Archive for June, 2009
“I found my thrills…”
When Happy Days burst on to Australian TV screens in 1975 nobody could resist the lovable geekiness of Richie, the wisecracking mouth of Ralph or pure dumb nerdiness of Potsie. Everything 50’s was cool again; the cars, the clothes and of course the tunes.
Standing above all though was one Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli, AKA The Fonz, AKA Fonzie. This James Dean / Marlon Brando ‘Rebel above the Garage’ superstar of the show could clear a stall with a look, start a tune with a fist, and defeat aliens with a single thumb and an “Aaaayyyyyyy”.
Fonzie rode a motorbike and had a way with the ladies, a jacket that meant business and hair that had its own management. Little Aussie kids couldn’t get enough of the show and the Fonz in particular, so of course he was afforded the greatest honour this country could bestow upon foreigners in the 70’s, an eponymous snack food. As if that wasn’t enough, the show itself was canonised antipodean style with it’s own ice cream.
I remember Fonzies as a cheesy snack similar to Cheetos, complete with all that great yellow snack-dust that clings to jumpers, fingers and mum’s back seat. The Streets Happy Days Ice Cream I can’t specifically recall, so one of you guys will have to help me out with memories of that. The sticker above was a Milk Bar premium, I’m not sure if Happy Days were ever sold in multi-packs. The Fonzies stickers were most likely given away the same way, there are a number of others out there, I’ll add a third example soon.
Henry Winkler (who played the Fonz) continues to appear in film and television to this day, while Ron Howard (Richie Cunningham) never really kicked on as far as I know…
Have Fun with Scanlens Gum!
So went the slogan of this much loved Aussie confectionary maker, active from the 1930’s to 80’s. But how do you make bubble gum fun? How about producing animal-dropping sized pellets and packing them in calico bags with a Gold Rush theme?
Kids were apparently more than able to look past the droppings angle and concentrate on the Western-themed goodness and a highly portable container, one that I’m sure would have gone beautifully at the bottom of the school bag for a couple of months or more, waiting until high summer before assimilating itself with every text book and rotten apple within oozing distance. Gold indeed!
The gold nuggets had the cowboys covered, so the next logical step was to go after the protagonist market with the American Indian themed Totem Poles. I’m dubious that much historical or anthropological research was undertaken by the creators of these, but nevertheless the result is still slightly less culturally insensitive than Redskin Split ice creams 🙂
I believe these were peach flavoured, which sounds awful to me, if anyone can remember the taste and enlighten me, feel free!
More Scanlens ahead on Toltoys.com…