Behind the Music…Whistle Pops!

Whistle Pops, as they were called when I first encountered them, were introduced to United States consumers in 1975.

From the research I’ve been able to gather, it appears that the Chupa Chups company may have always been the manufacturers for Whistle Pops, though they were sold under different names in Spain, and in the United States it was the Peter Paul company that first handled distribution.

It is those Peter Paul versions of Whistle Pops that I remember from when I was a kid, and coming out of the L.M. Kallok Collection is this 1970’s cellophane wrapper:

Peter Paul - Whistle Pops - cello wrapper - 1977

A Flickr pal of mine turned up an interesting newspaper ad from the introductory period of Peter Paul’s Whistle Pops.  The illustration shows a different variation of wrapper – with the text featured vertically, rather than horizontally.  I’m unsure if those were ever made that way, or if it was a function of early renderings:

Whistle Pops newspaper ad - 1976 - Image courtesy Plaidman76 - Jason Kaphingst

The earliest photos of Whistle Pops product match up with the wrapper I have – the following is a form for a mail-away rebate:

Peter Paul - Whistle Pops refund offer form - 1977

I was definitely a fan of Whistle Pops during their Peter Paul years, but I think by the time they changed hands, and added the Melody Pops extension, I had moved onto other flavors.  By the early 80’s, Keebler was handling Whistle Pops, and the name had changed to Whistling Pops.  I have a pair of trade ads that showcase these, but first, here’s a 1980’s wrapper:

Chupa Chups - Whistling Pops orange wrapper - 1980's

Keebler Melody Pops trade ad - 1984

Keebler Melody Pops trade ad laid out - 1984

It’s clear that Whistling Pops and Melody Pops thrived into the 1980’s, and they even received a cereal tie-in on a Kellogg’s Corn Pops box.  My pal Gregg has this one in his collection:

Kellogg's Corn Pops cereal box - Whistling Pops offer - 1987 - Image courtesy Gregg Koenig

I don’t recall seeing Whistle Pops or Whistling Pops in the last decade, but they’ve continued to be produced and sold, though not in the United States.  I picked up a few Chupa Chups Melody Pops in a London candy store, in November of 2011.   It was neat to see them again, after so many years.

UK - Chupa Chups - Melody Pops - candy - November 2011

UK - Chupa Chups - Melody Pops - candy wrapper November 2011

I have one other part of the Whistle Pops story, and one I’ve only recently come to understand.  I’ve had a 1970’s cello wrapper for something called Pita Gol “The Whistling Pop”.  I had thought it was a different company version of Whistle Pop, or perhaps something else entirely.  Doing some searching on Spanish-translated sites, it appears that Pita Gol may have simply been the name Whistle Pops were sold under.  Pita Gol may actually be the very first form that Whistle Pops took.  Here’s the wrapper (this was purchased in the United States around 1975):

Pita Gol - The Whistling Pop - candy wrapper - 1970's

To add to this, I found the following image on a Spanish-language blog, which shows a more contemporary “Pita Gol” but featuring the Melody Pops graphical mascot:

More recent Pita Gol image - Image via El Kiosko de calle Mesones blog

That’s all I’ve got for the musical candy-classic known as Whistle Pop.  See you back here tomorrow for a delicious edition of Wacky Wednesdays.

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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10 Responses to Behind the Music…Whistle Pops!

  1. Jason K. says:

    I think Air Heads is currently making a line of Whistle Pops that look similar to the old ones.

  2. Brandon says:

    Thanks for putting all of this history into one place. There’s not much out there, usually, regarding this kind of stuff.

  3. cybele says:

    Jason & other readers – since we’re on the topic of musical candy, do any of you remember a wax harmonica or pan flute? This would be the 70s perhaps early 80s.

    • Tom says:

      You might be thinking of the Wowe-e Whistle. The ones I recall were Halloween themed. Like so many cool things from the past, I don’t believe they are available anymore.

  4. trish scott says:

    My Mom designed the original artwork for the whistle pop. She was working for an advertizing company in Baltimore at the time, and made 50$

  5. Emmett Broderick says:

    My grandfather, Walter M. Broderick, invented the American version of the Whistle Pop and sold the patent to Peter Paul for the paltry sum 0f $2000. The concept he created was shaped like a policeman blowing a whistle.

  6. Florinda says:

    Does anyone remember big orange Halloween lollipops not sure if they were 25 cents or 50 cents but they had a choice of a witch , bat , ghost or pumpkin on them . Trying to find pics but no luck .

  7. Bill Loyd says:

    Any tie in to Toot Sweets from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

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