The confectionery world is one that is never too shy to jump on a trend or fad, and that was certainly the case with the Leaf company. They were skilled at re-branding their standard gumball assortments into products that reflected then-current pop culture like Jaws, CB Radios and in 1978; Star Wars. Leaf’s Space Wars was their bubble gum product that loosely invoked the sci-fi classic.
Leaf would typically release these re-branded gumball offerings to the vending trade as it was the one most suited to take advantage of the invoked trends (or perhaps quickly misread names) since it was an impulse buy or change-maker purchase.
I’m fairly certain that I personally remember seeing Leaf’s Space Wars gum in vending machines as a kid, as this vending insert card looks so familiar to me now:
Beyond just putting them in vending machines, Leaf would also take some of these re-branded gumball products and distribute them to the full candy trade, typically as cellophane tubes of gumballs. Leaf’s Space Wars bubble gum received that treatment and I’m happy to report I have one of the cello packs in my collection:
While digging through my archive of vintage trade materials from the era, I was able to find one small photo of a Leaf Space Wars full display box. In the photo, you can see that the display box utilized some of the graphics from the vending insert along with additional artwork not found on it. Here it is:
[Note: On the edge of that image you can see Leaf's Jaws-inspired offering, but that is a topic I'll be paddling back around to cover later on.]
I’ve never encountered an actual example of that Leaf Space Wars display box, but I’d love to find one – it looks pretty neat!
And that’s everything for today’s coverage of Leaf’s Space Wars bubble gum, an offering loosely inspired by one of my all-time-favorite flicks; Star Wars.
See you next time!