Willy Wonka’s Squids – A Forgotten 80’s Gummy!

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Here at CollectingCandy.com I tend to throw around the adjectives “lost” and “forgotten”  from time-to-time and I don’t think I’m being overly dramatic when I do.

In the realm of vintage candy countless products have come and gone, seemingly in the span of a baseball season or a grade school semester.   So even if you sampled one of these brief releases you might not remember it today.   Such was the case with me and my personal recollections of Willy Wonka’s Squids.

Willy Wonka’s Squids were a large-size gummy candy that was regionally test-marketed in 1983 but sold nationally in 1984.

Willy Wonka Squids candy package - 1984

Willy Wonka Squids candy package – 1984

It was during that Wonka Squids 1984 release that I saw them and might have even tried one.  Even so, I can confidently say that I hadn’t considered them in the slightest until I saw a vintage promotional brochure for them late last year.  When I saw that brochure, my memory of Squids came rushing back in.

It’s just a few pages so I’d like to share that brochure with you now:

Willy Wonka - Squids gummy candy - promotional brochure page 01 cover - 1984

Willy Wonka – Squids gummy candy – promotional brochure page 01 cover – 1984

Willy Wonka - Squids gummy candy - promotional brochure page 02-03 - 1984

Willy Wonka – Squids gummy candy – promotional brochure page 02-03 – 1984

Willy Wonka - Squids gummy candy - promotional brochure page 04 back cover - 1984

Willy Wonka – Squids gummy candy – promotional brochure page 04 back cover – 1984

As  you can see from the images, the packaging for Squids gummies were unusual in that they were a blister pack with a “crack-and-peel” opening mechanism.   The nature of that packaging would have made it difficult to save and store, which is certainly one of the reasons I’ve never come across a package for one of these 1980’s Wonka delights.

In fact the only images of Wonka Squids that I know of are the ones found in this promotional brochure.  So it currently stands as the singular historical record of this formerly-forgotten 80’s gummy treat.

Do you have any memories of Willy Wonka’s Squids?  If you do, I’d love to hear about them.

And that’s it for today.  See you next time!

About Jason Liebig

A New York City based writer, editor and sometimes actor. After spending much of the 1990′s in the comic book business helping tell the stories of Marvel Comics’ X-Men as series editor, he has since split his time between developing his own entertainment properties while still consulting and working on others. Having been described as “the Indiana Jones of lost and forgotten candy”, Jason is one of the country’s premier candy collectors and historians with his discoveries appearing in countless blogs, magazines, newspaper articles, and books. Always happy to share his knowledge and unique perspectives on this colorful part of our popular culture, Jason has consulted with New York’s Museum of Food and Drink and has also been a featured guest on Food Network’s Heavyweights, France’s M6 Capital, and New York’s TheActionRoom.com. My Google Profile+
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12 Responses to Willy Wonka’s Squids – A Forgotten 80’s Gummy!

  1. Andrew says:

    I remember squids back when I was little (probably 1985-1986) growing up in Hartford, CT. My mom actually was the one to suggest buying them because she though squid candy was just too cool.

  2. Todd says:

    I’m not sure if this was the product or not but I have a faded memory of buying a large gummy creature in the mid-80s and my dad who is a fisherman commented that he wanted to use it as bait. I was a loyal Willy Wonka buyer, so it very well could have been a Squids gummy.

  3. Oh yes! I totally remember getting these. It would have been the summer of 1984. I was on my community’s swim team. We would often get candies like this to enjoy during swim meets. I totally ate Squids during several swim meets. Other stuff we enjoyed were Lik-M-Aid, Pixie Sticks, Jell-O powder and other gummy candy.

    Yeah, when I saw these images, the memories came flooding back. Thanks, Jason.


  4. Brandon says:

    I can’t say that I remember Wonka Squids, but these are incredibly crazy fun! Thanks for sharing this treasure from the candy abyss.

  5. Nick says:

    Where do you think one would come across these things within Willy Wonka’s factory? Just to have some fun with the idea.

    I imagine that the Factory has a coastal area of some kind. It looks like the coast of Maine, and there’s a salty, seafaring gang of Oompa-Loompas whose job it is to catch these things. (And there’s a VERY BIG one somewhere out there…)

  6. Matt says:

    I just found one framed in a thrift store in California. Yes, I bought it!

  7. Andrew Bell says:

    OMG! Just had a memory of an orange one pop into my head- and here this is! Definitely had one in early 80’s Massachusetts!

  8. Jason Pickett says:

    I remember a slew of gummy items throughout the 80’s and loved every moment of it! However, I seem to distinctly remember gummy nerds available in theaters and their concession stands. Packaged in a predominantly blue package with the classic nerd characters scattered as well. The candies were the shape of the characters we have known since ’83. The wild part is I cannot find a trace of evidence they existed!! Have I completely fabricated this from my childhood?

  9. alan says:

    so last night this candy randomly popped in my head. i dont know why it just happened. i woke up this morning thinking theres no way im gonna be able to find any record of these things. i remember them being available for like 3 months during summer and then dissapeering never to be seen again. let me tell you how good these things were. it was like a cross between a jello jiggler and a gummy bear. when you cracked the wrapper and peeled the back off, the candy came out of the mold(usually) and stuck to the back of that wrapper. you peeled it off. it was not sticky at all on your fingers. i could not believe when i found them first thing by typing “gummi squid candy 80’s” which also lead me here. thanks for being there with me! i was 8 years old in 84 and i remember it like yesterday, walking down the block to the corner store to get some squids. orange was my favorite. this candy needs to be revived! how do we make it happen!

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