So, the scuttlebutt in the independent candy world is that Bonkers are set to make a triumphant return to the market sometime this year. On the heels of their relaunch of the Astro Pop, the reformed Leaf candy company has been hard at work to follow up that re-issue with the long lusted-after chewy fruit candy with the patented “Extra Flavor Boosted Center”.
There’s been rumors of the confections return for the past three or so years, but after launching a Bonkers Facebook page this past January it seemed like the this time it might be for real. After teasing with some rough shots of Photoshopped packaging, they finally revealed a first look at the candy this morning…
It’s been roughly seven years since I last waxed nostalgic for my all time favorite extinct candy here at Branded, and it’s probably been about 25 years since i last had the opportunity to enjoy them. At some point, no matter how alluring the memories are, no matter how fond one was for some treasure lost, you have to move on and let what’s past lay in the rear view mirror growing fainter with ever year. I should know, being a self confessed nostalgia junkie, the tighter you try to hold onto things long gone the harder they are to get a true grasp on. The past is like a wisp of smoke, pretty, out of focus and lingering, but as soon as you reach out for it, it breaks ups. Dissipates. In my mind there is a pantry of lost edibles, branded, packaged, preprocessed food stuffs that no longer exist and haunt my taste buds. Sour Cream & Onion Quackers crackers, Thunder Jets Fruit Snacks, Hi-C Ecto-Cooler, and Bonkers candy. I’ve tried to find replacements (Annie’s Sour Cream & Onion Bunny crackers don’t hold a candle to Quackers for the record), but it’s the closest thing to “chasing the dragon” I’ve experienced nostalgia-wise. I will say that I had a lot of fun trying to recreate Hi-C Ecto-Cooler that one time though.
But wait a second, didn’t I kick this article off by announcing to the return of Bonkers candy? Yes, yes I did, and I’m certainly not trying to put a damper on that news. Trust me, when it comes to this news I’m probably one of the most excited folks I know. But as intensely curious as I am to get my hands on this fruity Lazarus, I can’t help but realize that as hard as I might try, I can’t really remember what these tasted like. Sure, the general idea is there. I remember they were softer than Starburst, and even more so than Now and Laters. They weren’t as sour as L&L’s, and taste much more natural than Laffy Taffy. But at the end of the day I have to be honest, I just don’t remember. So no matter how excited I am, I kind of have to temper it with the thought that I won’t be reliving my Bonkers eating past much as buying the brand.
The main thing that sparked this thought is that Leaf is having a contest to send some pre-release samples out to fans to taste-test. I’d love to be picked, but it made me think about the fact that when all is said and done I wouldn’t be able to give a particularly objective opinion on how authentic the new recipe is.
That aside, I’m curious about the pictures above because there’s a mystery flavor mixed in that bunch. I see the Strawberry, Orange, Grape and Watermelon varieties, but I’m not sure what the yellow and green fruit chew is. Is it a lemon/lime? Banana/Kiwi? It’s certainly not chocolate, the other announced flavor…
So, anyone out there with a photographic memory or an intensely detailed journal of their tastes experiences from the 80s that has a confident idea of what these used to taste like?