Sale into the 90s--a 1980s/1990s history Tumblr

A tumblr about 1980s and 1990s history, and I use the term "history" very loosely.

The 1980s | The 1990s

My Retail History Blog | My Portfolio | The Zine

122. Larry Bird’s mustache

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Often parodied, never duplicated. Often scared me when seeing old basketball clips on TV. 

121. Gobble D. Glu & Elmer’s Glu Colors (1994)

It’s so funny, I actually remember reading this article in my local paper Daily Press, when I was 11:

Kids Eat `Glu’

Answer Lady

Candy’s Name A Sticky Point

September 21, 1994|By JILL KEECH Daily Press

Q: I’ve noticed that some convenience stores sell candy in containers that resemble glue bottles, with names that associate candy and glue - specifically Gobble D Glu from a 7-Eleven. Don’t the stores and the manufacturers understand the problem society has with children inhaling harmful chemicals? Their product would seem to encourage such behavior. Why do they sell this stuff? - J.T., Newport News

A: In the words of a spokesman - who did not want to give me his name - for Zeebs Enterprises Inc.: “We’ve sold millions” of bottles of Gobble D Glu. There’s your answer. Zeebs has had “a couple” of comments such as yours, including an objection from Borden Inc., which owns Elmer’s Glue. “We understand that the packaging is close to Elmer’s. I got in touch with Elmer’s Glue to make sure there wasn’t something we had to worry about,” says the spokesman. “They told me Elmer’s Glue is non-toxic.”

But it’s the principle of the thing. “We think it’s a very poor thing to do, and we wish they hadn’t done it, especially if they’re out there insinuating that we’ve given our blessing,” says John Jones, product manager for the Borden division that includes Elmer’s. The product’s name was changed to “Goo,” although the product with “glu” on the label is still in local stores. “I regret we’ve had a problem, but I don’t think it’s such a great problem that we should pull it,” says the Zeebs spokesman.

What’s a parent to do? Boycott the product and consider firing off a letter to Zeebs ( 7354 Tower St., Fort Worth, TX 76118 ) and contacting the retailer selling the stuff. For 7-Eleven, that would be through customer relations at (800) 255-0711. 1

So, there was a liquid candy that looked like colorful glue, in a little glue bottle so you can squirt it in your mouth, and it looked suspiciously like Elmer’s Glue. 

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Oh, and at that time Borden was marketing an Elmer’s Glue named “Glu Colors”, which was colorful glue, in little bottles. It was sometimes sold in a 3 pack of small bottles, the same exact size as the bottle of candy. 

To a little kid’s eye, the two looked almost the same. I wish I had that Daily Press microfilm, but its 3:09 in the morning, and the library is all the way in Newport News. I had to improvise: 

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Next time I am in Newport News, near the library, I need to see if I got it right. I bet there was a little parody of Elmer on the bottle and the Elmer house logo, I wish I remembered, all I remember was the word “GLU" in big letters on the bottle.

The only significant hit I found for the candy other than the article was this from a text magazine, Superstupid, circa 1994:

TITLE: Gobble D Glu (CANDY)
ARTIST: Zeebs Enterprises, Inc.
What a concept.  Who is the genius who decided to market candy to
kids in little glue containers.  Yes, you heard me folks, little
glue containers.  What the heck was the product development meeting
like?  Was it like this:

BOSS:     "Kids demand new and unique ways to enjoy flavorful sugar
          filled treats."
FLUNKY:   "Yes sir."
BOSS:     "And we have all of these empty glue containers."
FLUNKY:   "Yes sir."
BOSS:     "And vats of this putrid tasting, neon colored, sugar
          filled goo."
FLUNKY:   "Yes sir."
BOSS:     "So here's an idea."
FLUNKY:   "Sir."
BOSS:     "What if we take the putrid tasting, neon colored, sugar
          filled goo and stick it in the empty glue containers. 
          Isn't that a unique method of enjoying flavorful sugar
          filled treats?"
FLUNKY:   "Yes indeed it is sir."
BOSS:     "I am brilliant, aren't I."
FLUNKY:   "Yes indeed you are sir."
BOSS:     "Stop drooling Himmler."



