It may seem like a relic from the past, but candy that even kids could buy in bulk at the corner store with their weekly allowance is a sweet memory that echoes through the ages for many of today’s adults. These examples of penny candy from the 60s are sure to have you longing for a cheek full of sugar and some money left over in your pocket for important stuff like comic books and baseball cards!
These pasty hard(ish) candies were made by … yes, the Smarties Candy Company.
About the size of pills, Smarties come in rolls and were packed inside a cellophane wrapping with twisted ends.
The candies are sweet and sour, though “sugar” is the dominant flavor for the pastel confections.
Smarties are still made today, favorites of adult children everywhere.
A penny could get you buy-in the Jujyfruits, a gumdrop type of candy made by Ferrara Candy.
Around since 1920, the chewy fruit-flavored candies come in flavors such as orange, grape, and cherry.
Back in the day, Jujyfruits were wrapped with a string of paper that looped around them.
Their signature flavor and packaging hasn’t changed much over the years.
Bazooka gum was a favorite of penny candy of kids in the 60s, and that love affair continues today.
Featuring soft-to-hard (depending on freshness) rectangular slabs of bubble gum, Bazooka was introduced by Topps Chewing Gum after World War II as America turned to commercial avenues to enhance our fun.
Topps, of course, became a household name as “The Real One” among baseball cards.
Capitalizing on that relationship with young kids (and boys especially), Topps used Bazooka as a way to get its gum in the hands of penny-candy seekers.
The Bazooka Joe comic strips included in each piece of gum, for instance, featured the adventures of a neighborhood full of kids going through the same sorts of childhoods that Topps’ customers were experiencing.
Even today, Bazooka is still the go-to gum for penny candy seekers of all ages thanks to its timelessly recognizable packaging, and – dare I say? – addictive flavor.
“Dum Dums,” as the name might suggest, were more than just penny candy.
The small spheres of flavored sugar and corn syrup had a delightfully chewy texture (once you sucked on them for awhile) that was impossible to beat for those looking for something easy-to-eat on the go – no less delicious than they looked.
It’s hard not to feel nostalgic for this penny candy – it was the first thing I ever bought with my allowance when going to the corner store, and after all of these years it remains a favorite.
Dum Dums’ packaging also has impeccable staying power: everyone knows the white wrappers with the flavor-indicating drawings on the outside, and the thick paper stick jutting out below.
Every kid who ever went to the bank with his mom, or who got a shot at the doctor’s office, knows all about Dum Dums.
But there’s always one lingering challenge ….
Are you brave enough to take on the mystery flavor sucker?
If you wanted a candy that could pull your teeth clean out of your head, it was hard to beat Mary Janes.
Featuring a mix of peanut butter and molasses, the chewy candy was sweet and sticky — a real jawbreaker (albeit it a soft-ish one).
The yellow and red wrappers feature a delightful-looking little girl in a Bo Peep get-up who looks like just the sweetest thing in the world. Little did we know that a teeth-smashing monster lurked there in her heart.
These were about as simple as it got when it came to penny candy: just hard little disks jam-packed with hot cinnamon flavor, dampened with just enough sugar to make the whole thing palatable … and addictive.
In addition to cinnamon, you might find the occasional cherry or spearmint disk; but those were not my bag — give me spice, or give me death!
Or, at least, butterscotch.