Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stocking the First Set of Shelves

It took a couple of days to organize the cans and get the shelves loaded, but it's finished for now.  There are around one hundred 12 oz cans still not on the shelves.  I left gaps to separate brands when I could.  And they are organized alphabetically.  Side 1 has brands A thru F and side 2 has G thru Z.

Brands A thru F
My next plans are to build two smaller sets of shelves near these.  One will hold the short 8 oz cans and the other will hold the taller energy drink and tea cans.  But those shelves will probably have to wait a little while...

Brands G thru Z

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Building the First Set of Shelves

I've had a plan in my mind for weeks on how to build shelves in the basement for my cans.  A couple of weeks ago, I went in the basement and cleared out the area.  Last Tuesday I picked up the particle boards I needed after work.  And this morning I picked up the back board for the shelves.  I was ready to build.

Basement ready for shelves

What I built is actually two-sided, there are twelve shelves on each side.  Each shelf can hold up to 27 cans.  That gives a current display of 648 12 oz cans.  A problem I ran into on the first side of the shelves was the screws that went into the ends of the shelves were splitting the ends.  I didn't know this until I was half done, so I went ahead and just finished that side.  The second side of the shelves used nails to hold the shelves in place.  But it turned out just fine.

And with the shelves finished, I just need to load them up now.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Alice in Wonderland

Sure, I enjoy collecting the standard Dr Pepper, Pepsi, Coke, Mountain Dew, etc. cans.  We've all seen their logos.  We're all familiar with their can designs.  I especially like collecting slight variations of the same can designs.

But when something unique comes along, I want it for my collection.  And that's what happened when I was browsing eBay recently.  I saw this set of four Alice in Wonderland designs on Fruit TeaZer cans, a product of the RW Knudsen Family line of drinks.  They were asking $5 with free shipping.  So I hit the BUY button.

Once again, I did my research after I bought.  I assumed this was a complete set of four cans but perusing the internets I found at least one other flavor not in my set, Blackberry Bramble.  So now I'm watching for additional cans that may be out there.

As a side note, I paid just $5.00, but it cost them $6.28 to ship it.  Not a good way to make money on eBay.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bring Me Another Cold One, Wilma!

Yabba Dabba Doo
Fred Flintstone's favorite beverage was a fictional drink called Cactus Cooler.  That was the inspiration for the real-world Cactus Cooler started decades ago and found mainly in California and the southwest.  It comes in a yellow, orange and green can and boasts an orange-pineapple taste.  It is slightly carbonated and sweet enough to provide a slight sugar rush.  It was distributed by Canada Dry for many years but is now part of the Dr Pepper Snapple Group.

A seller on eBay had a Cactus Cooler can in his collection and I bought it for $1.  I received it today.  It's the first "favorite drink of a cartoon character" in my collection.

7-18 Update - I just received some cans from an eBay purchase and it contained an older style of Cactus Cooler.  Before becoming part of the Dr Pepper/Snapple Group, it was distributed by Canada Dry.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Gift

The only two cans of POPS soda that I've seen
Along with my Father's Day gifts, I was surprised to find these two cans from my kids.

They meet all the criteria of a good gift:
          1.  I was surprised
          2.  The gift was hand-made
          3.  The gift is unique, no one else in the world has it

So that is why the cans will remain in my collection.  They aren't part of the overall can count, but they are on the shelves with the other cans.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Captain America

"Can you run to the Dollar Store to get me some [whatever]?"  asks the wife.

Grumble, grumbles the husband.  But wait!  They have soda there.  "Sure, I'll be right back!"  And so I ran to the Dollar Store for my wife.  While there, I cruised through the soda sections and what did I see?  A little green Captain America staring up at me.  Actually it was six little Captain Americas staring up at me.

#1 of 5
So I returned home with her [whatever] and a 6-pack of 7 Up donning the heroic visage of Captain America.  And the beauty of it was that it looked like this was the only can, not a 5 or 6 can set of 7 Up movie tie-ins.  So I set the can on my shelf thinking I was finished.

Until I did a little research on the internet.  I had been right in that it was the only 7 Up Captain America can.  But my error lied in the fact that there were 4 other brands that had Captain America characters, thus began collecting cans for yet another movie.  I had just recently finished off my Thor Dr Pepper collection, now this?

I have decided to take the non-active approach for this set.  If I am meant to have it, the cans will find me.  I don't want to go to stores looking for and buying all these cans.  So we'll see what happens.

