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Food items coupled with non food items

Today, I opened up a 1989 Topps baseball card pack. Out popped a piece of hard, stale 25-year old gum. I remembering opening these packs as a kid - a lot of the times, i just threw the cards in a shoebox and enjoyed the gum. The nostalgia almost led me to put the stale confection into my mouth, but common sense told me otherwise. They stopped putting gum into card packs sometime in the 90's, but brought them back sometime several years ago. I also remember getting baseball cards in hot dog and bologna packs, cereal boxes and cracker jack boxes. I think that whenever i got a card of one of my favorite players, it somehow enhanced the flavor and satisfaction of the food item coupled with that card.

Any favorite foods that were coupled with non food items (and vice versa)?

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  1. Cracker Jack was absolutely my favorite as a young child. My brothers would bet who would be the one to pour the toy in their bowl with their pour of cereal. I didn't buy baseball cards but the cartoon that came with Bazooka gum I recall.

    Many fast food meals for kids come with a toy (and plenty of parents hated that marketing concept).

    7 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      Didn't Bazooka have some kind of deal, like if you mailed them 50 comics they sent you a prize?

      1. re: coll

        I don't actually recall that.

        1. re: HillJ

          May have been an urban legend kind of thing.

        2. re: coll

          I kind of remember this. You could get x-ray glasses (which would see through clothing) and spy periscope stuff if you sent in a certain amount of comics and perhaps a quarter for s/h. I was very obsessed with the spy gear...thank you Harriet The Spy!

          1. re: meatn3

            OMG the X ray glasses! I got a pair and my father kept teasing me that he could see through my clothes (he was a great kidder). And I also remember the periscope, guess I did send in for both of them. Just so you know, neither worked as promosied ;-)Thanks for the memory!!

            1. re: coll

              My inner 7 year old is totally jealous of you...my childhood was deprived and depraved.

              Did you get sea monkeys too?! I imagined they would be like having a miniature mermaid as your BBF.

              1. re: meatn3

                I think my brother got sea monkeys (or else someone else I know) and surprise: They lived and thrived! They were like tiny, tiny shrimp I think, of course you were expecting sea horses but hey, you have to grow up and face reality sometime.

      2. Red Rose Tea has put Wade figurines in their packages on occasion.


        3 Replies
        1. re: meatn3

          I have one of those I got recently. It is a grey seal or some similar aquatic animal. Can't bring myself to throw it away, even though you can barely tell what it is; guess it reminded me of my childhood now that I think about it.

          1. re: meatn3

            I have dozens of them on my kitchen windowsill (I drink a LOT of tea...). The last collection was figures depicting months (a pine tree for December, a turkey for November, etc.). I think I finally got at least one of each and 3-4 of others) before they changed to the current collection.

            1. re: kcshigekawa

              I still have the seal, if you are missing that one. Circus theme maybe, he has a bow on.

          2. I remember flour sacks with a bonus dish towel tacked to the bottom.

            2 Replies
            1. Happy Meals (McDonald) used to be come with toys.

              5 Replies
                1. re: boogiebaby

                  Really? I thought at one point there was some complaints about fast food restaurants using toy to lure children in.

                  Regardless, McDonald won't let me buy Happy Meal anymore.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    I believe that in San Francisco, McD's is prevented from giving out toys with the Happy Meals.

                    1. re: Tripeler

                      Ah, maybe that is where I heard it. I was originally from the Bay Area.

                      1. re: Tripeler

                        That is correct. Clearly SF must be perfect if the Board of Stupes have time to waste on this!

                2. Can't tell you how many brownies I ate to get Wade Boggs cards off of the box.

                  1. 7-11 large slurpees had a cracker jack style prize on the bottom of the cup before they became self serve. I loved those. Anyone remember those?

                    1 Reply
                    1. Cereal boxes used to come with a prize sometimes.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: enbell

                        Still do. We got some Star Wars pens out of our Reese's Puffs a few weeks ago.

                        I don't remember what brand they came with, but those Lion King spoons that changed color when they got cold were AWESOME.

                          1. re: Tripeler

                            No, in Hawaii we had Tomoe Ame. Similar but different.

                            It came with real toys back in the day, now it's only stickers.

                            1. re: Glicoman

                              Wow, the box design looks just like Botan Ame in a way. Could be a companion product from the same company, or a clever knock-off. I have never seen Tomoe Ame in Japan OR California, but maybe it is Hawaii only...

                        1. The penny or coin in the "lucky" dumpling served during Chinese New Year festivities.

                          The baby figurine inside the King Cake.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            For that matter, the fortune in fortune cookies.

                          2. definitely hubba bubba gum - it was a bubble gum that did not stick (theoretically) and had a cartoon in it

                            the price (something like 2 cents in the 70's) made it appealing too!

