Thursday, February 27, 2014

Second Trade of 2014

I got home from work two days ago and found this on my front porch.

Was it the incense I ordered from Amazon?  Nope, too big.  Was it a new Playstation 4 from the Easter Bunny?  Nope, too soon for that.  I knew what it was the minute I saw it.


A new batch of cans from the East Coast.  I made a trade with a fellow can collector* and these are the cans he sent me.  After taking a break last year from buying/trading, I got back on that wagon in January with a trade.  This is my second of the year.  Let's see how many more I can do by December 31.

* This collector also has a blog which you can read about this Saturday after I post my next Website Pick.  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

DEWmocracy 2


DEWmocracy was a marketing campaign by Pepsi to let their consumers vote on what the next Mountain Dew flavor would be.  The first campaign ended in August of 2008 with Voltage as the winner.  The second campaign launched in 2009 with a tour of 17 American cities where people could taste many new flavors of Mtn Dew.  After the tour, the three favorite flavors were given descriptions, colors, names and eventually can designs by Dew fan artists (whose names appear on the contest cans.)

On April 19, 2010, the three finalists were released to the public and people could vote for their favorite nominee on the website through mid June 2010.

The candidates were:
  1. Distortion - "Lime Blasted Dew"
  2. Typhoon - "Punch of Tropical Dew"
  3. White Out - "Smooth Citrus Dew"

The winning flavor, White Out, was announced immediately after voting was closed.  Typhoon came in second with Distortion bringing up the rear.  

"The Winner" can design
Post-contest can design

Saturday, February 22, 2014

DEWmocracy 1

DEWmocracy was a marketing campaign by Pepsi to let their consumers vote on what the next Mountain Dew flavor would be.  In November 2007, the campaign kicked off with a website, short film and an online roleplaying game.  In January 2008 the three flavors were announced. 

In the summer of 2008, after all three flavors had been given fan-created names and can designs, they were released to the public and people could vote for their favorite nominee on the website through the end of July.   

front of the cans
The candidates were:
  1. Revolution - "Wild Berry Fruit Flavor and Ginseng"
  2. Supernova - "Strawberry Melon Flavor and Ginseng"
  3. Voltage - "Raspberry Citrus Flavor and Ginseng"
back of the cans
The winning flavor, Voltage, was announced on August 19, 2008.  Supernova came in second with Revolution bringing up the rear.  

"The Winner!" can design

Post-contest can design

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Mira Form II

The American Can Company is a company that didn't mind taking chances by trying to revolutionize the can industry.  The first post I wrote about them was about their 1971 Button Down can.  This post is about the Mira Form II can from 1972.

Although the can was steel, the bottom was thinner and the sides were slimmer than other steel cans of that time.  It claimed to be lighter than equivalent steel and aluminum containers and had a higher vertical crush resistance.  It held the standard 12 oz.

The can was made of two parts.  The top had the standard pull-top opening and the rest of the can was seamless and pressed into its shape, similar to extruded steel cans.

Another feature was the flat "dimpled," round bottom.  It helped maintain the can's stability when filled and closed.

So if the can had all of the above advantages and had a smaller outside diameter so more cans could fit in the same space and there was less metal to recycle, then why didn't it catch on?

It doesn't matter how good a product is, it's a fail if the price isn't right.  And it's my guess that this can cost more to produce and the can industry decided the advantages didn't outweigh the cost difference.  But that didn't stop the American Can Company.  They kept researching and developing.

I acquired this can in a large collection I bought last year.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The A&W Birdhouse

While cleaning out a closet last weekend I found something I forgot I had.  A couple of years ago my daughter made this birdhouse after school in latchkey and gave it to me for my birthday.  I put it away in the closet and planned on setting it outside the following spring.  And then I forgot about it...

My first question to her when I rediscovered it was, "Did you use cans from my collection to make this?"  haha  I knew she hadn't.  But I do have a can like that in my collection.  The cans are from 2011-12. 

"Let's all go to the A&W birdhouse!"


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Canadian Coca-Cola Can

I recently received this Coca-Cola can from Canada.  At first glance, I noticed it looks similar to the polar bear cans that have been released in the US in recent years.  But looking closer I saw a few things of interest.

