popsicle doesn’t hold much appeal for me, but the COLORS on this thing are phenomenal. It looks like the sky in some utopian future, where everyone is happy and giraffes have wings. There would be so much handholding under a sky like that.

#29: Rich’s Rainbow Polar Pole!

See what I’m saying about Rich? He knows how to stand out. Here, Rich takes the classic orange push-pop and revitalizes it with multiple, segregated flavors! Point it at your enemies, spin it, and voila! Hypnotized slaves, ready to run into brick walls at your command.

#30: Rich’s Savagely Sour Blue Raspberry Pop!

Rich continues to bring the awesome. What, you don’t think this is awesome? Look closer:

1) The popsicle looks like the fin of a shark that swims exclusively in toxic waste.

2) The puckering caveman reminds us of at least a dozen video games, from Bonk’s Adventure to Kid Niki: Radical Ninja.

3) The raspberries on the left aren’t actually raspberries. They’re netted batches of beluga caviar.

Yep. Awesome.

Not sure if I’ll be able to squeeze in another Popsicle Parade by the month’s end, so if this concludes the 2013 run, thanks for reading about old ice cream. I hope the experience was educational and delicious.


42 Responses to The Popsicle Parade – Part 4!

  1. “Root Beer and Vanilla Ice” could be the title of my junior high memoirs.

  2. I remember having a root beer float pop from Schwan’s and it was pretty bad. Edy’s came out with a root beer float ice cream a few years back and it was OK but kind of boring.

    Also, neapolitan ice cream sandwiches kind of suck. It’s the strawberry part. I always eat it first to save the chocolate for last.

  3. Since these are all Ice Cream Truck treats I never had, they remind me of Vampire’s Deadly Secret, another pop I totally missed out on.

    Spoilers: The secret was a cherry flavored center.

    Some day I’ll find one hidden in a freezer somewhere and say, “uhh… no thanks. That thing is, like, 40 years old!”

  4. Cured Italian meat also looks like Freddy Krueger melted face.

    Whether that makes it better or worse is up to you I suppose.

  5. The Savagely Sour logo looks suspiciously close to the Warheads Candy logo.

  6. @Joker: Wow, yes, I missed that, but you’re absolutely right. They were totally aping Warheads.

  7. Cotton candy flavoured popsicles are all that is good and pure in the world of frozen treats.

  8. I assume you ALSO just saw that episode of The Golden Girls, Matt … :)

  9. The extreme sport ice tube brought up a very interesting thought……how in the hell did George Lucas not market an edible lightsaber by now, in exactly that fashion?????? Lord knows that franchise has been slapped onto everything else!!! That just seems like a natural.

  10. @Al: Sadly no, it’s just embedded in my permanent memory. :)

    @Loneman1: I have no idea how he never co-branded with Fla-Vor-Ice, since the green and red ones were right there with already-perfect colors.

  11. Seriously!! I can just imagine how cool it would be, to have the cardboard look just like a lightsaber handle. Maybe with this next series of movies it could happen. Someone get his people on the phone!

  12. Ah, but his people are now Mickey’s people! (Is he involved at all anymore? Even on a consultant level? No idea, haven’t been keeping up.)

  13. I think he is involved in a certain fashion. Hell, now that Disney is in the mix, it makes even more sense since they are all about marketing things to kids!

  14. Educational and delicious indeed.
    these articles inspired me to chase the icecream truck that comes to my neighborhood exactly once a year.
    While the vendor didn’t have much in the way of interesting icecreams I did still stock up on those soft Popsicles shaped like cartoon characters.

  15. Not quite the same thing as marketing the popsicles themselves, but i found these lightsaber popsicles you make yourself to be quite nifty.
    Click on name for website

  16. Never had any kind of lightsaber pop, but all this Disney talk makes me think of the old Mickey’s Parade popsicles. I always saw those as premium popsicles since they were in fancy shapes and costed a lot more than the usual store brand popsicles, which were just shaped like popsicles.

  17. They make Lightsaber lollipops that LIGHT UP.

    Also, the words “Cherry Slushed Water Ice” is a bit annoying to me, but hell yeah I’d eat those all day, every day!

  18. Looks like Rich knows his ice cream! All 3 of his varieties look like they’d taste fantastic! If I had to pick one based on the picture to have the best flavor, it would be the Rainbow Polar Pole. And you’re absolutely right in thinking that the center of the Strawberry Shortcake Cone looking like cured meat. And I secind the notion of it looking appetizing. If it were to be meat though, the cone would have to be made from some type of cheese.

  19. They still make Strawberry Shortcake bars, and they are delicious. They’re not something I previously thought would translate well to Sundae cone form, but hell, I don’t get paid to furnish Ice Cream Trucks, so what do I know?

    Also, anytime Kid Niki: Radical Ninja gets a reference, the angels smile. Big props for the Rose Nyland reference, too.