#2 of 5
July 5 Update - And so it begins.  On my drive to work this morning I saw a Sunkist can on the side of the road.  Knowing there just aren't many (if any) variations on the Sunkist can, I initially passed it up.  But the little fella on my other shoulder told me to stop and check it out anyway.  So I did.  And it was another can in the Captain America set.  So now I sit back in my chair, feet propped up on the desk, waiting for the next can to come to me...

#3 of 5
July 13 Update - And so it continues.  There is a person I know who collects cans to recycle them.  Once the trash cans behind his garage are filled, he takes them to be recycled.  I have an open invitation to check through those cans whenever I want.  So tonight I stopped by and I found this Howard Stark Captain America A&W can.  This is my third can in the set, only two more to go.

#4 of 5
August 5 Update - On my way home from work this evening, I saw a green can on the side of the road.  I caught a quick glimpse of the Canada Dry logo and turned around to get the can because I don't have a newer CD can.  But when I picked it up I saw it wasn't just a regular CD can,  it's the fourth can in Dr Pepper's Captain America movie promotion.  So with no effort so far, I've managed to collect four of the five cans.  Will can #5 find me???

#5 of 5
August 13 Update - So we were at Walmart today and somehow a 12-pack of Cherry 7 Up with Captain America on the carton ended up in the cart.  What?  How did that get there?  It was the elusive "last can" that completed my Captain America collection.  I said it before and I'll say it again, I'm done with collecting movie cans.

For now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Force Wasn't With Me

While looking through eBay listings a week ago, I found a complete set of Star Wars Episode 1 Pepsi cans from 1999, including the rare Gold Yoda.  But first, a little information on the set.

In conjunction with the 1999 release of the first new Star Wars film in over fifteen years, PepsiCo had the rights to release the Star Wars Episode 1 set of collector cans.  The set was different from country to country, but the United States base set consisted of twenty-four cans; eight Pepsi, eight Mountain Dew, four Diet Pepsi and four Pepsi One cans.  In addition, there was the rare Gold Yoda can.  At the time, you could redeem the Yoda can for $24 cash.  Also, there was a word hidden on each of the twenty-four cans that created three hidden messages.

Finding the complete 24-can set isn't too hard, but the Gold Yoda is rare.  So I was excited to find on eBay a complete set of twenty-four cans PLUS the Gold Yoda.  The price was a bit high for what I wanted to spend, but for that money I would have the total complete set of unopened cans.  The seller said it took him a year to collect them all from buying 12-packs and saving one of each can.  A perfect collection!

I bought the set.  He shipped the set.  When I got home from work two days ago and found the box (which looked a little small to hold twenty-five cans), I opened it and this is what I found:

There were only eight cans inside and they were smashed and dented.  Some of them were empty, a couple of the others were about half full after leaking soda on the outside of the other cans and on the plastic bags used as packing material.  Immediate fury.  Had I been scammed?  I emailed the seller.  He said he took pictures of the twenty-five cans in the box before he shipped it in case something like this happened.  Still, had I been scammed?  After discussing the situation with a co-worker yesterday, we realized what happened.  The seller had shipped the cans with soda still in them, one or more had leaked on the trip, probably ruining the original box, so the parcel service threw out most of the dented, wet cans and reboxed the remainder.  And that's what I received!

Damaged cans 1-4
I emailed the seller and explained what I thought had happened and suggested he refund my money and take up the battle with the parcel service, if he wanted to, for the value of the cans.  I explained the correct way to bottom-open a soda can (I use a small nail and punch two holes in the bottom, one to drain the soda and one for air to go in) before shipping.  He wrote back yesterday, just as angry as I was at the situation, and said he refunded my money, asked that I return the 8 cans, and he said he learned his lesson!  When I sent him pictures of the cans, he said he laughed because the cans were so beat up.  He told me to save my money and not return them to him, just throw them away.  

Damaged cans 5-8
He had worked hard at putting the collection together for someone to enjoy.  He lost a lot of time and money and I lost a good Star Wars can collection.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

7 Up Retro, I Found You!

Last Monday, while shooting the breeze in emails with one of the sellers I've bought cans from on eBay, he mentioned he was looking for the new 7 Up Retro cans, one with the design of a disco ball and the other the design of a zebra.  The cans had become known as 7 Up Disco and 7 Up Zebra.  My curiosity had been piqued, so I did some internet research.  Sure enough, 7 Up was jumping on the retro bandwagon following the successes of Pepsi Throwback, Mountain Dew Throwback and Dr Pepper Heritage (all using real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup).  They made the big reveal on an episode of Celebrity Apprentice last month.

