Can you hear it? ‘Dem old bones are rising up…specifically, the colorful candy remains of Mr. Bones.
First released in 1977 by Fleer, Mr. Bones is a fondly remembered but slightly forgotten novelty candy that consisted of brightly-colored candy pieces shaped like human bones that could be pieced together to form a complete (and deliciously fruit-flavored) skeleton. What made this treat more memorable than similar corpse-themed candies (Dem Bones, Skull and Bones, Funny Bones) was that it came packaged in a small plastic coffin—each of which were the perfect size for, let’s say, a G.I. Joe figure who’s yelled their last “Yo Joe!” once Mr. Bones had moved on…to my stomach.
While the candy itself hasn’t clawed its way back from the dead (yet), today does mark the first signs of life since the early 1990s with the release of Lunar Crypt’s officially-licensed Mr. Bones pin. We recently cornered Lunar Crypt-keeper, Rob Meyer, to find out where, exactly, the bodies are buried and how this release came to be.
A LOT OF CLASSIC POP CULTURE PROPERTIES HAVE RESURFACED IN MOVIES AND TV, BUT NOT SO MUCH IN THE NOVELTY CANDY MARKET. WHAT CAUGHT YOUR INTEREST IN THIS NICHE AND, SPECIFICALLY, MR. BONES?
ROB MEYER: When looking for ideas for my next shirt, pin or patch, the first place I go is back to my childhood. Like most kids, I loved candy, but I also was fascinated with marketing, packaging and of course, spooky stuff! What always stood out to me about Mr. Bones were the counter displays and the coffins. It was more than packaging, it was a toy too. I remember trying to collect all the color variants and using the coffins as an accessory to my action figures and Lego. I even the store I used to buy them at.
TRYING TO BUILD A COMPLETE SKELETON WAS ALWAYS A CHALLENGE AS YOU RARELY GOT ALL THE PIECES IN SINGLE COFFIN. DID YOU EVER MANAGE TO ASSEMBLE ONE?
RM: I don’t specifically remember building the skeleton, but I’m sure I tried. For me it was the excitement of picking out my coffin, eating the candy and adding another color to my collection. I was an odd kid.
COFFIN COLLECTING…SOUNDS LIKE A PERFECTLY HEALTHY HOBBY TO ME! SO, THESE NEW PINS ARE BEING HYPED AS THE FIRST OFFICIALLY-LICENSED PRODUCT FOR THE MR. BONES BRAND. HOW DID THAT DEAL COME ABOUT?
RM: I knew I want to do the pin, but I couldn’t find who owned the rights. They were originally made by Fleer, but they were long defunct. So I just did the concept art and posted it on my Instagram to see what people thought. After that, I was contacted by Jason Liebig “The Candy Geek” and he let me know that he bought the rights to Mr. Bones and was planning to relaunch the brand at some point. After we chatted for a bit, we stuck a deal and the pins were put into production!
THIS ISN’T THE FIRST TIME THE CRYPT HAS GONE BACK IN TIME TO RESURRECT A FORGOTTEN BRAND. WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES THESE OBSCURE PROPERTIES SO APPEALING?
RM: As I mentioned before, my inspiration is firmly rooted in my childhood. I liked Star Wars, Transformers and all that stuff. But what really stuck out to me was the weird stuff. Knockoff toys, obscure movies and shows. I remember playing with my neighbors Gre-Gory bat and loving it. I have fond memories of Ooze-It, Manglors, M.U.S.C.L.E., I’ve always gravitated towards the weird. Lunar Crypt is most definitely an extension of my weird tastes in pop culture. I just happy other people seem to dig it too!
To grab yourself one (or all five color variations) of Lunar Crypt’s collectible Mr. Bones pins, be sure to visit their online shop at 8pm EST tonight!