Wacky Wednesdays – Now & Never!

CC_WackyWednesdays_Now&Never_TITLE PLATE

Welcome back for this week’s edition of Wacky Wednesdays!  For today I’ve selected another offering from the recently-released Wacky Packages Old School series 4 – Now & Never.  Now & Never is a parody of the 1970′s package for Now & Later.

As with a number of previous selections, I had a hand in helping determine exactly which Now & Later package was the correct 1970′s version to use for the Old School series.  The fact is that beyond sites like this one and my colleagues on Flickr, there isn’t a central repository of vintage packaging reference – so Old School artist David Gross was again able to enlist my expertise to figure out the right Now & Later pack for him to use.

When Dave first contacted me about this one, I wasn’t sure what the Now & Later packaging looked like in the early-to-mid-1970′s.  I had a photo of a 1960′s pack and I had a photo of an early 80′s pack but not what came in-between.  Over the course of the following months, I was finally able to uncover and provide the era-appropriate reference images he needed for the parody.  Now & Never was the result:

Wacky Packages Old School 4 - Now & Never - 2012

Topps – Wacky Packages Old School 4 – Now & Never – 2012

The key piece of packaging reference came in the form of this 1974 trade ad which I was able to track down – and which provided the model for the Old School parody:

Now & Later - candy industry trade ad - October 1974

Now & Later – candy industry trade ad – October 1974

One of Dave’s big challenges in finding the right packaging for Wacky Packages Old School beyond how hard it is to track down at all, is that sometimes package designs changed during the period of years he’s looking at, occasionally multiple times.  In the case of Now & Later however, the package was revamped only once, early on in the decade – likely sometime in 1974.  I couldn’t narrow it down completely, but I compared the following trade ad images, and the dates they were published:

Now & Later Early 70's packaging change

Now & Later Early 70′s packaging change

The 1973 pack was using a design that carried over from the middle-1960′s.   That 1974 package style was the one that would last through into the early 1980′s, and so Dave decided that it was the more iconically-1970′s version of the packaging and the one he would use.

Not long after the Now & Never reference image had been decided upon, I finally acquired an actual 1970′s Now & Later package wrapper.  I’d not had one in my collection previously and though it was not the grape flavor referenced for the Wacky Package, it is the same style design and era of wrapper.

Here’s the cello wrapper for a 1977 Now & Later Chocolate package:

Phoenix Candy Co - Now & Later - Chocolate - cello candy wrapper - 1977

Phoenix Candy Co – Now & Later – Chocolate – cello candy wrapper – 1977

I think that Chocolate Now & Later wrapper is pretty spectacular!

And that’s everything I’ve got for today’s edition of Wacky Wednesdays.  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. My Google Profile+
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3 Responses to Wacky Wednesdays – Now & Never!

  1. Brandon says:

    Excellent! It’s that 1974+ wrapper that is most familiar to me. A pack of Grape Now & Laters was often a staple for me on long car trips. I’d love to find one for my collection.

  2. how do get the old now& later 1974/74

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