Did you know?
First, right on the front is a "Did you know?" section that reads:
            Coca-Cola Canada is contributing $2 million over five years to WWF 
            polar bear conservation efforts.
It also lists a website where you can pledge your support.

WWF logo
Second, there's a sweet WWF panda logo on the side of the can.

And third, this is the first time I've ever seen this on a can.  It says to "empty contents if kept as collectible can."  I have received several emails from readers asking if they should drain their cans or leave them full.  I always recommend draining them.  And now that advice somehow feels "official" since a worldwide soda manufacturer suggests the same thing.

I noticed one final thing...  Canada's Coca-Cola has 160 calories whereas the US version has 140.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

It's Not Always "Yes"

I've posted a lot of stories about how I get cans.  But occasionally it doesn't work out so well...

This evening I went out to eat with my family at a local restaurant.  The decor around the restaurant is mostly Coca-Cola memorabilia.  There are trays, posters, little toy cars, signs, etc.  You name it, it's probably on the wall, on a shelf or in a cabinet there.  I enjoy checking out all the things that are tempting to collect.

But tonight I noticed something inside a glass case I hadn't seen before.  It looked like the top of a soda can.  So I walked over and sure enough there was a white Diet Coke can, circa 1990's, inside.  On the back was some kind of ad.  I saw the word "Tennessee" on it.  I knew I didn't have it.  And I knew I would like to have it.

So when I went to the register to pay, I told the cashier I have a soda can collection and I noticed the can in the other room.  I said I'd be willing to bring in two cans to replace that one.  He said it belonged to the manager and he'd go in the back and talk to him about it.  He came back a few minutes later and said the can had personal meaning to the guy.  Ok, so I can't win them all.

I'm afraid the manager may have thought the can was worth some money since out of the blue a collector showed up and was willing to trade two cans for it.  Oops, that may not have been the best approach.  Plus, he never came out to talk to me personally.

A couple of years ago I bought a box of cans off Craigslist and in it was about a dozen straight steel Coca-Cola cans from the 1970's that were all the same.  So I decided I would take one of those into the restaurant next week and add to his little collection.  That way he can display a real Coca-Cola can, not just some aluminum Diet Coke can!

But on the way home from the restaurant, someone texted me a pic of this Monster Mad Dog can I don't have yet.  So I guess this story ends with me getting a new can anyway.  Haha

Monday, February 3, 2014

Clinton Cola

Two days ago, I took a road trip to check out some flea markets and antique shops in my area.  Just when I thought I was going to go home without any new cans, I visited this store:

It looked like an unlikely place to find any treasures, but in the first room I saw a 1996 Clinton Cola perched on a shelf.

Clinton Cola
Someone in my area has had a Clinton Cola can on Craigslist for a long time asking $10.  So I grabbed this one with its $2 price tag and checked out.  And what do you know?  On Saturdays everything is 10% off.  So it was even more of a bargain at $1.80.

One other detail is the can was still full.  Many people will leave cans full thinking it increases their value.  The only benefit from buying a full can is I get to choose how to drain it.  So when I got home I nailed a couple of small holes on the bottom and watched the 18 year old soda run into the sink.  Of course I was tempted to taste it...  but I didn't.  The cost of Pepto-Bismol and TUMS would have negated the $.20 I saved. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Website Pick #1: USA Soda

On the first of every month I will feature one of my favorite can websites.  
Please send an email if you have a website for consideration.

This month I would like to highlight a website I use all the time.  The website has been around since January 2003.  It is maintained by John C. who has been collecting since the early 70's.  There is an email address on the homepage to contact him.  He does do trades.  All of the cans and bottles on the website are from his personal collection.

When adding a can to my master list, I like to provide as much info as possible for each can.  So this site is very handy when dating my cans.  Most items on the site list its year, what kind of can it is (steel or aluminum), size and city.  When it comes to standard Coke and Pepsi cans, I haven't had one yet that wasn't on this website.

So whether you're doing research on a specific can or just want to see all the designs of a particular brand through the years, this is one of the best sites I've found to visit.