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Retro Candy Flashback: Rain-Blo Gumballs

Categories: Candy,Candy For Kids,Candy Reviews,Classic and Retro Candy,Gum

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Rain-Blo Jum-Blo Roll

As a kid, gumballs were a staple of my candy diet. But they weren’t just any gumballs, like those generic ones you got out of candy machines for a quarter. They were Rain-Blo gumballs.

They came in that little cellophane tube, perfect for squeezing out one at a time into your mouth. Then, as now, they came in mini, regular and “Jum-Blo” sizes, and were available in several flavor varieties, including a fruit mix in which the gumballs were actually shaped like little fruits. This wasn’t as cool as it sounds, as most of the flavors had just been given a pebbled surface, with the exception of the green watermelon’s stylish stripes. There was also an uber-sour variety called Eye Poppers, upon which I blame my adult addiction to everything ridiculously sour.

Rain-Blo also makes jawbreakers with, naturally, a gum center. I guess when you have a spherical candy as your main product, the natural next step is to pan a few layers of hard candy around the outside of it and make a jawbreaker. I remember that no matter what the original color, they always ended up tasting like wintergreen, and every fifth one or so had a weird harsh chemical taste, but somehow I couldn’t get enough of them anyway. (Hey, I like wintergreen – so sue me!)

Rain-Blo products don’t seem to be available in too many places anymore, but the dollar store in my local mall has a good selection. I picked up the original Assorted pack in the regular size. It’s a plastic tube containing six gumballs in five colors: green, orange, red, yellow and purple. (Red must be the most popular, since it’s the repeat.) All the flavors are a little firm until you give them a few good chews. Well, I did get them from a dollar store – who knows how long they’ve been sitting there?

According to various Internet sources, the gumballs are supposed to be flavored all the way through, but the bulk of the fruit flavor seems to come from the slight outer shell, so your mouth is flooded with imitation fruit for the first good chews. But then it retreats, leaving you with a wad of generic gumball-flavored gum (if I had to guess the flavor, I’d say “sugar”). For the brief time that the flavors are distinctive, though, they stack up as follows:

Red: I think it’s cherry, but a surprisingly tangy cherry, probably due to the presence of citric acid in the ingredients. Instead of bum-rushing your mouth with overpowering sweetness like some gumballs, the tanginess is rather refreshing.

Orange: Standard orange-soda flavor, but a little bit tangier with that extra hit of citric acid. As this is a citrus flavor, that tanginess works better here than it does for the red.

Green: That artificial lime flavor that tastes the way furniture polish smells – but in a good way.

Purple: The tanginess sets it apart from the generic grape soda flavor. This is actually a really good grape flavor – I could easily chew a whole roll of these.

Yellow: A rather bitter lemon, like Lemonheads. In fact, if the Lemonheads people made a gum, I’d expect it to taste just like this.

Unfortunately, the flavor of each piece was mostly gone in under 10 minutes. But at the price of three packs (18 gumballs) for a dollar, you can afford to sit around all day chewing the flavor out of one piece, spitting it out, and popping in the next, or possibly trying to see how many you can fit in your mouth at once and still be able to chew them. Now if that doesn’t scream “childhood,” I don’t know what does.

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3 Responses to “Retro Candy Flashback: Rain-Blo Gumballs”

  1. 1
    growitgreen says:

    I was literally laughing out loud while reading this. Thank yo for being so entertaining. You made me want to run out to the local supermarket and put my quarter into the giant gumball machine. Thank you for posting, I cant wait to read some more from you. I love your enthusiasm.

  2. 2
    OdaMae says:

    When I go back to Georgia, I go to the corner gas station and buy their entire stock – the whole box of thirty packs – and mail it back to Germany. Yum!!! I’m addicted.

  3. 3
    nysam says:

    What we did was pop in the first gumball, then as it began to lose flavor, you popped in another with it and so on and so on until you had this monstrous wad of gum in your mouth you could barely chew. At that point, you were way beyond blowing bubbles. My how my jaw would hurt! The red ones were my favorite. I loved that sharp tang that made your glands tingle.

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