1. Keech, Jill. “Kid’s Eat ‘Glu’.” Daily Press, September 21, 1994. http://articles.dailypress.com/1994-09-21/features/9409210040_1_civil-war-colonial-national-historical-park-revolutionary-war (accessed April 6, 2014).

120. Blondie, February 3, 1989

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aw, hard crime even hit the towns of Blondie

119. The Oregonian’s Tonya Harding photo essay

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She only ranked at #22 on Sports Illustrated’s end of century list of the greatest Oregon sports figures, but Tonya Harding is with little doubt the state’s most widely known athlete. Twenty years after the attack on fellow figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, we look at the arc of Harding’s career and the media frenzy that followed her, ex-husband Jeff Gillooly (now Stone) and other co-conspirators in the scandal.

  (67 total photos)

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Here on Tumblr, we always joke that certain celebrities are our “queens”. Well, Tonya is my ~~**Queen of the 1990s**~~. 

Q
I just wanted to say I love your blog! It's crazy seeing all the things I vaguely remember from my childhood. So awesome!
A

heh, that’s what started this blog. I wrote down a list of things I vaguely remembered from when I was growing up. 

118. “Rolling Classrooms” (The Post and Courier, September 21, 1993)

I guess the internet replaced this through the years. Also, there would be no way you could take this class if you get motion sick from looking at documents on a moving train I’d imagine. 

"All aboard for education ." The Post and Courier, September 21, 1993. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=MF5SAAAAIBAJ&sjid=FDcNAAAAIBAJ&pg=4771,2336691 (accessed March 13, 2014).

117. Seventeen (with Jared Leto on the cover, July 1996)

(Today’s entry is in HTML, you have to click on the little grey squares to see images if you’re reading this on tumblr dash) 

seventeen magazine, july 1996

I actually remember buying this issue at Rite Aid the Summer between 7th grade and 8th grade, and thinking “ugh, Jordan Catalano is on the cover”. I wasn’t a big Jordan fan, I always thought Angela could’ve done better. 

About 2 years ago, I won a bound copy of Seventeen magazines from July to December 1996 off ebay. The copies were from a reading room of a library in Lincoln, Nebraska. The issue came to them in the mail on June 8, 1996. 

These bound copies weigh a ton, but it was amazing to have some of my Seventeens again from my golden age of being a teenager. The Tumblr I’m with Mars has the scan of the article. Be sure to right click and “view image” or “open image in new tab” to be able to read the whole article. I didn’t scan the article when I scanned the magazine a couple of years ago.

(I wish I had one of those big archival quality scanners to scan these old bound magazines, because my desktop scanner cuts the ends of the pages off.)

Read More

116. Nissan Van (sent to the automobile crusher, 1994)

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(do you like my drawing?)

The largest ever vehicle recall buyback in the United States was in 1994 when Nissan offered to buy back and destroy around 33,000 of their minivans made between 1987 and 1990. 1 The reason for the large recall was that the larger American engines and air conditioning installed in the Japanese styled van would overheat and sometimes catch on fire. 2 

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(it even had a little hot/cold snack box that you could put sunny d in!)

The smoke and fires began in 1987, the year the van came out. By 1994, there was 153 fires reported.  From 1987 to 1994 there were five recalls about problems related to the engine compartment fires.

Once the owner of the van returned the Van to a Nissan dealership, they were offered a buyback:

The action could cost Nissan more than $200 million. Nissan said it expects to pay $5,000 to $7,000, depending on age and mileage of the vehicle. The move underscores the ever-greater lengths that auto makers must go to to maintain their image with increasingly demanding customers.

