Thursday, December 27, 2012

Roundy's Round-Up

A year ago I did a post about a friend coming down from Wisconsin to hang out.  I was able to snag a Dr Pepper Ten from the floorboard of his car.  At the time he said he could get together a box of cans from his area for me.

This afternoon I got a text from him that he was in town again and he had a present for me...

He came by this evening with a box full of different flavors of Roundy's.  He got them from a chain of stores called Pick 'n Save (which I'd never heard of before).  And the best part, the cans are still full.  So I've got a lot of taste-testing ahead of me.

Thanks again Joe!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Two More Christmas Parties

Another day closer to Christmas and two more Christmas parties.  As we arrived at the first party I was filled with hope that I'd need to borrow Santa's bag to carry away all the cans I found.  This is what I saw by the driveway...

But if you notice, it's full of Mtn Dews!  I dug down pretty deep and didn't find anything I didn't already have.  So that was a bit of a disappointment.

Later in the day we headed to the second party.  While out in the garage looking at the guy's restored 1938 Ford, I noticed a couple of sacks of cans to be recycled.  I'd say 90% of the cans were A&W cans that I already have, but I did find this tangerine Diet Rite can.

We leave tomorrow to visit some family out of state, so we'll see if any cans turn up on this trip.  If so, I'll blog about it!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Party Loot

Last night we had a small Christmas party where I work.  One of the guys who used to work with us was there and he brought a bag of cans for me.  Below is a picture of what was in the bag.

The cans include a Woodstock '94 Pepsi can, a 1992 Batman Six Flags Coke can, energy drinks featuring Mario, Donkey Kong and Pac-Man, a Duff can from the Simpsons and finally a Coke can from Munich, Germany, which he got while on vacation in October.

Thanks Brad!!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Brand of the Can

So, why do I have three cans of the same design in my collection?  Pull up a chair and I'll tell you.

When I'm out in the "field" and come across a can I think I already have, I bring it home anyway because I like cans with even the slightest variation.  The above picture is a good example of three can variations of the same design.  But this time the variation has nothing to do with the design of the can but the can itself.

There are three major can manufacturers; Ball, Crown and Rexam.  There are others but these are the Big Three that I've noticed.  You can see the difference in the three pics below:


You can also see a difference in the coloring among the three manufacturers.  Look at the color of the footballs in the first picture in this post.

What I haven't been able to find out yet is what determines which can manufacturer a soda manufacturer uses.  I thought maybe the region of the country determines which brand of can is used.  But I found the above three cans within a two-hour radius of my hometown here in the Midwest.

Please leave a comment if you know why the same soda company uses different can manufacturers.  Or if you're a real can geek, what's your favorite can manufacturer?  haha

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Big Sprite

A co-worker brought a can to me at work yesterday.  It was this Sprite can:


None of us at work had seen a 16 oz can of regular Sprite before.  This probably isn't big news to a lot of people, but for me this is the first one I've ever seen.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

2012 Halloween Cans

Early last week my wife called me at work while she was grocery shopping.  She said they had Frankenstein 7 Up and Dracula Sunkist cans.  I hadn't seen any of the Dr Pepper Snapple Group Halloween cans this year, so I told her to go ahead and get them.

Just in time for Christmas!  HAHA!

There were six cans this year in the Halloween set.  I got the picture below from  It shows the color-changing effect of each can. 

So I have a few more cans to watch for.  But I haven't given up hope.  In the summer of 2011, I found a Halloween can from 2010 at a store, so I could still stumble across some more in the coming months.

12-11-12 update - I was getting a couple things at a local grocery store this evening and decided to check the cans.  Guess what?  They had the A&W werewolf!!!  So guess what I drank with supper?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Antique Shopping... Yet Again

Last Saturday, we did another one-day road trip checking out antique stores and flea markets we hadn't been to yet.  Overall it wasn't the best can hunt, but I did come home with a few new ones for my collection.

Holiday 2009 can
I saw my first can of the day at the third store we visited.  They had a Coca-Cola Holiday 2009 can which I didn't have.  The can was still full of soda and had no price tag.  So I asked how much it was and the lady working had no idea.  She asked what I'd give for it and I said, "A buck" and she said, "Sold!" 