7 Up Disco representing the 70's
 So guess what?  I wanted them too!  Throughout the course of this week I have been in several grocery stores and convenient stores, but no 7 Up Retro could be found.  I was almost convinced that the limited edition cans just hadn't made it to the middle of the country yet.  And then today we went to my cousin Harry's house for his daughter's birthday party.

7 Up Zebra representing the 80's

We began discussing sodas and I asked if he had heard of the new 7 Up Retro designs.  He said, "Sure, they have them at Schnucks" just down the road from his house.  Guess where we stopped on the way home after the party?  Of course I had to buy them in 12-packs, but that's ok.  I have seen these cans selling for $2-5 each on eBay.  I don't know if they sold, but that's what people are charging.  I figure I'll sit on my extra cans for a while, wait till they quit selling it, and then put them on eBay.  If that doesn't work, then I'll drink them!!

Thanks again, Harry, for the lead!  By the way, these were the first soda cans I actually went on a hunt for in local stores.  Lots of disappointment in doing that, but when you do finally find what you're looking for, it's worth it!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


My cousin's wife, DeAnn, asked me a question on Facebook one day recently, "Do you need a Pepsi Throwback can?"  Yes I did.  I had seen two versions of the can and had also seen some Mountain Dew Throwback cans, so what was all this "Throwback" about?  I jumped online and read the wiki entry.  "Throwback" not only refers to the retro packaging but the fact that the sodas are made with real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup that's been used in most sodas for the last twenty-five years.

Pepsi Throwbacks
Ok, so now I had it straight.  There are four cans in this "set." There are two for Pepsi; the first release can (all blue) and the can still used today (original red, white, and blue Pepsi logo design.)  There are also two for Mountain Dew; the first release can (green with the logo used from 1973-1996) and the can still used today (white with a hillbilly on it.)  In addition, Dr Pepper released their version of Throwback called Dr Pepper Heritage.

Mountain Dew Throwbacks
I went by DeAnn's house after work today and picked up the Pepsi can.  It is the current red, white, and blue can design.  I had already asked which can it was so I could order the other three cans in the Throwback set from a seller on eBay, along with the Dr Pepper Heritage can.  So in the next week or so, the package should come in and I will have all five Throwback/Heritage cans.

Dr Pepper Heritage

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sprite & Habitat for Humanity

Another reason to like our kids' softball and tee ball games; they have soda cans!  Our niece wanted a soda at the game last night, so when she came back from the concession stand she had a can of Sprite.  I could tell by the bright green coloring it was a Habitat for Humanity can.  When I got a closer look, I saw it was the skateboard design.  My dad had given me the other design, the basketball can, about a month ago.  So now I have both regular Sprite designs.  There is also a Sprite Zero Habitat can which I don't have yet.

Basketball and Skateboard
From March 28 to June 30, 2011, Sprite donated 10 cents to Habitat for every green tab from the top of Sprite cans that was mailed in. 

June 19 Update - I was just given a six-pack of 7.5 oz Sprite cans as part of my Father's Day gift.  They have the skateboard design.  Should I look for the 7.5 oz basketball design now?

7.5 oz skateboard design

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happy Days Are Here Again

I've known for a little while about the Nehi set of Happy Days cans from 1978.  I love having complete sets, but for this one I would have to fork out quite a few dead presidents.  Most listings on eBay are for partial sets, and even those are a bit costly.  I've only seen a couple of complete sets but by the time I would pay the asking price and shipping & handling, it's more than I'm willing to pay for it.  But maybe if it was Star Wars...

So the Nehi set consists of thirty-five cans.  There are seven cans in each of five different flavors: orange, grape, strawberry, fruit punch and red soda.  I would prefer a different character or location on each can, but I guess there weren't that many in the Happy Days run.  Even though there are quite a few character duplicates, they are from different episodes or shots.  For example, there are thirteen cans featuring the Fonz, but each picture is different.

In an eBay purchase of various steel cans that I received today, I got one of the Happy Days Nehi cans.  It is a fruit punch version of Howard Cunningham.  The can is #24 in the set.  I have no immediate plans of purchasing more in this set, but if they fall in my lap as this one did I won't turn them away.