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Retro Candy Flashback: Atomic Fireballs

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Classic and Retro Candy,Hard Candy

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Atomic Fireballs … who can forget them? Red, round, and wrapped individually in cellophane or a bunch of mini ones in a little yellow box, and HOT! HOT! HOT! These were medieval torture devices when I was little.

When I was 6 years old, my 10 year-old brother offered me one of these deceptive red balls from his Halloween stash. I, innocently, let him place it on my tongue and started to suck on it. Sweet was the first sensation… followed by cinnamon and then the immediate BURN. I spat the devil ball across the room and gasped for air. My brother laughed and called me a wimp. That was one of many brotherly scars on my delicate young psyche.

Determined to not be a “wimp,” and become great in the eyes of my big brother, I started seeking out Atomic Fireballs at the local 7-11 convenience store every time we went in. I can’t remember for sure, but I believe they were 2 cents each (maybe they were a nickel). I started to stash them in my underwear drawer. When no one was around I would take one out and try to hold it in my mouth as long as I could stand.

This took practice. I would hold the fireball in my mouth, and then I would have to spit it out into my hand and wait for my tongue to return to normal. I remember looking at the red liquidy dye it left on my fingers. I learned that if I kept it in my cheek and away from my tongue, I could stand it. The only problem with the cheek trick is that it felt like I was cheating. In retrospect, my Basic Training in the US Air Force was a breeze compared to what it took to get used to those red demon spheres.

I finally got them down pat and I could suck on an entire one in the middle of my mouth without spitting it out. Whenever my brother and I went to the store, I would buy one and make sure that he was watching when I put it in my mouth. He probably didn’t care, but I felt proud. They still hurt, but I could take the pain. I ate so many that I actually started getting nauseous just from their sugary cinnamon smell. Mom eventually found my stash. She freaked out and threw them all away. I had about 100 stored in there by that time. It was about 10 years before I had one again.

They say that we lose our taste buds as we get older, and maybe that is why lettuce tastes okay now, and Atomic Fireballs can be tolerated and enjoyed…. to a point.

Buy Atomic Fireballs online:

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13 Responses to “Retro Candy Flashback: Atomic Fireballs”

  1. 1
    Rhea says:

    Ohhh, I do remember these. They HURT to eat!!

  2. 2
    Nikki says:

    My dad LOVES these things. I bought him an entire bucketful to take fishing a few weeks ago.

  3. 3
    April says:

    OMG! Great review Robert! Those fireballs were balls of fire for sure. Pure, unadulterated evil they are!

  4. 4
    April says:

    Also, if you place things under your tongue it is less painful! Thanks for taking me right back to the torture of those things! Pleasure, pain it’s all zee same! hahahha!

  5. 5
    Rich says:

    I’m with April on this one.

  6. 6
    Donia says:

    These are my best friend’s FAVORITE candy! I actually have a bag that I bought for her in my pantry right now!

  7. 7
    Brian says:

    I used to get them by the box – I think the box had 160 in them and they were 2 cents each so a whole box was $3.20. I would have one or two a day with a Mountain Dew – it’s surprising I have any teeth left now :)


  8. 8
    Hard-boiled Dreams of the World » Blog Archive » Top 10 Reasons Bush Posted Nuclear Bomb Cookbook Online says:

    [...] 8. Oops…thought nuclear cookbook was recipe for Atomic Fireball jawbreaker candy. [...]

  9. 9
    kjbrasda says:

    I used to love dissolving these in a bit of milk mmmmmm

  10. 10
    Leila says:

    I want regular jaw breakers not spicy cinnamin ones i can’t even stand to eat one small one is any one with me on that?

  11. 11
    Johnny says:

    I’m with you Leila i was looking for recipes to make my own regular sweet jawbreakers and all i found were recipes for spicy ones!

  12. 12
    john says:

    I love Fireballs, but it seems like it does something strange to the lining in my cheeks. I’m wondering if they dissolve some sort of protective lining in your mouth. Any thoughts?


  13. 13
    Nicky63220 says:

    The second time i tried these i could keep them in. i heard that the new warhead cinnamon flavor was was hotter than these and I was shocked that there was something hotter, gotta try them.

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