  20. Please don’t ever say “popping cherries” again. It just seems wrong when you say it. Like when my grandmother used to say bl*wj*bs.

    Please also never say “swirlrageous” again. Just lookin’ out for ya, buddy.

  21. I had to stare at the polar bear for a while before realizing that he’s supposed to be holding a Big Bear. Had they just made the cookie part its normal brown instead of black, it probably would’ve been obvious.

    But besides that, please note that the bear crosses his legs not by resting the crossed leg upon the other knee like the rest of us, but by wrapping one leg *around* the other, below the knee.

    That’s a flexible bear. Or perhaps an uncomfortable one.

  22. “I’ve always giggled at the idea that half of a Twin Pop could be split off and saved for later. Nobody has ever done that. Claim otherwise, and the world will know you as a liar.”

    @Matt: It is possible to split a Twin Pop into two separate ice pops although it’s extremely difficult without pushing them into something straight and rigid like the corner of a table. If you just try to break them in two without using that technique your risking the Twin Pop also breaking horizontally into four pieces, thus rendering the Twin Pop unable to be eaten.

    -’chops

  23. I’m guessing the ‘extreme sport ice tube’ is just frozen Gatorade. Without the famous name. You can break a twin pop in two as long as it’s still in the wrapper (as in just bought). Once the wrapper is off it likely won’t break evenly (like 1/3 on one stick and 2/3 on the other).
    I have to admit I didn’t even know there was such a thing as Klondike ice cream sandwiches, all I’ve ever seen are the bars with a variety of different coatings (Heath, mint, dark chocolate, ect.)

  24. I really love that image of the Twin pop on there. I don’t know if it’s because of how mechanical it looked or just the fact that I was eating one while reading this (banana flavor, though) but it caught my attention more than anything else here. Kind of odd since it’s one of the simpler ones on here.

  25. Anything that is supposed to be cheesecake or shortcake flavour I’m all over it. I used to eat the strawberry shortcake in bar form all the time.

    I agree about the look of the cotton candy twirl, it’s just so pretty.

  26. I think it looks more like the “Crybabies” logo than Warheads. Seriously, do a comparison.

  27. I’ve never tried a strawberry shortcake cone, but I love strawberry shortcake bars, and my local ice cream wholesaler sells a similar strawberry sundae cone made by Blue Bunny. It has strawberry ice cream with white chocolate. It’s that really strong strawberry flavor you’d find in old-school fruit snacks and so forth. It’s so tasty I’m amazed they don’t sell it in stores. My mouth waters just thinking about it…

    The Good Humor cone looks like a blend of strawberry and vanilla ice cream with white chocolate and crumbled cake bits like a strawberry shortcake bar. I wonder which one tastes better…

  28. Looks like 20013 will pass without Turtle pops. :(

    Out of the once on this update I so would be all over the rootbear float.

  29. It’s awesome that you are reviewing retro frozen treats, but how about some modern ones? Philly Swirl is slam full of awesome, and they’re completely affordable. In fact (I dunno if the promotion ended, but they’re still on the shelves around here) but they had “Italian Ice” with a few candy coated wooden spoons mixed in that did nothing but make them even tastier, and then serve as lollipops afterward.

  30. “obsessed with popping cherries” Yup, I laughed out loud at reading that. Then again while typing it.

  31. oh c’mon everyone knows why the twin pop exists…it’s so mom’s everywhere could split them in two and give one each to brother and sister.

    at least that’s what my mom did…anyone else? anyone?

  32. Oh god, the OCD paragraph just about made me lose my mind LMFAO

  33. When I was a kid, the Firecracker variety were called Bomb Pops, and they still have them http://www.bombpop.com/

  34. Since ice cream trucks weren’t common at the Jersey Shore when I was a kid, all of these but the Twin Pops are new to me. I’ll take that giant Neapolitan sandwich and the Strawberry Shortcake Cone. Good Humor bars were my default treat from the convenience stores for several years when I couldn’t afford Haagen Daz Sorbet bars.

  35. @starwenn Really?

    I always remember ice cream trucks at the Jersey Shore, even if they were just those little carts they’d pull up to the entrance of the beach or the water ice trucks. They still held many of these gems.

  36. Aww, Matt you were one of those assholes that only ate the chocolate in the Neopolitan? That breaks my heart, it really does.

  37. “Tingly centers” sounds way sexual… Also, I’ll miss you, Popsicle Parade!

  38. Firecracker totally looks like some sort of misshapen hand. It’s a little disturbing.

  39. Vee Langs is right, the Twin Pop was made for the cheapskate parents out there who bought ONE ice cream for two kids to share.

  40. #23: With Electrolytes sounds like it came straight out of Idiocracy…

    First time posting on the new site. :) Halloween here we come!

  41. This may be the best installment of “Popsicle Parade” yet…well, MY favorite installment, at least. Every one of these look incredible…except for the Twin Pop, haha. Poor Twin Pop…you are the Aquaman of this Popsicle Parade.

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