Hallmark - Valentine Monster cards assortment - 1970's
Though Valentine’s Day is a holiday intimately intertwined with the idea of roses and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, it’s not my top holiday for candy collecting. Perhaps next to the monster-adorned packaging for Halloween, or the Santa-&-Snowmen bounty of Christmas, a bunch of hearts and pink wrappers don’t compare. Maybe it’s just me.
But being low on my list, doesn’t mean it’s off the list entirely. So here are a scatter-shot of images and pieces from my collection with a Valentine’s connection.
Candy bar valentine cards - 1980's
Here’s what might be the coolest Valentine-related piece that’s ever passed through my collection.
Valentine Sweetarts - cello candy package wrapper - 1970's
Here’s something a bit more edgy, from the folks at Topps.
Topps - Valentine Nasty Notes - bubble gum display box lid - 1970's
Next up, a pair of more traditional Valentine’s packaging. These two “Wink ‘n Kiss” boxes have illustrations of young girls with lenticular face features, that show their eyes blinking depending on how you move the box.
Brachs - Wink 'n Kiss chocolates box lid - 1960's
Brachs - Wink 'n Kiss chocolates box lid white - 1960's
Tell Chocolate - To My Sweetheart chocolate heart foil candy wrapper - 1970's
I do have a few more contemporary pieces to share. The first is from my Japanese Kit Kat collection. I’ll be doing a larger story on the Japanese Kit Kat phenomenon soon.
Japan - Kit Kat Valentine's Day edition candy box - 2009
Just Born - Hot Tamales Valentines Day box - 2008
Wrigley - Hubba Bubba - Bubble Tape Valentine's gum dispenser - 2012
That’s it for the actual candy pieces. I’m rounding out today’s coverage of Valentine’s candy with a few trade ads and other vintage candy imagery.
Leading off, I’ve got a shot that showcases the 1994 V-Day offerings from Willy Wonka. I’d be thrilled to find any of these. Check out those Gobstopper Heartbreakers!
Willy Wonka Valentine's candy assortment from 1993
Brachs Valentine's chocolate ad - 1965
Necco-Stark offerings from 1993
Elmer's Assorted Chocolates - 1994
Frankford - Cupid's Heart boxed chocolate - from a 1984 ad
Palmer - Mini P. Nutter Hearts - 1993
I’m wrapping up today with a shot of an early 90’s Jelly Belly Valentine mix. Hope everyone out there has a great Valentine’s Day!
Jelly Belly Valentine Mix - 1993
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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The TOPPS “Nasty Notes” box artwork was likely drawn by Art Spiegelman.
SF: I used to think the exact same thing, but I’m not so sure now. I’ve learned there was another artist at Topps, who could mimic his style, and did so, on a number of pieces of Topps’ packaging. I’m laying the groundwork for more research on this front right now, so I hope to come back with an in-depth piece on Topps novelty candy and gum, and the people behind their development and the artwork. It won’t be easy… as Topps has very little internally on the topic.
What a great vintage candy collection you have. Happy Valentine’s Day and stay sweet! Beth Kimmerle
Wonderful post! I have that conversation hearts box from 1965 but never knew what period it was from. Fun to see the ad! And I love how “I Love You” is spelled in chocolates. And those winky boxes. All around – love it.
I’d be curious to see how the net weight of the old bars stacks up against the new bars. The one I could see was the Reese’s and surprisingly, the new bar actually weighed more.
i’m thinking the topps nasty notes art is more r. crumb than spiegleman…both tend to be heavy hatchers and employ thick expressive lines but the female depicted is definitely a crumb female…
Crumb was my first thought too.
I am reasonably certain that Crumb never did work for Topps. But I agree, the work on this box as well as several others I have is very evocative of Crumb’s style. This is likely an example of an artist at Topps who I’ve heard of, who was pretty skilled at copying styles. I am currently researching this and hope to have a more definitive history of it all, but that’ still months away.
That Valentine Posters box was drawn by Rick Varesi (the artist who did most of the packaging at Topps then). Crumb did a booklet for Tobacco jobbers at Topps. Then he did a Valentine series for Topps in ’65 or ’66. He’d come in to to Topps after that to visit Woody Gelman. Rick also drew many if not all the posters in that Valentine series based on roughs that Art Spiegelman and I did. He drew the final valentines in an “underground comix” style…reminiscent of Crumb and Shelton’s work. At the time, Me Art and Rick were physically at Topps all at the same time when we worked on this series of Valentine posters…and Rick could imitate any drawing style. So the whole thing was kind of fun to do at the time…in the infancy of the “underground comix” in 1968 or so. Things were more casual then.
thanks for that jay… 🙂
i am amazed at the price for the brachs heart shaped box 2.99 wow and alot in the box too in 1965
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