Monday, March 15, 2010


It's the bane of elementary school teachers, the scourge of the dental industry and the arch nemesis of the entire janitorial industry. And yet it still remains stuck underneath our desks and our hearts.

It. Is. Bubble Gum.

And like most things it can be improved with the addition of super heroes. Not convinced? Then it seems a demonstration is in order.

Have you ever seen a perfectly ordinary item but instead of the "King's English," the package contains Japanese writing? That little tweak to the mundane just blows your mind, right?


Well, anyway, here's some Japanese Batman Gum:

According to Lex Luthor there are some people that can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe. Personally I'm having a hard time with this particular wrapper.
Not too long ago (maybe the mid-90's), a trip to your favorite comic book store to pick up your favorite X-Men title could have ended with a celebratory piece of your new favorite gum.
I'm not sure if X-Men gum was meant to be given out for free with the purchase of an X-Men comic or if it was meant to be sold but I am sure of two things:

1. It is awesome

2. Each piece came with a free tattoo!

It may be hard to tell from the picture but the tattoo that came with this sacrificed piece of gum is Magneto. I meticulously followed the instruction to apply it to my hand but I guess after fifteen years on the shelf, temporary tattoos lose their vibrancy.

So I'll forgo posting a picture of my non-tattooed hand.

The passage of time may obliterate tattoo ink but it makes the gum itself rock hard. Which only seems appropriate for gum with a pseudo-clever "rock" theme. Luckily we have some of that too:

Krypton Bubble Gum leaps over tall buildings in a single bound in order to reach its premise of "rocks" as "gum". The obvious question being: If you go with the "krypton rock" motif then why not call it Kryptonite Gum? I don't have any answers for you but I can tell you that they certainly do look like rocks.
And since they're from 1976 they now taste like rocks. You'd have to be a man of steel to chew these and keep your jaw intact.

Moving ahead a few years and to a different company, 1979 gave us gum alternatives in the form of your favorite Marvel heroes.

Staying true to the Marvel "House Gum Style," these also came with free temporary tattoos but since I don't have any character duplicates then you don't get to see any. No vintage Marvel gum gets unwrapped today.

But don't look so smug, Spider-Man. You just barely dodged a bullet. (Seriously, I've got his face plastered on everything.)

And so we are right back where we started. We all know that gum is fun. And we all know that tubes are fun. So it doesn't take the world's greatest detective to figure out that gum in a tube is twice as fun.

The late 80's and early 90's were the golden age for Batman merchandising. It even got to the point where the only idea they had left was to put chewing gum in a squeezable tube. Genius or madness? Or both? Or neither? You be the judge.

So what have we learned today? Perhaps that your regular chewing gum is boring? Maybe Lex Luthor was onto something when it came to unlocking the secrets of the universe? Or maybe you should just spit out your gum and get back to work on that death ray.

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