Japanese Cokes
I found quite a few cans throughout the day but they were priced from $5 to $8 each, and I just don't pay that much for cans.  The next reasonably-priced cans I found were these two Coke cans sitting next to each other in a shop.  I assume they are Japanese (they both have JAS in a circle on them).  But the interesting thing is their size/shape.  They are 250ml, which equals 8.4oz, but they are tall and thin (similar to a Red Bull can).  So I bought both of them.

Sprite 2012 holiday can

One of the stores we went to was having an open house and Christmas sale event.  Just inside the front door they had tables of cookies, cakes, pies, donuts, and several crockpots with assorted cooking meats and there were crackers and breads.  All of it was free for their customers.  They really knew how to have an open house!!!  They also had a tub of soda for customers and that's where I found this 2012 Sprite holiday can.  Last week I blogged about finding this year's Coke holiday can, so now I've found Sprite's.

Cans are just one of the many things I watch for when "junking."  And even when the day doesn't turn up many cans, I still have a ball looking for the many other things that my wife rolls her eyes at.  So when are we going again?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Remembering Our Anniversary

Today is our 12th wedding anniversary.  Last year I posted about the cruise to the Bahamas we took for our 11th anniversary and the few cans that came back with us from the trip.  One of them was the controversial 2011 white "Arctic Home" Coca-Cola can.

Coca-Cola 2011 Holiday can
During one of the shows aboard the cruise ship (on Nov 12), the couple we were sitting with was enjoying the show with a 6-pack of Coke and a bottle of whiskey.  My eyes were all over the white Coke cans and I finally broke down and asked him if I could have one.  Of course he didn't mind at all.  So I carried that can with me from the ship to the hotel to the airport and back home.  When we got home I wrote the date 11-12-11 on the bottom of it to remind me when I got it.

It wasn't long before those cans showed up at stores in my area and a Coke-drinking co-worker brought in a 12-pack of them.  So I was able to bottom-open one for my collection.  I've replaced top-opened cans with bottom-opened cans before and I always put the unneeded top-opened ones in my trade pile.  But in this case, I had to keep the top-opened white Coke can from our cruise.

So as of this post, it's the only can I've kept both top- and bottom-opened versions of. 

And I thank my wife for putting up with my cans for a year and a half now and I hope she can put up with them for many years to come. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Family Pictures

A few months ago we realized we haven't had family pictures taken for a couple of years.  But instead of going to Olan Mills or Sears or even Walmart, we had my photographer cousin come over for several hours one Saturday last month to take our pictures inside our house, outside the house and even at my in-laws' house out in the country.

As we posed at the piano, the dining room table and even on the couch with X-box controllers in hand, I suggested we take a few pics to reflect my other hobby... can collecting.  So we headed to the basement.

I was only able to get a few pictures taken with the wife before she mysteriously disappeared.  So then I was on my own for a few pics.

And my son, "Lil Pepper", had to ham it up a bit.

Needless to say, none of these will be on the front of our Christmas card this year, but it's still a memorable moment captured in time. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Return of the Polar Bears

Last week, my wife and I saw a lady sitting next to us in traffic.  I noticed the lady was drinking a red can of Coke with polar bears on it.  I told my wife, "She's drinking a soda that's almost a year old!"  But then I thought about it and realized soda can last quite a while in a can, so the incident left my mind.

Until today when a co-worker brought in a new 12-pack of Coke to work.  He commented that the polar bears were back.  I asked to look at the can to see if they changed the design from last year.  Initially it looked the same, then I saw the 2012 copyright date.  It actually was a new can.  And then I noticed the bears are different.


The 2012 holiday cans have arrived.  Now I'll be watching for the other Coke product variations.

I guess the lady in traffic wasn't drinking an old can of soda but a brand new can.  She fooled me.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

How I "Process" A New Can

If I had to take pictures of my 2200+ cans now and do an inventory, it would not get done!  Fortunately I started my web site and catalog when I started collecting and I update both as I get new cans.  So what is the process of adding a can to my collection?  Read on.

For this post's example, I will be using the Diet Dr Pepper can featuring another tuition winner, Antron McCullough, that I found this morning at the local Dollar General store.

The first thing I do is bottom open the can using a hammer and nail.  I put two holes in the bottom, one to allow the soda to drain and one to allow air to go in (notice both holes in the pic below.)  And then I drain the can. 

Once the can is empty, I wash it off and set it on the island in my kitchen to take its picture for the web site.  Every can picture on the site has been taken in this exact spot using the same two CD's to prop the same camera up so every picture is taken at the same level.  I appreciate consistency. 

