The Phoenix Candy Company is best known for their product Now & Later, but during the 1960’s and 1970’s, Phoenix also sold quite a few series of Candy-and-a-Toy boxed candy. Today I’ll be covering their 1978 release, based on the King Features property Flash Gordon.
The above image is part of a one-sheet sales flyer for the Flash Gordon release that would have been distributed to retailers for ordering, or for advertising. It’s great in that it shows a full display box, as well as a burst-out revealing the mail-away for this line – a Now & Later t-shirt.
It might be difficult to imagine now, but these toys in candy boxes were not uncommon when I was growing up in the 1970’s. The toys were never a big deal, comparable to the small plastic Cracker Jack toys of the time, but still… as a kid, this was value!
I don’t know if Phoenix was always in the Candy-and-a-Toy business but these types of offers go back to the 1960’s and earlier. They could easily be a collecting category unto themselves.
I have a pair of these Phoenix Company Flash Gordon boxes in my collection.
Phoenix licensed a number of properties for their “Candy-and-a-Toy” series, and they must have been successful, as is evidenced by the multitude releases over the years. I recall Fat Albert, Welcome Back Kotter, Planet of the Apes, and more. Sadly I don’t have images for those others to share today.
I suspect that, given time and a lot of hunting, I could write an expansive look back on just this part of Phoenix Candy history. For now, I shall use what I have in my collection.
Here are two other Phoenix Candy-and-a-Toy series boxes I have. As you can see, cartoons and comics were the go-to for the kind of property they attached to these. But prime time television was also included. Now that I think about it, I believe they did a Happy Days series of these.
That’s all for this glimpse at a fun throwback genre of candy packaging – the Candy-and-a-Toy, from Phoenix Candy Company. I hope you enjoyed it, and if you recall any of the other lines released over the years, drop a line and share.