                            not sure if I would buy it now

                            I also remember 20 Mule Team borax - not exactly edible but for sure in the supermarket - you could collect the box tops and buy the model --- which we made and painted - holy smokes, I hope I don't have to retrieve it from my parents; attic!

                            currently -

                            being a resident of Canada - Kinder Egg or whatever those common candy-toy things are up here - that our US pals want us to bring for them over the border

                            advent calendars ... still at TJ's - open the day and eat the candy

                            back to old days
                            candy cigarettes? we were not allowed to buy those - I think they were called superman cigarettes - the ones we scored from our friends sure tasted good tho! really - a strange banana kind of taste

                            there was also a lot of candy jewelry - necklaces I recall

                            and there was some sort of candy that had a tattoo with it - what was that - circa early 1970's --- Popeye character comes to mind but I might be mistaken about that

                            way back there was depression glass - but I think that came in boxes of laundry soap, from what I understand

                            plus one on the tea - the little animal shapes (made of china - I think I had a dog shape that I prized) --- plus the collecter cards that came in tea as well

                            and the cereal toys - I'm sure that the Tiger frosted flakes guy had some sort of trinket in the bottom of the box! marketing Madison ave of the 70's - if not gravity - ensured your mom had to buy many boxes to get the best prize

                            remember also the recipes that came on food boxes (still do) so you buy more than what you really need ---- look at the Philly Cr cheese pkg - the full recipe is INSIDE the box

                            all those "mail it in" coupons - I still have a vintage jello recipe book - Eagle brand and Jello 1/2/3 (you'd have to have watched MTM to know what that is!) etc

                            and then all those b-day parties - the coin (nickel or dime at most) wrapped in wax paper that was baked into the cake? a choking hazard in this parenting era but common for the Brady Bunch mom times.

                            I think there is a similar tradition with English pudding at Christmas - the penny. We still do that but everyone signs a waiver (just kidding) - tho we all know about it and are careful obviuosly

                            fun question, OP

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Georgia Strait

                              Baseball cards were routinely sold with cigarette packs during the turn of the 20th century. Many of those cards, in near mint to mint condition, are worth hundreds to thousands of dollars today. The most famous and expensive is the honus wagner, which is more scarce - the theory goes is that wagner refused to have his image associated with cigarettes and smoking and hence the manufacturers stopped making his cards altogether. today, a poor version of the card will fetch six figures. a near mint will fetch millions.

                              1. re: Georgia Strait

                                I totally remember that hubba bubba gum and the cartoons were the best part.

                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  God I'm old. I remember bazooka joe and their cartoons.

                                2. re: Georgia Strait

                                  I could swear I just saw Kinder Eggs at our new Big Lots store, here in NY. I'll have to swing by and take a look.

                                3. Milk, batteries (http://buildingmybento.com/2013/02/24...), cups, and orange juice are a few of the unusual pairings I've seen with toothpaste. Though, batteries could be for electric toothbrushes, and milk and orange juice are drinks, so...

                                  Not favorites, but in Japan, every now and then drinks are sold in tandem with anime collectibles.

                                  1. Once when I had the last glass from a bottle of Bull's Blood at a tapas bar, the bartender gave me the little plastic bull that hangs on the neck of the bottle. I still have it — it's around here somewhere.

                                    1. Kinder Eggs. Alas, they are now banned in the US.

                                      As a kid many cereals came with a prize inside. Nightmare for my mom since there were 5 of us. We rarely ever got packaged foods. Cereals were the one exception as we were allowed them once or twice a month.

                                      My husband and son collect the ceramic animals from red rose tea.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                        Kinder Eggs are still available in Canada, though.

                                        1. re: PotatoHouse

                                          yes, its a huge "black market" item. My friends talk about smuggling them in like they are cuban cigars, LOL.

                                      2. If we are considering bubble gum as food ;-) I had an extensive collection of Beatles cards that also came with gum. Sold the few I had left on eBay not long ago....no gum was discovered in the process however.

                                        Cracker Jacks used to have some nice toys, I bought a box a couple of years ago and was surprised to see that the "prizes" are made out of paper now. Little bits of paper.

                                        1. The jewel colored aluminum drinking glasses that came with the cottage cheese delivered by the milkman in the mid fifties.
                                          The glasses arelong gone but I recently discovered some of the matching longhandled spoons, the bows of said spoons being leaf shaped with a leaf pattern, packed in a box of old kitchen stuff from my mom's house.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Pwmfan

                                            Those sound so nice! I have lots of free glasses from the 1970s, mostly from Breakstone sour cream, don't think they're worth much though. Most with Bicentennial themes.

                                            The tiny footed ones that came with the Sausea shrimp cocktail are sort of cute though. And I think Welchs jelly had some too, with cartoon characters?

