Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Blony At The Malt Shop?

After Bazooka Joe, the next most iconic character Topps memorialized in comic form would have to be Archie Andrews (with apologies to Henry).  As a result of their early 1956 acquisition of Bowman, Topps inherited the Blony bubble gum brand. Blony had been a major brand for Bowman and must have had its adherents for Topps to keep it around.  Instead of cross promoting Bazooka Joe And His Gang, Topps went with two series of Archie And His Pals comics instead in 1957-58.

I only own one of these (1 '57) and they are far, far less abundant than Bazooka Joe's of the period:


That comic measures 2 13/16" x 3 5/8", it's a big boy!  The code reads 1A-57-25.  Here's another, just on eBay (which I missed), same series but #38:


I would surmise then that there are 42 in the series, that being a common number for the Bazooka Joe runs. Betty also got some face time and I'm sure Veronica, Jughead and mean ol' Reggie did too:


She's also a '57 but I can't make out the number.  I believe the below style was from '58 as it is slightly smaller (not mine, from eBay) but am not 100% sure as I can't make out any code:



A nice foldup Bazooka-Blony premium catalog also came out around this time.  This one from the 'bay  is red but I have a blue one as well. It's definitely from 1958 or later as "The Atom" is no longer on the Bazooka tab.  The blue catalog seems to be a year older than this one as a different Blony design was used. Here's red, then an extract of my blue:


This blue version extract does not mention Blony in the text above the gum tab illustrations.  Weird.


A code (which I can't decipher) has been added as well. BFF o'the Archive Jeff Shepherd is not positive the striped Blony wrapper was marketed.  I wonder instead if the flavored Blony tabs used it and the regular version kept the rainbow version seen on the red catalog.

Here's more detail from the red version.  Archie looks like a real geek:


Archie comics were advertised on at least one 1957 Topps wrapper, this one housed Isolation Booth, despite the Gee Whiz Quiz moniker::


Blony was always the poor cousin to Bazooka but it lived on at least until the 1970's, sometimes tweaked into a twist wrap, sometimes not. Later comics actually appeared on the outside of the Blony wrapper but that's a tale for another day.

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