Halloween is a time of year when children are encouraged to ask strangers for candy. Bizarre as it may seem, this is part of Halloween's charm. When else can one dress up as George Dubya and be admired? When else, besides the day you learn out to break off the tracking anklet, can you creep around in the dark without adult supervision? And when else, aside from robbing the local candy emporium, can you take home thirty-seven pounds of candy for FREE?
Yes, Halloween is like some surreal fantasy where the only thing sweeter than the treats are the girls dressed like Princess Leia in the gold bikini.
Upon unloading a haul of 'ween candy, however, it is disappointing to find regular corner-store gum mixed in with the other awesomeness. It's like walking into a Sci-Fi Convention only to find that every single person has, just like you, dressed as a Stormtrooper. There are no Princesses to be seen. That's why Oak Leaf's Spooky Eyes continue to be a welcome addition to Halloween-themed candy.
This year, as last, I was only able to find two kinds of Halloween Gum. The first is Bubble Brew, which is simply orange and black gumballs with simple pumpkin faces stamped, quite simply, onto them. Simple, really. Bubble Brew also contained regular boring gumballs mixed with the Pumpkin Faces gum.
The second is Spooky Eyes which, although made by the same company, are very different. The difference is the detail. Exquisite detail. Each bloodshot eyeball contains a pupil in the shape of a tiny skull and surrounded by little veins. This is really great stuff. What kid wouldn't like a veiny eyeball to chew?
The bag I bought was also massive at nearly 1 kilogram! In the top corner there was a deadly declaration that the bag contained 95 eerie eyeballs. The skeptic in me had to count them all to see how badly I got ripped off. As I approached a count of 90 I realized I was very wrong.
102 was the total. With 7 bonus gumballs, I was very impressed.
Sadly, Concord Confections still hasn't resurrected their Halloween Combo, despite 3 emails to them from yours truly. 2005's Halloween Candy winner, the absolute best Halloween gum anyone could possibly imagine, remains buried in the candy graveyard.
And so, for 2008, I crown Spooky Eyes the Best Halloween Gum for 2008. Two dusty mummy thumbs up for their exceptional skull pupil detail and tasty gum flavour that runs out in less than 90 seconds.
Check out 2008's Halloween Candy Oscars - Part 1.