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The bars that started it all:
Bob Brown chases world record one bar at a time
Manufacturer: Mars Introduced: 1973 Availability: U.S. Composition: Braided caramel covered in milk chocolate Varieties: 8 and 15 inch versions Discontinued: 1981 Claim to Fame: John Wayne’s son Patrick played “Marathon John” on television commercials.
Cadbury Curly Wurly
Photo by Kelsey Floyd
By Jordan Fischer Current in Fishers In his quest for the candy bar world record, Fishers resident Bob Brown had to leave his beloved Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups behind. But then, all great endeavors require sacrifice. Brown’s application for the Guinness World Record Largest Candy Bar Collection includes more than 1,000 pieces of candy from around the world. To qualify for the record, Guinness required each piece to be covered in some form of chocolate, to be in a bar or oblong shape and to be unopened. Additionally, no two candy bars could have the exact same wrapper. Unfortunately, the chocolate-covered Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Brown is so fond of don’t meet the Guinness definition of candy bar. He still collects them anyway, though. The collection began in 2006 after a conversation between Brown and his wife. “We were discussing our favorite candy bar when we were kids, and it happened to be the same one,” Brown recalled. That bar was the Marathon Bar, introduced in 1973 by the Mars candy company. The bar came in eight and 15 inch versions, and was composed of braids of caramel covered in milk chocolate. Mars discontinued the Marathon Bar in 1981. “I got to thinking, how many candy bars are being made today that won’t be in 10-15 years,” Brown said. Initially, he visited local candy stores to begin his collection. As his collection grew, he had to expand to regional candy bars, and then to bars from Yugoslavia, Russia, and wherever else he could find them. As word of his endeavor spread, Brown said he also began receiving occa-
sional packages in the mail full of candy. “I’ll periodically come home and there will be a package in the mail from someone who’s heard about my collection,” Brown said. “If I don’t have it, I add it to the collection. If I do, I’ll usually give it to the neighbor kids.” Some of Brown’s stranger bars include ingredients like Tabasco sauce, marzipan cheese, eggnog, and, of all things, bacon. The quest for the world record As part of the Guinness requirements, Brown had to either pay $10,000 for an official representative to come view his collection, or move all 1,000+ pieces of candy to be displayed in a public place. Brown chose the latter. Using discarded wood from under-production homes in his neighborhood, brown built 43 shadow boxes to store and display his candy. Each box contains from 20-30 pieces of candy, and weighs in the vicinity of 14 lbs. His collection drew a lot of unexpected attention from other sorts of collectors. A Dale Earnhardt fan offered Brown $45 for a Reese’s cup featuring the late NASCAR driver. Another woman offered $120 for the entire box of Brown’s Reese’s because two of them had commemorative Elvis Presley wrappers. Brown declined both offers. Brown’s application with Guinness is still pending, but he already has his next 50 bars lined up to purchase if he hears back positively. All in the family Combing through his collection, Brown has stories for nearly every bar. Some of them have been offered by strangers over the years, and some are more personal. The Mars Bar was Brown’s mother’s favorite candy bar. He has several varieties in his collec-
tion, including a white chocolate version. For a while, Mars had renamed the bar the “Snicker’s Cruncher” in the U.S., but returned the original name in 2010. “Candy brings up good memories,” Brown said. “Really, the only other time you eat a lot of candy is when you’re a kid.” In fact, Brown’s own daughter, Madison, 12, frequently helps her father seek out missing candies from his collection. According to Brown, she tends to remember which pieces he doesn’t have even better than he does. “Usually when she gets candy on Halloween, the first thing she’ll do is run over and say, ‘Dad, what do you need?’” Brown said. Madison also occasionally helps her father taste test some of the more interesting candy specimens, including a particularly memorable regional bar called the “Idaho Spud.” “It looked like a baked potato, and inside had the consistency of one too,” Brown said. “It was ridiculously bad. Even my daughter… she took one bite of it and almost spit it out it was so gross. Even though collecting candy is just a hobby for Brown – he says he doubts there is more than $2,000 sunk into the entire collection – he enjoys hearing the stories people tell him about their candy memories. And, he says, he wouldn’t mind if he could land a job with a candy manufacturer. In case David Letterman or Jay Leno happen to read this article, Brown said he’s also more than willing to come on your show as well. Brown’s candy collection has gotten attention from sources as varied as Zap Town and the BBC America channel. He’s also set up a Facebook page where people can get in touch with him and share their stories. Just log-in and search for Candy Bar Collection!
Current in Fishers
Manufacturer: Cadbury Introduced: 1970 Availability: UK and Australia Composition: Flattened, intertwined caramel covered in chocolate Varieties: Classic bar and “Curly Wurly Squirlies” Discontinued: Still in production in Europe Claim to Fame: Named the most popular chocolate bar still in production by a 2004 poll of retro confectionary afficionads.
Our favorite candy bars: “Kit Kat. I like the crunch, and I like the light chocolate.” Deb Vlasich business office bookkeeper “100 Grand. It’s caramely and chocolately and crunchy.” Kelsey Floyd intern “Baby Ruth. I like the carmel.” Dennis O’Malia senior sales executive “Hershey’s Special Dark. I just love dark chocolate, purely for medicinal reasons.” Steve Greenberg general manager “Kit Kat. I think I like the crispiness and the chocolate, and I like mine frozen.” Brian Kelly publisher
February 1, 2011 | 9
Published on Feb 1, 2011