Monday, October 28, 2013

Did You Know?


Whenever I unwrap a Tootsie Pop I always look for the Indian shooting at a star. Do you look for him?

I grew up with the story that if I was lucky enough to find the icon on a wrapper that I would get a free sucker. This summer, I treated myself to a Tootsie Pop when I wanted something sweet, and a good number of the wrappers had the Indian shooting at a star on them. So I decided to check out the legend.

Here is what an online search at snopes.com revealed:

The rumor that Tootsie Pop wrappers featuring an Indian can be redeemed for free candy has dogged the Tootsie Roll company since shortly after the introduction of the chewy-centered lollipops in 1931. Although Tootsie Pops has never held any kind of promotion involving the collection or redemption of their wrappers, the "Indian wrapper" rumor has persisted for over sixty years. The story probably got its start because of the prevalence of contests and prizes connected with the packaging of children's products in the era when Tootsie Pops were first marketed.

The slightly different packaging of each Tootsie Pop (about 30% of the wrappers include the Indian figure) could easily lead to tales about certain wrappers being "special." (Similar rumors about various brands of candy bars have circulated for decades as well.)

Tootsie Roll Industries has received a steady stream of letters from consumers attempting to redeem their Indian wrappers since the 1930s (nearly all of the letter writers expect free Tootsie Pops in return), and they now process about 150 letters per week. The company originally sent special letters expressing their regret to prize-seekers, then in 1982 they created their "Legend of the Indian Wrapper" to accompany those letters "with the hope that children's liking for a good story would help to assuage their disappointment." (Some individual store managers took it upon themselves to redeem Indian-bearing wrappers for free Tootsie Pops, but the exchange was not sanctioned by the Tootsie Roll company itself.) Source 


Did you save the wrappers? Do you know anyone who received a free Tootsie Pop for finding the Indian shooting at a star? 

16 comments:

  1. I can remember looking on the wrappers for something special, but I didn't remember what it was. I don't think I ever turned one in and received a free one. I'm sure I would have remembered that! I also remember the commercial for them featuring the owl and the question "how many licks does it take to get to the center." Wasn't it 3? (two licks and a bite? or was it 4?--3 licks and a bite.) I have wondered before how some of this old/new "kid-dom" stuff spread so far and wide without all the mass media we have now. In particular, the expression that one can "touch" while in water. (Meaning, of course, that the water isn't over the person's head.) I was in Hawaii in the ocean and there were foreign people speaking in their native tongue but I could hear them say "but I/you can touch!" I think everyone world-wide must use this expression and yet it seems an odd term. It would make more sense to say that one can "stand" or something. Who first used it? And how did it travel so far and wide? Anyway, that is just me and my random thoughts! I loved your post!

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  2. I have never heard that story!!! But loved it just the same. I loved Tootsie Pops as a kid - I wonder if my mom knew about the Indian. Thanks for the research and info!!

    Have a great day!

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  3. How interesting, I had never heard that before.

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  4. Wow! Never knew any of this but then I wasn't much of a tootsie roll fan. Interesting that the tale has continued that long.

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  5. I had never heard of that before either. Tootsie Pops and my son hold a fond memory ---- his grandma ALWAYS saved the brown Tootsie Pops for Stephen. For some reason he liked the brown ones best. When she would come down to Florida, she would bring a big coffee can FULL of brown Tootsie Pops.

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  6. I never heard that before. I liked Tootsie Pops, but I don't think I ever really looked at the wrapper long enough to even know what was on it. Now if free candy was involved, I would have for sure.

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  7. Yes, I looked for the Indian and the people in the local store would give you a free sucker for an Indian Wrapper! It was like winning the Lottery! I give away Tootsie Pops to the kids, my Jar is almost always full. Even adults help themselves and several have said "I hope I get the Indian..so you give me another sucker!" I watch for them and up here one out of 50 has an Indian on the wrapper. Have you tried that new flavor Blueberry? I did n't like that one so much but Pomgranate rocks:)

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  8. I had forgotten all about that story. We still love our Tootsie Pops! It's still a challenge to get the the center without biting. :) Chocolate will always be my favorite. I think I need to buy a bag today.

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  9. Nancy that's all new to me! How many thousands of Tootsie pops have I eaten and NEVER looked at the wrapper. Clearly Im more candy focused. I will look for the Indian shooting a star from now on and WISh good things FOR you when I do

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  10. I had never heard that before but I am not a Tootsie Pop or Tootsie Roll lover/eater. I don't like candy that sticks in my teeth--says the woman with a tic tac in her mouth at this moment. Hard candy is my weakness. Now chocolate is a whole other thing!!

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  11. Add me to the list of those who never heard this story. But I sure unwrapped a lot of Tootsie Pops! I guess I was much more interested in the sugar than the packaging! Very interesting info! Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

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  12. I remembered looking for something but not sure what...good to know. Now I want one!

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  13. How interesting!! I never knew that.... and do you have tootsie rolls for Halloween??....Just wondered if you are eating the treats:))... I've eat a lot of my treats:))....

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  14. I have always heard that story as well and I always look, but I have never tried to 'redeem' my wrappers. I love tootsie pops for a nice, long lasting candy fix - low calories and takes care of the sweet tooth. g

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  15. I never knew! Of course... I didn't eat much sugar until I was in my 20s, so that might be part of it.

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  16. That's a new one to me also. I haven't had a tootsie pop in ages, but next time I do, I'll be looking!

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