                                          2. What other food offers you lucky lottery numbers, a language lesson and a peek into your future? That's a heck of a value from one little fortune cookie!

                                            1. How about Welch's jelly that came in the Flintstone's glasses? I know we had an entire set when I was a kid in the '60s.

                                              9 Replies
                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  By the time I was raising my kids in the 90s, Welch's had switched to dinosaurs on the glasses. I've still got 3.

                                                  1. re: 512window

                                                    No kidding. They still offered a version- I had no idea.

                                                    1. re: 512window

                                                      I have pokemon ones! and i am not very old

                                                      1. re: girloftheworld

                                                        You'll have them forever - as near as I can tell they are unbreakable. They are a nice size for juice.

                                                  2. re: susan1353

                                                    I was born in '85 and I remember those glasses, too!

                                                    1. re: susan1353

                                                      I have a glass with Archie and Veronica on it.

                                                        1. re: prio girl

                                                          I remember those! Loved those little glasses.

                                                      1. Perhaps they still do this, but Good Seasonings used to provide a cruet with marks for water, oil and vinegar to make instant salad dressing even easier.

                                                        We had a Kool-ade pitcher and I think matching cups. Pretty sure it was from a mail-in offer though.

                                                        A little different, but Charlie Chips (home delivery in the '60's) would give you miniature tins for safekeeping chips in your lunch box. I still have a couple of them!

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: meatn3

                                                          Oh boy, Charlie Chips. There's a blast from the past.

                                                          1. re: meatn3

                                                            I have my Good Seasons cruet from the 1970s, don't think you could break it if you hit it with a hammer! I use it now to make my own homemade, although I still use the mix to season meat occasionally.

                                                            Had those Koolaid pitcher and cups too, they were plastic but lasted a long time. Funny you mention Charles Chips, my BIL gave us all a bag which apparently they are selling again, and all anyone could talk about was the tins. I think I've seen some rusty ones for sale at the local thrift shops, if I ever see a decent one I think I'll grab it.

                                                            Just remembered I took a picture of the bag, I'll post it below.

                                                          2. Well, I'm not likely eating the container that my orange juice came in...

                                                            1. there are two current promotions: with the purchase of several boxes of orville popcorn, you get a free popcorn bowl and kellogs is giving away a cereal bowl with the purchase of selected cereals.

                                                              1. A recent bag of Charles Chips:

                                                                1. Pac-Man cards with gum
                                                                  The OLD Slurpee with the prize on the bottom of the cup

                                                                  1. I just remembered a couple more.

                                                                    McD's used to have collector glasses. I have the hamburgerler, Ronald and Mayor McCheese.

                                                                    I also have a Tony the Tiger spoon, a ravioli-o's spoon, a Campbell's kids spoon and George jetson spoon. iirc correctly you saved box tops/soup labels and mailed away for them.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: foodieX2

                                                                      I have the McDonald's Garfield mugs. I wish I still had them, but they also had big plastic plates with all the McD's characters. My brother and I used to fight over Grimace.

                                                                      1. re: bugablue13

                                                                        I had one of the Garfield mugs- Odie holding up one end of a hammock for Garfield, what a lazy cat! My mother gave it away in a garage sale before I could get my paws on it.

                                                                    2. Aye, Cracker Jacks as mentioned.

                                                                      10-cents for admission and 5-cents for a treat at the Saturday matinee.

                                                                      The matron stalked up and down the 2 aisles and as she passed there was a moving wave of "flying saucers" caught, flashing magnificently in the projection beam - flattened CJ boxes skimmed into the air by whooping, screaming, unruly future ???s

                                                                      God matron hated the "crickets" which were a major CJ score. A constant "click, click, click click," over the sound-track of a movie that was then a huge perk of that part-time job.

                                                                      Later we all made our way home through the rail yards with older, responsible 6-year olds leading us over the various tracks. Far safer than crossing busy streets on a Saturday afternoon.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: DockPotato

                                                                        That depends on where you live! Glad you made it safely.

                                                                      2. Does anyone remember green glasses. I have several but can't remember if it was bubble gum or laundry detergent they came in.

                                                                        1. Some of these may have been mentioned but here are my thoughts.

                                                                          Bazooka Joe Comics

                                                                          Wacky Wall Crawlers in cereal

                                                                          Little porcelain figures in red rose tea

                                                                          Muppet Babies toys in happy meals - I didn't eat fast food, my grampas dog did so they would gift us the toys, the dog ate the happy meal.

                                                                          Little kids books in honey nut cheerios

                                                                          little baseball cards in cracker jacks

                                                                          1. 45s on the back of cereal boxes. talk about the needle skipping when you tried to play them!