Donruss’ Bitty Bombs and Bitty Bites!

All the way back in the 1970’s, if a new hot cinnamon candy came out, I was sure to sample it.  While Just Born’s Hot Tamales remain my all-time favorite, Donruss’ Bitty Bombs were one of those 1970’s offerings that I remembered fondly through the decades.

Conversely, Bitty Bombs’ fruit-flavored spin-off product Bitty Bites is one I don’t ever remember seeing and would only discover recently as a collector.

Donruss Bitty Bombs – 15-cent display box top lid – 1970’s

Bitty Bombs were sold in sturdy cardboard tubes, with plastic re-closeable flip-top lids.  The packaging alone was striking, and likely purposely evocative of a stick of dynamite.  The candies themselves were small spheres of hot cinnamon candies, and to my memory they were quite tasty.

Here’s a look at the cardboard tubes for both Bitty Bombs and Bitty Bites:

Donruss – Bitty Bites and Bitty Bombs candy tube packaing – 1970’s

The Bitty Bites packaging matched that of Bitty Bombs very closely.   As I said before, I don’t have any recollection of seeing Bitty Bites when they were on shelves back in the 1970’s – they would come to me after I became a collector.

My first encounter with Bitty Bites at all was when I acquired full display boxes of the grape and cherry variety from another collector pal of mine, Dan Goodsell.  He had acquired them years previously in a large candy distributor warehouse find.  Being a fan of short-lived and oddball flavor spinoffs of standard brands, I was thrilled to add these to my collection.

The display box art for Bitty Bites sees a slight direction change from that of Bitty Bombs; instead of kids enjoying the product, these reveal a period approach to representing the flavors:

Donruss – Bitty Bites Grape 20-cent display box lid – 1970’s

Donruss – Bitty Bites Cherry 20-cent display box lid – 1970’s

I don’t know if Donruss ever produced Bitty Bites flavors outside of the grape and cherry found here.  Though I will occasionally come across a Bitty Bombs candy tube, the only time I’ve ever seen fruit-flavored Bitty Bites are these two display boxes.  My guess is that they never saw the success or distribution of their Bitty Bombs parent.  Still, they’re a neat bit of Donruss confectionery history, and I’m glad I could share it with you today.

I can’t say definitively, but I believe that Bitty Bombs were produced for a few years, from the late 1970’s possibly into the early 1980’s.  There was at least one variation of package style for Bitty Bombs, one that had text read vertically on the tube, as opposed to the horizontal style shown above.  When I get a photo of one of those tubes, I’ll make sure to include it in this spot.

And that’s all 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 My Google Profile+
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5 Responses to Donruss’ Bitty Bombs and Bitty Bites!

  1. It should be noted that the art on these is by the great B.K. Taylor.

  2. CSP says:

    These were still available as late as 1987. We would buy them at scout camp and use the tubes to carry small lizards.

    • jasonliebig says:

      Wow – cool! Thanks for sharing that bit of info. Glad to know these lasted that long. Much longer than I’d surmised.

  3. rattmice says:

    Ah ha! I’ve been trying to remember the name of this candy for years. We used to get the Bitty Bites version at our town’s swimming pool. Not only did they taste great, but if you dropped them into the pool, they left a purple or red trail all the way to the bottom. I’m certain the lifeguards loved that 🙂

  4. bekks says:

    I so wish they would bring back Bitty Bombs-the the cinnamon flavor was the best. There was something about the vanilla core that was really good. I try buying cinnamon mint candies but they just aren’t the same.

    I always thought the Bitty Bomb packaging was similar to the ammo packaging for BBGuns. I assumed that was the inspiration, never considered dynamite.

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