Bazooka (chewing gum)
|Product type||Chewing gum|
Bazooka bubble gum was first marketed shortly after World War II in the U.S. by the Topps Company of Brooklyn, New York. The gum was probably named after the rocket-propelled weapon developed by the U.S. army during the war, which itself was named after a musical instrument.
The gum was packaged in a red, white, and blue color scheme and originally sold for one penny. Beginning in 1953, Topps changed the packaging to include small comic strips with the gum, featuring the character "Bazooka Joe". There are over 1,535 different "Bazooka Joe" comic-strip wrappers to collect. Also on the comic strip is an offer for a premium and a fortune. Older Bazooka comic strips were larger in size and are no longer available.
In addition to "Original", Topps eventually included the flavors "Strawberry Shake," "Cherry Berry," "Watermelon Whirl," and "Grape Rage." Bazooka gum also makes sugar-free flavors such as "Original" and a "Flavor Blasts" variety, claimed to have a longer-lasting, more intense taste. Bazooka gum comes in two different sizes.
Bazooka bubblegum is sold in many countries, often with Bazooka Joe comic strips translated to the local language. Bazooka gum is sold in Canada with cartoons in both English and French, depending upon the city. In Israel, it is manufactured under license by Elite in the company's factory in Nof HaGalil; the cartoons are written in Hebrew.
In Spain it was sold under the name "Chicle Bazoka" (with only an "o") starting in the middle 1960s, and featuring the Bazooka Joe strips. One of the publicity slogans was "Chicle bazoka, siempre en la boca". Rhymes were a popular publicity trick then.
In 2012, Bazooka Candy Brands announced they would no longer include comics, instead using brain-teasing puzzle wrappers in an attempt to modernize the brand.
In Argentina, sales continue with the comics in Spanish using the name "Yo amo Bazooka" (I love Bazooka). Topps lists all information about all of its Bazooka Candy brands through its website Candymania.
In popular culture
Bazooka Joe gum was lampooned on 30 Rock, with Alec Baldwin's character telling a fictional story of the founder inheriting a "useless pink rock quarry" and turning it into gum by baking it. Later, a "softer version of their gum was used to make armor-piercing bullets." A fictional advertisement for the gum, starring Stacy Keach, encouraged viewers to chew Bazooka Joe gum "because life is hard," and "it's like chewing a mountain that someone shot a freeze ray into."
In the January 23, 2018, episode of The Flash titled "The Elongated Knight Rises", it was referenced synonymously by Cisco as his favorite gum that disappeared in the 1990s due to the actions of the original Trickster and Prank.
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