Sunday, March 30, 2014

Monster Ultra

My newest Monster can
I was at Walmart last week and saw this bright red Monster can.  I knew nothing about it other than it caught my eye and I knew I didn't have it in my collection, so I bought it.  Since then it's been in my pantry waiting to be "processed."

Yesterday I was doing some random internet surfing and I ran across a picture showing Monster Ultra cans.  I saw the red one that I just bought in addition to a white one and a blue one.  I recognized the white and blue cans as ones already in my collection, so without even realizing it I had completed my Monster Ultra collection.

My three Ultra cans

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Videojet Printing System

I've written a couple of posts about the innovative American Can Company.  One was about their button down can.  Another was about their Mira Form II can design.  This third one is about the Videojet printing system.

From what I can tell, this can dates to around 1973.  I thought the Videojet printing referred to printing the label on a piece of paper which was then wrapped around a blank can*, as was done on this promo can.  But in doing some research, not only did I discover that I was wrong about the printing but I also found out the Videojet system discussed on this can went on to become Videojet Technologies, Inc., which still exists today. 

Here's a paragraph from one of the websites I found:

During the 1970s the company's growth was furthered by new applications that led to the development of the Model 9000, the world's first industrial ink-jet identification system. The canning industry, in particular, became a major customer. American Can Co. inquired about using Videojet technology to print date codes onto beverage cans, which moved at a rate of 2,000 cans per minute during production. Despite the investment of millions of dollars, the industry's early attempts to accomplish this had been unsuccessful. Videojet engineer Tom Madden, who later became the company's vice-president of applied research and development, was involved in the development of an extremely successful prototype that was piloted at a Milwaukee brewery. The prototype quickly evolved into a global beverage industry standard, and by the 1990s Videojet printers were coding billions of beverage cans annually.

My 7-year old son recently asked, "Why do people collect cans?"   I couldn't come up with a real good answer at the time, but now I realize you never know what you're going to learn from reading a can.  Most of the time you'll just learn how many extra calories you just consumed.  But in this case, I learned a bit about the printing business, from its early ink-jet days in the late 60's to modern printing systems.  And all that from of a can that looks like it was designed for Atari 2600 gamers.

*You can see in the above pic that the Videojet can is a can just like the blank can on the left, but it has a paper wrapper with the Videojet information on it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It's Greek to Me

I don't really drink soda.  So when I met some guys for lunch today at a Greek restaurant and ordered my chicken gyro, I looked in the beverage display case and saw regular cans of Coca-Cola, Sprite, Diet Coke and bottled water.  I ordered a water.  But I changed that order when I noticed Pibb Zero tucked away in the corner of the case; a can I didn't have yet.  If I'm going to spend $.99 on a drink, I might as well get something I would keep.

I asked my friends if the restaurant would think I was weird if I asked for a nail and a hammer to bottom open the soda.  They recommended I didn't.  It goes to show, you never know when you'll stumble upon a can you've never seen before.

I took this better picture of the can when I got home from work.  I might drink it someday when I'm really thirsty.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Souvenirs from Brazil

Years ago, I went to a different church than the one I attend now.  At the previous church was a lady from Brazil.  She would occasionally visit her family in Brazil.  One time she brought my kids t-shirts from there.  But on her most recent visit, she returned with a different kind of souvenir.


She found out about my can collection and brought the above two cans back for me.  The language is Portuguese.

The first can is Guarana Antarctica, a very popular brand of soda down there.  And as a bonus, the can is still full!  So I will be doing a taste test soon and I'll update this post with the results.

The second can is Coca-Cola.  I apologize to anyone who speaks Portuguese if these translations aren't correct, but according to an online translator:

     Compartilhe = "Share"
     Felicidade = an expression of well-wishing
     A magia esta em voce = "The magic is in you"

My favorite part of the Guarana can is its barcode.  It looks like a little garden.

Overall, it's a couple of great cans from a South American country I didn't have cans from yet.

Thanks, Frieda!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dusty, the Delta Air Lion

I stumbled upon a purple can in my collection called Pawberry Punch.  The lion's face is labeled "Dusty", the Delta Air Lion.  The copyright date on the 11.5 oz can is 1989.  It was distributed by Campbell Soup.  And so I began my research into Dusty and his marketing blitz.

This was the 100% juice drink served to kids in the 80's and 90's on Delta flights and in their airport play areas called Dusty's Dens.  I also found a large inflatable Dusty toy/display online.  And here's an article from 1992 talking about Dusty visiting a local hospital.  Currently, there are various Dusty stuffed animals from the 90's listed on eBay.  I also found pictures of Dusty patches and buttons.

So how is it I had never heard of Dusty until this week?  Because I usually fly Southwest.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


I walked into work this morning and what did I find sitting on my desk?

 No, not toucans!

Two cans.  TWO CANS!

Office surprise
My coworkers are well aware of my can collection and occasionally they'll contribute a can.  Today I scored two sports cans from them.
  1. The first can is a Pepsi can advertising the Missouri Valley Conference men's basketball championship.  I posted about getting one last year, too. 
  2. The second can is a Dr Pepper TEN Rams can.  I had the regular Dr Pepper Rams can, now I have this one too.
Overall, it was a good day at work.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

DEWmocracy Canada

DEWmocracy was a marketing campaign by Pepsi to let their consumers vote on what the next Mountain Dew flavor would be.  The first United States campaign ended in August of 2008 with Voltage as the winner.  The second United States campaign ended in June of 2010 with White Out as the winner.  The third campaign was held in Canada in 2013.

In 2010, a Canadian law banning caffeine in non-cola drinks was lifted.  Previous to that, the only other flavored Mountain Dew was Code Red, which had been available for a year in 2001.  This contest was a way to give the people the choice of what their permanent second Mountain Dew flavor would be.

The four candidate flavors were competitors from the previous two DEWmocracies held in the United States (with the exception of Code Red):
  1. