A few hours after getting the second-half of my big Wonka Weekend finished and posted last night, I received an e-mail that was a bit of a shocker and sort of derailed a lot of what I’d written over the preceding 72 hours – but not really in a bad way.
It all began when I e-mailed my pal, Brandon Coker, as I thought he’d enjoy reading what I’d brought together on these two Wonka classics. Brandon is a fellow collector/historian, as well as a good friend. Over the years, we’ve assisted one another during our investigations into the oftentimes obscure history of vintage packaging.
After seeing what I’d posted, Brandon e-mailed to tell me that he’d recently uncovered new information and images regarding the early years of Wonka.
As I looked over the images and information he sent, my first thought was, “Can I rewind the last few days so I can include all of this awesome new material into what I’ve already written?” Anyone with a spare TARDIS I can borrow?
Of course you can’t turn back time, so I opted for this metaphorical “Stop the Presses” post, today.
Brandon explained the source of his findings: “I found these a while back, doing some research in the US Patent & Trademark Office archives.” And with that bit of background out of the way, let’s get to the goodies!
To start, we have the very first versions of both Oompas and Super Skrunch wrappers. These would have been what Oompas and Super Skrunch looked like on day one – “Rookie card” wrappers, if you will. Before this, I’d never seen an example of either of these [Note: I've included the U.S. Trademark Office seal, when present.]:
Next up is a mid-70’s style wrapper for Oompas. This would seem to match the style shown for the 1975 Super Skrunch wrapper I revealed in my earlier article. This is another piece I’ve never seen before:
Here is a 1977 Super Skrunch wrapper. I already featured a 1977 Super Skrunch in my article on Friday, but this is a vending machine bar example, which I didn’t have:
And finally, here’s a 2001 USA version of the Oompas fruit chews packaging:
The following two wrappers deserve special introduction, and possibly a bit of a disclaimer. It is my belief that these two wrappers were never put into mainstream production. I theorize that these were produced in extremely limited amounts, only to meet the minimal requirements for trademark renewal.
First up… a Wonka Oompas wrapper dated from 1991!
This Oompas wrapper proof above features only two-color graphics, but that’s not all that’s unusual about it. The logo used is the same as that from the 1981 Oompas package, while also including the full-body mascot from the early 70’s packs. It’s a very strange mix, and adds to my belief that this was a limited run produced purely for trademark renewal.
The following Super Skrunch wrapper has similar unusual elements:
Once again, this wrapper seems to be an odd mix of modern (for 1995) and vintage. There are many elements ripped right from the 70’s wrappers, while clearly incorporating all of the proper design elements needed for a 1995 production wrapper. While it’s not impossible that this bar was given a brief production run, on this I am doubtful. My guess is, it was printed up and sold to one store simply to warrant the renewal of the trademark.
The final image today doesn’t come from the U.S. Trademark Office archives, but instead comes from Brandon Coker’s personal collection. This is an image of a kids-size t-shirt, produced as a premium in the 1970’s for Willy Wonka’s Super Skrunch. I hope you’ll agree that it’s pretty awesome:
And that’s everything for this unexpected Wonka Weekend Rewind! See you next time!