Then I head to the computer to add the can to my master Can List, which is an Excel file.  The data recorded for each can is the date I got the can, the manufacturer, the brand, the variation (flavor or can design), condition (which is for steel cans describing whether they are straight steel, extruded, etc and what kind of tabs they have), where I got the can, its assigned catalog # and any special notes.

I've highlight today's can in the screenshot above.  Its catalog # is DP01d-20.  And here's what that means.  The first two letters tell me which major manufacturer made the soda.  Examples are DP for Dr Pepper Snapple Group, CC for Coca-Cola, PE for PepsiCo, etc.  The two numbers following the letters tell me which brand of soda it is.  So in my Dr Pepper Snapple Group brand list, 01=Dr Pepper, 02=7 Up, 03=A&W, etc.  And if it's a diet version, I tack on the little "d" after the brand number.  So by looking at DP01d, I know this is a Diet Dr Pepper can.  So which Diet Dr Pepper is it?  #20, the number following the dash in the catalog #.  Looking at the chart above, you can see all of my Diet Dr Peppers listed.  You can also see my newer Dr Peppers and oldest 7Up's on the chart too.  It took a while for me to tweak the catalog # system, but it works for me.  Each can has its own unique number and by looking at that number I know exactly what can it is!

In the case of this can, I had to take two pictures, one of the front and one of the back.  I used Paint Shop Pro photo editing software to combine both pictures and added that pic to the Dr Pepper Special Promos page on the collection web site.

And then the fun part... I add the can to the shelf.

And in this case, Antron now sits with the other three tuition winners I've collected so far in my Dr Pepper section.

So, anyone need an Antron can?  I have five extras!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Another Day, Another Flea Market

My wife and I spent another day at another flea market and a dozen antique shops yesterday.  The first soda can find was an old cone top Pepsi can.  They were asking $75 for it but I'm not ready to take that big of a step for my collection yet.  I'll stick to the tabbed cans for now.

It can be frustrating searching for soda cans because I don't see very many at these places.  But there are TONS of bottles and beer cans. 

I did find a couple of Coke cans but they were sports-related and I'm just not into sports (despite yesterday's post about RC baseball cans.)  Plus they were wanting $5 a piece for them and they just aren't worth that to me.

But in the end, I did manage to find an aluminum bottle I didn't have yet.

I also found a kitschy statue of a Japanese person (I set it next to my new aluminum bottle to demonstrate its size.)

I'm not sure which my wife is more displeased with; another can in the house or the "hideous" treasure I found.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

RC Baseball

Last weekend my mother-in-law called from a flea market where she found a guy selling RC cans with baseball players on them.  I told her there were two sets; one was from 1977 and had the players' stats/info in a square text box and the other set was from 1978 and had the stats/info printed on a picture of a baseball.

I pulled up my can collection website and had her start reading off the names of the cans he had.  In the end, he had ten cans that I didn't.

But I have them now.

I am in no hurry to complete these two sets.  I now have 15 of the 70 cans from 1977 and I have 54 of the 100 cans from the 1978 set.  It's a slow process, but hopefully someday I'll have complete collections from both years.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gold Yoda and Storm

While on a recent flea market and antique mall road trip, my wife and I checked out a shop in Washington, Indiana.  I was drooling over the vast selection of boarded Star Wars figures when she found me and said there were a lot of soda cans near the back of the store.  So I made my way there and found this:

It was a selection of cans from the 1999 Pepsi Star Wars Episode One 24-can set.  Since I already have the set, most of the cans didn't interest me.  Except for two.  Buried among the bright blue and white cans was a gold can.  I picked it up and realized I was holding the rare 25th can... the Gold Yoda!  I've seen these go for $20 and more on eBay and just wasn't willing to spend that much.  I knew I would eventually come across it in my travels.  The next question was "how much?"  I turned the unopened can over and saw a tag for $5.  It was mine!!!

Also in the pile was a Jar Jar Binks can I had never seen.  It was a Pepsi Storm can!  What the what?  So I bought it for $1.  I researched it when we got home and found out Storm was Pepsi's 1998-1999 attempt at a lightly carbonated, caffeinated lemon-lime drink.  Since this was being tested during their Star Wars campaign, they released a Storm and Light Storm Star Wars can (those two cans were not numbered since they weren't part of the main 24-can set).  Storm never made it out of the test market.  It was dropped in favor of Pepsi's caffeine-free Slice, which was reformulated and renamed Sierra Mist in 2000.

