Treats or Tricks? Unfortunate Vintage Candy Wrappers

October 29th, 2013


This nut roll in chocolate promised to be as filling as the name on the candy's wrapper. Source:


This nut roll in chocolate promised to be as filling as the name on the candy's wrapper. Source:

Abba Zaba

While one can admire the fonts used on the box for this 1922 candy, the imagery is obviously racist. Source:


By themselves, these brand names are reasonably innocuous, but together? Source:


No idea what's going on here. Anyone? Source:


Okay, in 1965, these were probably not distributed to trick or treaters by neighborhood dads. Source:


"Driving that train, high on cocaine, Casey Jones you better watch your speed." Grateful Dead, 1970. Source:


For children who are trying to kick the candy habit, I suppose. Source:


Just what every kid wants: Bubble gum that tastes like insect-infused pancakes. Source:


A candy classic, from back in the days when nuclear weapons were cool. Source:


At least the copy writer of this candy's packaging had the good sense to put the word "flavor" below the word "chocolate" rather than "babies." Source:


Tough to know where to start with this one... Source:


Another product whose brand has fun, fun, fun with drug addiction. Source:


Candy disguised as a toxic cleaning product. What could possibly go wrong? Source:


Reportedly, these Life Savers tasted like your grandmother's makeup. Mmmm. Source:


We've all seen fake candy cigarettes, but the early ones didn't even bother to differentiate themselves from the real thing, right down to the Pall Mall slogan. Source:


Saving the best for last, in 1965, Pez made a replica of James Bond's Walther PPK handgun for a dispenser. Yes, children were encouraged to put the pistol in their mouths and pull the trigger. Source:

According to a recent article on, the notion that poison candy is routinely distributed to unsuspecting children on Halloween is a myth perpetrated by advice columnists Dear Abby and Ann Landers in the 1980s and ’90s. But historically, candy meant for young consumers has sported poisonous-sounding, WTF wrappers and packages that most self-respecting 2013 parents would be dismayed to see dumped out of their children’s trick-or-treat bags. The slideshow above features a number of such gag-worthy examples of unfortunate candy-wrapper branding, courtesy of the sweet collections at, Collecting,, and Happy Halloween!

20 comments so far

  1. Rob N. Says:


  2. s. mather Says:

    I remember poisoned and tampered Halloween candy rumors from the 60’s and 70’s.

  3. Steve Says:

    The Yorkie bar is marketing gimmick. They have one that is “Not for Boys,” too.

  4. antonio Says:

    hate to tell you, but the word “flavor” on Chocolate Babies is 99% likely there because the ingredient list doesn’t actually add up to what can be called chocolate in the US or wherever those candies are from. You will see similar “flavor” annotations here and there on many products.

  5. grumpy ol' codger Says:

    Vintage? Not #9. You have to look, but you can still get Atomic Fire Balls. I’m not sure about the latest ones, but, lemme tell you, the old ones really lived up to their name.

  6. cs Says:

    Casey Jones is an American folk legend for being the quickest train driver! Wouldn’t take the dead reference too seriously…

  7. D S Craft Says:

    What’s racist about the AbbaZaba candy? The images depict African tribesmen as they historically dressed. What’s racist about that? Or, is it now racist to show images of blacks in anything other than modern garb?
    No, this is not a racist image.

  8. Tindy Says:

    D.S. Craft:

    I’ll take “huge bug eyes and floppy white lips” for $1000, Alex.

  9. Laura Says:

    I’ve actually had musk flavored candy – it’s commonly available in Australia and New Zealand. I think they still sell musk Life Savers there as well. It’s pretty much like eating a stick of perfume. I did eventually get used to the Fry’s Turkish Delight, which is like eating jellied rose perfume covered with chocolate.

  10. nate Says:

    the pez candy was not meant to shoot into your mouth.. the back of the pack says to use it as a target and the winner gets all the pez shot at it.. now will you shoot someone with pez probably haha..
    I cant help but feel sad at the fact that these are all found offensive… I found them all amusing..people need to lighten up

  11. jack scrumble Says:

    The Yorkie wrapper is hardly vintage, that’s the wrapper they use now. Yorkie is a thick, chunky chocolate bar. The current, very tongue in cheek, advert is “Man fuel for men”.

    As for chocolate babies, not a big step from Jelly Babies.

  12. Klepto the Super-Thug Says:

    Tip: “Goofy Groceries” is a rather clumsy knockoff of “Wacky Packages” product parodies. “Ant Jive” and “Kilzo” are not genuine products.

  13. X.H. Ipster Says:

    Hmmm…what’s a better question than how old is the intern who came up with these words? How old is the editor who didn’t bother to edit this link bait? Just overall unfunny with a glaring lack of awareness about 20th century society and context. Know your audience, bubs.

  14. BG Says:


    Very Funny!!!

  15. Eddie B Smith Says:

    Good grief. The author’s “PC” take on over half of these is just beyond ridiculous.
    People need to get a sense of humor again and quit looking for reasons to be offended.

  16. lawrence Says:

    AbbaZabba is part of lyric in Tom Wait’s Chocolate Jesus.

  17. tam francis Says:

    Those are pretty funny. I remember some of them and I swear I’m not that old. My son would love the Pez one and before I read the caption I wasn’t thinking of how terrible it was (gun in mouth, Doh!). Love all this vintage stuff, I might have to work some of these into my fictional story, gotta research which ones are 1940s :) Thanks for the fun this morn.

  18. Tim McMahon Says:

    Casey Jones was first parodied in an old Country Western song called “The Wreck of old ’97” where it was rumored that the Train wreck was caused by an Engineer who took a curve too fast. The candy is just a marketing attempt to sell candy from his notoriety. Long before Grateful Dead incorporated any reference to cocaine.

  19. silly one Says:

    What about ‘chicken bones’ and “mary janes”…?

  20. Bianca varelas Says:

    Oh come on people, all these chocolates are racist. You don’t need a degree to figure this out. You all must be kids. Grow up juveniles, check your history.

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