"We’re paying higher than you’ll ever get as a used car or a trade-in," a Nissan spokesman said. The company’s vice president and general manager, Earl Hesterberg, said, "This program is designed to satisfy our customers."

[…]

Under the buyback program, the company is offering to purchase all the Passenger Van XEs and GXEs at current retail value. The company will also provide all the minivan owners a $500 coupon toward the purchase of any new or used Nissan vehicle. 1

While most Nissan Vans made it to the crusher, there are a few still lingering around. 

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Look at the roomy interior of this one sitting in a junk yard in North Carolina in 2011. 2 

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Look at this beaut in Oregon back in 2011, and here is this silver one that came from space and landed in Southern California 

1. Nauss, Donald. ”Nissan to Buy Back 33,000 Defective Minivans : Autos: All owners will receive up to $7,000. The action on the fire-prone vehicle could cost more than $200 million..” Los Angeles Times, February 4, 1994. http://articles.latimes.com/1994-02-04/business/fi-19061_1_minivan-owners (accessed February 17, 2014).

2."For $1,200, get fired up over this Nissan Van." jalopnik (blog), April 11, 2011. http://jalopnik.com/5791884/for-1200-get-fired-up-over-this-nissan-van (accessed February 17, 2014).

Related Links:

More junkyard beauties

even more

115. Corky’s “Corky” Mug

114. Beech Nut’s no apple juice apple juice

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The combination of babies, apple juice and a well-known name like Beech-Nut makes for a potent symbol. In fact, apple juice is not especially nutritious (bottlers often fortify it with extra vitamin C), but babies love it and find it easy to digest. Parents are pleased to buy a product that says ”no sugar added” and ”100% fruit juice” - as Beech-Nut advertised - and seem to regard it as almost as pure and natural as mother’s milk. That, of course, was the sacred trust Beech-Nut broke, and is now struggling to repair.  2

[…]

It said that the product that Beech-Nut had been marketing as 100 percent apple juice was actually made from beet sugar, cane sugar syrup, corn syrup and other ingredients, with little if any apple juice in the mixture. 3

Remember a few years ago when Dr. Oz tried to scare us into thinking dangerous levels of arsenic was in our apple juice?

Nothing beats sugar water masquerading as apple juice, and the sugar water being shipped off overseas to hide evidence: 

By the late summer of 1982, Beech-Nut was racing to unload its stock before regulators initiated a seizure action. On Sept. 1, Hoyvald managed to unload thousands of cases of juice from the Secaucus warehouse to Puerto Rico, despite the fact that the Puerto Rican distributor was already overstocked. Two weeks later, Hoyvald overruled his own lawyers and colleagues, who again suggested a recall, and ordered a feverish ”foreign promotion”; under certain circumstances, American law does not prohibit the selling abroad of products banned at home. Within days, 23,000 cases were trucked at great expense from the company’s San Jose, Calif., plant to Galveston, Tex., where they were off-loaded onto the first boat bound for the Dominican Republic, where they were sold at a 50 percent discount. 2

1. Appleson, Gail. “Beech-Nut reels from juice scandal.”Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 22, 1988. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=19880222&id=6MxRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=5G0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=6810,5779797 (accessed February 7, 2014).

2. Traub, James. “Into the Mouths of Babes.” New York Times, July 24, 1988. http://www.nytimes.com/1988/07/24/magazine/into-the-mouths-of-babes.html (accessed February 7, 2014).

3. Burder, Leonard. “Beech-Nut Is Fined $2 Million for Sale Of Fake Apple Juice.” New York Times, November 14, 1987. http://www.nytimes.com/1987/11/14/business/beech-nut-is-fined-2-million-for-sale-of-fake-apple-juice.html (accessed February 7, 2014).

4. Burke, Richard. “Beech-nut: Risking Responsibility And Professional Ethics For Profits.” The Inquirer , May 01, 1988. http://articles.philly.com/1988-05-01/news/26261616_1_beech-nut-phony-juice-niels-l-hoyvald (accessed February 7, 2014).