Bazooka Gum is giving its iconic characters the boot after providing nearly 60 years of tiny comic strip joy, according to Business Insider.
The company is reportedly ditching the adventures of Bazooka Joe and his friends in an attempt to give its beloved product a new lease on life. The gum will also lose its iconic red, white, and blue packaging in favor of design featuring “saturated hues.”
Instead of extremely small comic strips, the gum’s wrapper will feature brainteasers and other like-minded activities. Additionally, the size of the gum itself is expected to get an increase in size. However, those of us who preferred the cheesy comics over the actual product will no doubt be disappointed by the news.
“Instead of a cheesy joke, we wanted to have a fun, engaging activity for kids,” explained Anthony Trani, Vice President of Marketing for Bazooka Candy Brands.
The New York Times explains that, in addition to the aforementioned brain-teasing activities, the wrappers will include digital codes and links to online content. Since most kids don’t seem to know who Bazooka Joe is or why he’s wrapped around a piece of gum, the company is taking a more modern approach to its packaging.
“What we’re trying to do with the relaunch is to make the brand relevant again to today’s kids,” Trani said, adding that the new design takes “visual cues from comic books and skateboard culture and graffiti.”
According to Wikipedia, Bazooka Joe came to life sometime between 1952 and 1954. The character was created by Topps Product Development head Woody Gelman and cartoonist Wesley Morse, the latter of whom was known for his pornographic comics. Pesty, Mort, Hungry Herman, Jane, Toughie, and neighbor mutt Walkie Talkie rounded out Bazooka Joe and his Gang.
Are you sad that Bazooka Gum is parting ways with Bazooka Joe?