My newest acquisition: A genuine Good Humor ice cream truck menu from 1993!
It doesn’t photograph so well, but it’s beautiful in person.
1993 would’ve been my last year to chase down ice cream trucks without secretly wondering if I was too old to do that, so I’m super familiar with 95% of the things on this menu.
In truth, the character-based pops were by that point only occasional treats. I more typically alternated between snow cones and cookie sandwiches, because even though they lacked star power, they were usually the tastiest options.
…but since those aren’t the ones you wanna hear about, I’ll stick to the pops shaped like Super Mario and weird dinosaurs. Here are the highlights:
Bubble O’ Bill and Fat Frog!
They’re crazy famous, but I’m honestly not sure if I’ve ever eaten these. Bubble O’ Bill’s gumball nose was a draw, but I tended to only like frozen treats in this consistency if they tasted like tart fruit. Bubble O’ Bill was more like deconstructed neapolitan ice cream.
As for Fat Frog, the fact that I have no idea what it was supposed to taste like indicates that I’ve never had one. It’s a classic pop for sure, but since it perpetually competed against similar treats based on characters that I knew from television, movies and video games, it was hard to pick a generic frog no matter how cute he was.
Super Mario Bros. Bar!
Now this one was more my speed. Mixing Bubble O’ Bill’s nose with a more tantalizing “cherry slushed ice,” it was practically every kid’s duty to try the Nintendo-branded popsicle.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Good Humor still makes these, but I know they were around as late as 2006. That’s an extremely long tenure for a popsicle based on an existing character, so I’d have to call the Super Mario Bros. Bar one of Good Humor’s biggest successes.
Vampire’s Deadly Secret and The Great White!
I wish I’d paid more attention to Vampire’s Deadly Secret when it would’ve mattered, because I now consider it one of the greatest triumphs in frozen treat history.
The black cherry pops hid oozing red centers, meant to resemble every vampire’s preferred snack. It was ghoulish even by ‘90s standards. The fact that the bars were represented by a green-skinned vampire who wore a “V” pendant was the figurative cherry on top of all the literal cherry.
I sampled Great White pops several times over the years, owing to my lifelong fascination with sharks, but more specifically the rubber sharks one might’ve found in a dollar store on the Wildwood boardwalk back in ‘89.
The accidental bonus with Great White pops was that the longer you sucked on them, the more they resembled goblin sharks. As a kid who bought every shark-related title from every book fair he’d ever gone to, that fact was not lost on me.
I’m struggling to remember this one, because I refuse to believe that I’m even capable of forgetting a frozen stegosaur with a stick up its ass and gumball acting as a giant kidney stone. Sucks getting old.
Given that this menu is from 1993, the Dinosaur Bar was likely created in response to Jurassic Park. That movie was such a big deal that it lifted the profile of all dinosaur-related things, whether they bore JP logos or not.
WWF Superstars Ice Cream Bar!
If you wrote the internet’s obsession with these off as blind nostalgia, no, trust me, they really were that good.
The theme was an incredible bonus for wrestling fans, but the bars hardly needed them. Imagine an elongated Chipwich with a mushier consistency and a tastier cookie. These things ruled.
(You’ll note that Good Humor chose Bret Hart to feature on the menu. He won his first world championship in 1992, so the time was right.)
I would’ve considered these “baby stuff” by 1993, because I used to eat Flintstones Push-Ups back when I still used a crib.
These exact pops were also sold by the dozen in grocery stores. While “creamy orange” has never been my go-to flavor, getting a popsicle that doubled as a device washed away any misgivings.
Remember when Campbell’s Chunky wouldn’t shut up about being the soup that ate like a meal? Well, this was the popsicle that ate like a toy.
Traffic Signal Supersicle!
It isn’t as fetching as the other pops I’ve featured, but I love how Good Humor breathed new life into such a dead weight shape. Granted, a popsicle based on a traffic signal wasn’t going to inspire much schoolyard banter, but at least the effort was there.
Let’s end with some random trivia:
1) The most expensive thing on the menu was Good Humor’s Magnum, an oversized vanilla bar coated with milk chocolate. At $2.25 each, they cost twice as much as most of the things on the menu.
2) Tied for cheapest were Bubble Gum Swirl and Cherry Banana Swirl bars, at 50 cents each. Given that even the lousiest things on this menu were only rarely less than a dollar, I have no idea why those two were so cheap.
3) Several of the bars promised a shot at a “lucky stick,” which you could’ve traded for a free popsicle the next time you heard that familiar chime.
Thanks for reading about old ice cream.