Saturday, April 6, 2013

Vintage Fleer Mr. Bones Candy Coffin!

Hail, fellow Hordytes! It's been a while since I did any serious blogging. Life has been keeping me pretty busy.

But I found myself with a few minutes to kill so I thought I'd take a moment to snap some pics of a recent eBay score, an item which remains in my heart as one of the greatest pieces of molded plastic of my entire childhood.

I'm talking about the legendary Fleer Mr. Bones Candy Coffin!

If you didn't have one of these in you childhood, then you just didn't have a good childhood. Sorry. That's a scientific fact.

Found in candy aisles just about everywhere when I was a kid, I most often scored mine at Bailey's Pharmacy back in Blissfield, Michigan during the late '70s and early '80s. My friends and I collected all sorts of candy containers, but it was the Mr. Bones candy coffin that we often went back to time and time again.

At one point (during 4th grade I believe), I probably had about 6-8 of these empty coffins which I used as scenery for my Indiana Jones adventures.

Most of you probably remember the candy inside, which was made up of fruit flavored inter-locking bones that made an entire skeleton, if you were lucky. I remember sometimes getting a bum coffin with a missing hand or too many skulls, which meant that you couldn't build a complete Mr. Bones. So it soon became a sign of good luck amongst my crew if you had a complete skeleton in you coffin.

I also always thought it was neat that it had a loop at the top so you could string it around your neck like some sort of morbid pendant. I vividly remember painting one of these coffins black and gluing a small plastic skeleton (that I got at the dentist's office out of the treasure chest) inside and wearing it on a length of chain (that my G.I. Joe dog tags came on) for a good part of the summer of '82.

Let's take a look at the inside... whoa! 

Beat it, Lego Vampire. We've got vintage candy containers to study.

Another thing I love about these were the little skeleton diagram inside. For the record, they show only using one arm bone, but we didn't roll like that. In our gang, you needed two arm bones on each arm to make a proper complete Mr. Bones.

And just look at that beautiful inscription on the top of the coffin lid.

I'd like to take this moment to give my heart-felt thanks to Mr. Vero Ricci, the man who designed the Mr. Bones coffin among many other of our favorite keepsake candy containers during the heyday of my youth.

I recently spoke via email with his son, Steve, who has started a blog all about his father's creations.

I'm not entirely sure if this man fully understands how much he touched our youth, how much fun and imagination he sparked within us by simply putting some sweet-tart candies inside these brilliant pieces of packaging pop-art.

I strongly urge you all to please visit Mr. Ricci's blog, read about how some of your favorite candy containers came to be and if you feel moved to do so, leave a kind word or two.

You can visit his blog at Make sure you click through all of the pages, each one showcasing a new legendary toy container.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get to a little monster dance party going down on my desk. It seems that they like the new addition to my collection, too.