The Original Razzles – Discovered!!

Today marks my third Razzles post for CollectingCandy, as it’s been quite a year of research and discovery for me on the topic.   When I posted my “All About Razzles” article back on April 2nd, I thought I’d seen it all.   After two previously-unseen flavors of Razzles showed up, I posted my “Revised and Revisited” entry on July 31st.   It was fun to add those new discoveries to my original entry.

But the hits have kept on coming and last month I was amazed to learn about an early version of Razzles that was released in 1966, a full two years before the oldest pack I’d previously known about.    An early version of Cherry Razzles also showed up at the same time.   So my understanding about the origins of this product have been upended, and today I get to share both of these exciting new discoveries with you.

Let me first go back and revisit what I previously thought was the earliest release of Razzles.    From back when the product was a raspberry-only candy, this early paper pack sported fun mascots, a 1969 expiration date, and a “new” indication (turned out this wasn’t as new as it claimed):

Fleer – Razzles – Raspberry Flavored Gum – 1968-1969 – Image courtesy Dan Goodsell

The discovery of an earlier pack came from a longtime collector who had acquired his pieces out of original Fleer company files.  This was the very first style of Razzles pack ever produced, and this example was said to be one of the first off the production line.   A true “rookie pack” for Razzles and unlike the later paper packs that would follow, this 1966 pack was made of foil.   Also of note is the patent pending indication.

It’s possible that Razzles were only test marketed for the first year or two, and didn’t get national distribution until the version seen in 1968, but I’m not certain.   Here is the 1966 foil pack:

Fleer – Razzles – raspberry flavored gum – great new – foil pack – pat pending – 1966

While much of the design of the 1966 pack is the same as the later 1968, the notable differences are the style of illustrations of the candy and the classic Razzles logo.  The logo seen on the 1968 pack would remain largely unchanged until the late 1980’s.  But the 1966 version was quite different.  Here they are, isolated for contrast:

Razzles logo type differences – 1966 and 1968

The 1966 Razzles edition is one of the coolest things I’ve ever learned about or found as a candy collector, and I’m excited to add it to my historical knowledge of the brand.   It also shows us that we are only four years away from being able to celebrate Razzles’ 50th Anniversary – fun stuff!

Next up is an early 70’s version of Cherry Razzles.  I first learned about Cherry Razzles earlier this year when I found mention of them on a 1975 trade ad.   When I first spotted the next pack, I assumed that it was the same version I’d found previously.  But it wasn’t.  This pack was an earlier version, before the fruit-mascots had been added to the packs, and here it is:

Fleer – Razzles Cherry – gum candy pack – backpack offer – 1974

With these two awesome discoveries, it was also time to go back and revise my Razzles visual timeline.  So here it is:

CollectingCandy.com Razzles revised timeline – Sept 25th 2012

And that’s everything on today’s revelation of the original 1966 Razzles.  I hope you enjoyed it, and I’ll see you next time!

About Jason Liebig

A New York City based writer, editor and sometimes actor. After spending much of the 1990′s in the comic book business helping tell the stories of Marvel Comics’ X-Men as series editor, he has since split his time between developing his own entertainment properties while still consulting and working on others.

Having been described as “the Indiana Jones of lost and forgotten candy”, Jason is one of the country’s premier candy collectors and historians with his discoveries appearing in countless blogs, magazines, newspaper articles, and books.

Always happy to share his knowledge and unique perspectives on this colorful part of our popular culture, Jason has consulted with New York’s Museum of Food and Drink and has also been a featured guest on Food Network’s Heavyweights, France’s M6 Capital, and New York’s TheActionRoom.com.

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12 Responses to The Original Razzles – Discovered!!

  1. Steve says:

    Impressive collection. You are doing great work in the field of Razzle Archaeology! This blog makes me happy every time I visit it.

  2. Leif Peng says:

    Very cool, Jason. I loved Razzles as a kid. I remember the first version of the package design… must have still been in use (in Canada) around 1970, when I was buying candy with my allowance money. Your research and timeline are impressive! Great work!

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  5. Blanche says:

    Any idea how much the original Razzles cost?

  6. Matt says:

    Jason,

    I was buying these from the ice cream man in the mid 70s and I don’t remember the packaging having the graphics you’re showing for 1975. The packaging you show from 1980’s looks familiar. Do you know if it was used in the mid 70’s as well?

    • Jason Liebig says:

      Matt,

      It’s possible. I’ve got a pretty deep resource of hard info on Razzles, but while I know those 1975 packs are pretty spot on, I don’t have anything solid as to what followed until 1980.

      So given that, it’s at least possible that the 1980 packaging design I show here was used earlier.. potentially as early as 1976. I say that since I have no hard evidence indication one way or another.

      That said, I will say that I hear from lots of folks who mis-remember when things were out or what things looked like exactly.

      So, it’s possible that you are only remembering the later packages as having been from earlier, or it’s possible that the 1980 design was used a few years earlier.

      • Matt says:

        I can see why I might get the packaging confused it was a while ago. And, it’s only 5 years between 1975 and 1980 so anything is possible. Thank you for responding.

        • Jason Liebig says:

          My pleasure. The candy packaging historical record is quite a lot like the fossil record. I’ve been piecing it together for over a decade, but for each piece you know about there are many you don’t and may never find.

          This is a genre where much of the material could be lost to history forever, but I’m doing what I can to document as much of it as possible and bring context to that.

    • Randall says:

      Matt,

      I can agree with you in that I saw the 1980 packaging in the 70’s. As an 8 year old in 1977, I can vividly remember that same package. I wonder if it’s possible that they released it earlier. Or, it could be my aging mind playing tricks on me! lol

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