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Retro Candy Flashback: Garbage Can-dy

Categories: Candy,Candy For Kids,Classic and Retro Candy,Gross Candy,Novelty Candy,Weird Candy

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Topps Garbage Can-dy

(image from Retrojunk)

As a kid, there are no two things more enticing in the world than candy and toys. So when the two combine together in some way it can have quite an irresistible impact. While PEZ dispensers might be the undisputed king in this novelty treat category, another contender from my youth that still tugs at nostalgic heartstrings is Garbage Can-dy.

Vividly I remember purchasing this Topps candy at the convenience store near my Grandma’s house. The package consisted of a small plastic garbage can that you could pop the lid off of to open. Inside you would find a variety of colorful shaped pieces of candy “garbage”: fish bones, bottles, old tennis shoes, cans, etc.

Topps Garbage Can-dy Display

(image from Crown Star Foods)

The candy was your typical fruit-flavored candy pieces, not as bland as American Smarties but not as tangy as Pez. It was sweet and it served its purpose, and after I was finished scarfing down each sugary piece I still had my cool little colored garbage can to play with. It was always the perfect size to use with my Star Wars figures. At one point I recall having at least a half dozen of the Can-dy cans, each stuffed with the multitude of miniature weapons and accessories that my action figures came with. Good times!

Garbage Can-dy (along with Wacky Packages and Garbage Pail Kids) were the invention of Art Spiegelman, who at the time was working in the product development department at Topps Bubble Gum. Years later, Spiegelman went on to earn a special Pulitzer Prize honoring his graphic novel memoir of the holocaust Maus for which he was the writer and artist. You rarely hear of the people directly responsible for the little things you loved as a kid, and I couldn’t help but share this interesting little fact. (Thanks Art!)

The years have passed and I couldn’t tell you the last time I remember seeing Garbage Can-dy sold in a store. I’ve found some evidence that something similar is still being sold, but the garbage cans look taller than the Topps version and the candy inside is apparently not the same. I’ll just have to chalk this up to one more instance of a favorite candy of my youth being discontinued to perhaps never be seen again.

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20 Responses to “Retro Candy Flashback: Garbage Can-dy”

  1. 1
    Myrine says:

    wow Oo

    I remember having loved those as a kid too, but I totally forgot them.
    I remember my brother nicking our “garbage cans” and filling the sweets into his own, as if we wouldnt notice…

  2. 2
    Mandy says:

    I don’t remember these! :( I do remember the Garbage Pail Kids rage. I used to sneak and buy those because my Mom was disgusted by them. lol It’s a shame…I would’ve loved to re-use the garbage cans for my barbies.

  3. 3
    Sera says:

    What a cool candy! I missed out on these as a kid, and that’s so interesting to this this is Art Spiegelman’s work. Wow! :)

  4. 4
    Kirsten says:

    I still see these all the time! I actually bought a few a week or so ago…

  5. 5
    Philly says:

    Kirsten ^_^ Where do you see them sold, if you don’t mind me asking?!!

  6. 6
    Kirsten says:

    I see them in Mac’s Marts in Ottawa, Ontario… and at a few other local convenience stores!

  7. 7
    Philly says:

    Kirsten ^_^ Thank you for responding! I don’t think there are any Mac’s Marts where I live but… I might ask some of the convenience stores that are near me, if they would consider selling them :D The worst they can do is say no.

  8. 8
    Melody says:

    OMG! i so remember having theses as a kid! i would eat the candy and then use the trash can as one for my barbie’s lol

  9. 9
    Marty says:

    Boy, seeing that candy takes me back. I bought lots of these (not to mention being a Wacky Packages fan, too).

    Of course, if Topps ever brought this back out, you can bet it would be a lot more than 15-cents.

  10. 10
    Priscilla says:

    I tried those once. I can’t remember now if it was that or this here:

    They were fun though. I haven’t been able to find them in the grocery store recently.

  11. 11
    Anthony says:

    Awesome link, Priscilla! It’s out of stock right now or I’d give it a shot. Looks very similar.

    While we’re on the subject, does anyone remember ‘Monster candy’ [or Drac Snax]?

    I recall it being very similar to Garbage Can-dy.

    And also, anyone recall Topps movie head candy from the 80′s? They made them for ‘The Empire strikes back’ & ‘Return of the Jedi, ‘Gremlins’, ‘ET’ and others.

    The candy was small pellets and had a very specific taste. Is there a candy out there today that tastes like these did? – Thanks. Awesome blog!

  12. 12
    Hayley says:

    One word: ew.

  13. 13
    Roxy says:

    I saw these at my local NoFrills, I think. In the DOllarama candy section. x] I think they’re 5 for a dollar. xD =] But I dunno. x]

  14. 14
    Russel says:

    I remember the cans, I also remember the coffins “mr.Bones” made by fleer. they are all the best candy, like pez and fun-dip stix.

  15. 15
    Kristina says:

    Does anyone know where to order this candy from United STates???? all the places i found so far are located in Canada with shipping of 10 bucks or more.

  16. 16
    Rose says:

    Hey Lance,

    re Garbage Can-dy I just bought some last week at “THE BULK FOOD STORE” which is a chain in Ontario Canada. The label still says distributed by The Topps Company, Etobicoke, Ontario (Canada)- but made in China. Funny & Yummy

  17. 17
    Victoria says:

    Of course, what a topic and informative approach.

  18. 18
    Gabi says:

    I bought lots of these (2)!!!!!
    Too bad they do not sell this here any more :’(

  19. 19
    Amber says:

    Where can you buy them?

  20. 20
    The Miz says:

    My mom used to stop at cornor store everytime before her bowling leauge.

    I would get these almost everytime!!! Loved the fish bone one the best. I would use the cans for my star wars toys at the beach, or my wrestling toys as a weapon! I remember putting my bobafett in the trash digging a sarlac at beach and throwing him in along with the garbage can haha!

    Other memorable notices
    Carton candy (shaped like O.J and Minute maide cartons)
    Pop rocks but the ones with the foot loli pop. Omg soooo good when I was little.
    My faforive was the minuature gumball machines with the good candy. Not the crap out today!
    Also the liquid wax juice candy. I would chew that wax top and drink that juice like it was my job as a kid!

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