I don’t know what Topps is doing these days to get kids buying their products but back in the 80’s they were on a roll. They had Wacky Packages, Garbage Pail Kids and were also giving any kid related movie and TV show a trading card run but Topps didn’t stop at cards. They were fairly big into the candy scene at one point and may still be for all I know but if they are then they’re not as creative about it these days. They used to stuff candy into the plastic heads of Batman, the Rocketeer, Yoda, and anybody else you can dream up. They also had today’s Doom Kick topic, Garbage Can-dy. Remember these?
Garbage Can-dy started in the late 70’s as far as I can tell but I was a child of the 80’s and I remember it being in pretty much every convenience store and gas station around back then. I remember one store vividly that always carried stuff like this. You could find Big League Chew and Garbage Can-dy and Fangoria magazine all under one roof. You could even get a burger and ice cream and that’s one of my memories I hold on to the tightest.
I can remember going there with my dad and we’d order food and while we waited he would let me pick up a magazine and some candy. I have strong memories of sitting in a back booth with Batman and Joker candy filled heads and Topps Garbage Can-dy; dumping the candy on the table and eating it while playing with the little plastic garbage can. Music from great (and some horrible) Nintendo games played in the background from the Play Choice 10 arcade machine that was just over from the tables. It’s a really strong memory and one I’m really happy to have years later. I had no intentions of running that far down memory lane for Garbage Can-dy but it’s a good memory to have and these almost worthless little trash cans get to be a co-star of that great memory.
Back to the present, I’ve not seen Garbage Can-dy in years. Topps might still make them but if they do then they’re not as easy to find as they were in the 80’s. I did happen to run across four unopened cans from the days when I was buying them up like candy (get it?)
I don’t know if there’s an expiration date on something like this. It isn’t exactly food. I assume it’s mostly sugar and probably contains a few less chemicals than candy of today. I figure I might as well pop one of these open and see what the candy looks like and maybe even find out what it tastes like.
The candy is shaped like trash with a few different kinds of shoes, a fish, some bones, and something that I can’t quite figure out. The smell of sugar is pretty strong as soon as you pop that can open but it’s when i took the taste test that memories really flooded back. It’s unbelievable but as soon as I got these in my mouth it was like a rush came over me. The date says 1988 but you would think these were made yesterday! They taste faintly Pez-ish but also better than Pez and it may just be the wave of great memories that washed over me but these are really good. I have to believe that if these were still out there in steady supply kids would eat them up, literally!