The Famous Clark Bars of the 70’s (that you might not remember.)

The Clark bar and Clark’s Zagnut have been around for decades.  During the late 1970’s, the D.L. Clark company rolled out a few bars in wonderfully-designed wrappers, along with an ad campaign to support them.

Since first seeing images of these wrappers, I’d been hunting for them, and it turns out they were not easy to find.  Because of that, I assume they did not last as long as the Clark company had hoped.  In spite of this, they remain a cool piece of Clark’s confectionery past, and today I’ll share the wrappers that came out of this creative burst.

One that isn’t featured in the above comic book ad, but is a actually a favorite of mine from the period, is the Clark Light bar wrapper.  I’m a big fan of this one:

Clark - Light - candy bar wrapper - mid-1970's

It’s easy to appreciate this era of brand extensions from Clark.

Clark - Crunchy - peanut butter - candy bar wrapper - mid-1970's

Clark - Peanut Butter Log - candy bar wrapper - mid-1970's

Clark - Mint - candy bar wrapper - mid-1970's

This last version was a bit of a Clark company classic, the Clark Coconut.  While the other wrappers in this group had a variety of designs that deviated from the standard Clark look, for the Clark Coconut they kept it pretty close to the original:

Clark - Coconut - candy bar wrapper - mid-1970's

One of my favorite vintage Clark wrappers is actually an earlier version of the Clark Coconut, and it’s a beauty.  A foil wrapper, I did my best to capture the look of this one, but a scan only conveys so much with a foil wrapper:

Clark Coconut - foil candy bar wrapper - 1950's or 1960's

That’s the range of the exotic selection of Clark’s Famous Clark bars of the late 1970’s.  I’ve got one more I wanted to include, as it comes from this same period.  This is Clark’s effort to celebrate America’s Bicentennial, the 1776 bar (a renamed and repackaged Clark Peanut Butter Log):

Clark - 1776 - Bicentennial Bar - peanut butter log - candy bar wrapper - 1976

And that’s all the wrappers I have for you today.  You’ll note that I didn’t include a Zagnut wrapper, as those wrappers were featured in a Zagnut-centric piece previously.  The Clark bar wrapper is a standard, and will be featured in an upcoming in-depth piece on its long history.

[Edit: reader, artist-extraordinaire, and old pal of mine, Glen Mullaly, has identified the month that the Clark ad ran in Marvel’s comics – December 1977.  Thanks, Glen!  So the question I ask below has been answered.]

Before I sign off today, I’m going to ask for a bit of help.  I’m trying to more precisely date the comic book ad featured at the top of today’s piece.  If any comic book collectors out there can help me, check out the following images, which show a little more of this vintage Clark advertisement. The first is the back of the title piece for today, and is a cut-out.  The back shows us a classic Sea Monkey ad.

Clark - Get Rich and Famous - comic book ad - reverse - Sea Monkeys - late 70's

And here’s a full-page front-and-back.  This one looks to be from a Tarzan comic book, which narrows it down.  So if anyone has a run of 1970’s Tarzan comics (Marvel published, I believe) and wouldn’t mind checking them out and letting me know what month and year this came out – I would appreciate it:

Clark Ad comic alternate front-and-back - Marvel's Tarzan

Thanks for checking out today’s article, and if you can help date the Clark ad, leave your confirmation in the comments.

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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7 Responses to The Famous Clark Bars of the 70’s (that you might not remember.)

  1. Glen Mullaly says:

    The Clark 1/2 page ad (with “Strong Arms” ad below) also ran in Man from Atlantis #1, Feb 1978. That would place it hitting the stands in Dec 1977?

  2. Glen Mullaly says:

    Just noticed the identical Sea Monkeys full page ad was also in the same issue.

  3. jasonliebig says:

    Glen – That’s awesome! Thank-you. So December 1977 it is. Fantastic!

  4. Glen Mullaly says:

    The Clark ad’s also in Star Wars #6, Dec 1977 (Oct on newsstands?). So it may have run over a few month period in the different Marvel mags.

  5. The pages you have Jason I think come from Marvel’s Tarzan series #8 which had a cover date of 01/1978. Same as Glen’s Man From Atlantis.

  6. Leonard Kallok says:

    As a result of seeing the Clark ad, I wrote to them in hopes of obtaining Coconut and Mint bar wrappers since I could not find the bars at any local outlets. Clark kindly re
    sponded by sending me a six pack of each of the bars. I had purchased two copies (now long gone) of the Tarzan comics because they also had an additional story “Beyond the Farthest Star” for which a friend of mine, Dan Green had been one of the illustrators.

    • jasonliebig says:

      That’s very cool! I recall Dan doing some work for the X-Men office (my office) during my early years as an assistant editor at Marvel Comics in the mid-1990’s.

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