Yoda is famous for saying, "Do or do not, there is not try."  Well I didn't just "try" to get the gold Yoda, I went out and "did"!!! 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mountain Dew Green Label

In 2007 Mountain Dew released a small line of limited edition aluminum bottles featuring artwork from a range of artists (including tattoo artists) called Green Label.  From the information I have found, they continued the aluminum bottles for just a couple of years.  If they still produce them, please leave a comment and let me know.

I was aware Mountain Dew had cool-looking aluminum bottles, but it wasn't until last weekend that I finally saw one in person at a flea market in Evansville, Indiana.  The booth had two of the same design, but one had a dent in the side.  They both had $1 price tags, so I grabbed the nicer of the two and started my Mountain Dew Green Label collection.

This bottle is called "Reflections of Dew" from 2008
I am staying away from glass bottles because I do NOT need another "wing" of my collection, but I have grandfathered these in because they are made of aluminum.  I will not go to eBay and start buying all the Green Labels I can find (not yet, at least), but I will continue to look for them to pop up in antique malls and flea markets.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Burnt Prairie Trashed Cans

The first antique shop my wife and I visited on our recent vacation was called Burnt Prairie Antique Mall.  As we walked in the door, I noticed a large cardboard container that said "Please recycle" and it was full of cans!  A quick glance inside revealed a couple of cans I didn't have...

Later, while paying for the things we bought, I mentioned to the cashier lady I had a can collection.  I said we weren't from the area and I noticed a couple of cans in the recycle box that I didn't have.  She handed me a plastic bag and cheerfully said, "Take what you want."

I really wanted to dig in deep, but I was already getting stares from a few other shoppers, so I just casually perused the selection at the top of the heap.  I found a Diet Pepsi can and a Mtn Dew can both with an ad/coupon for Holiday World.  I also found two more Dr Pepper tuition winner cans, bringing the total in my collection to three now.

My vacation was off to a good start!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Home from Vacation

My wife and I got home from a short vacation today.  We took a road trip around southern Indiana and southern Illinois going to various flea markets and antique shops.  This was my two-day take.

Among the "treasures" I found was a gold Yoda can, a cool Mountain Dew aluminum bottle, a couple more Dr Pepper tuition cans and many more! 

I hope to highlight some of these finds in detail in the next week or two.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Another Birthday in the Can

I recently had another birthday.  One of the presents my wife gave me was this Monster Energy can (I drank it today at work.)


What's so special about it?  Well, it's a can that I didn't have.  AND the fact that my wife, who would rather cash in my collection at a recycler for a trip to Bath & Body Works, gave it to me!  It was a happy birthday.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fright Fest

My favorite month of the year is here.  October is when all the ghosts come out and things get spook and creepy.  And if I could only go to Six Flags one time each year it would be during their Fright Fest.  And so I've begun a sub-collection of Coca-Cola discount cans for Fright Fest. 

Halloween 2011 was the first Halloween since I started my can collection so it was easy to get the 2011 can.  And I lucked out and found a 2010 can at work in April of last year.  And now the 2012 can has been released, so I snatched it up when I saw one at work last week.

The 2010 and 2011 ads were printed on a black background which I prefer over 2012's silver background.  The black background takes better pictures. 

It'll be easy to collect a can each year from now on, but it will be a challenge to find the cans from 2009 and earlier.  I'm not in full-search mode but if I stumble upon them I'll certainly add them to my collection. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dr Pepper Winners

A couple of days ago a co-worker brought this Dr Pepper can to me.


When I saw the can, I had the same expression as Courtney, haha.  I love seeing a new can that I didn't know existed.  Last year Dr Pepper had a can set showing scholarship winners so I'm assuming this is something like that.  I haven't done any research yet but I think they have some kind of tuition contest going on.  And I don't know how many cans are in the set yet.

So I'll keep an eye out for more excited people on the sides of cans.

10-14-12 update -  A couple of days ago I found the following two Dr Pepper cans in the trash at an antique mall:


Watching for can #4...

 11-01-12 update - I found this one at the local Dollar General store:

12-10-12 update - I found this one at the same local Dollar General store:

12-18-12 update - I found this one at the same local Dollar General store: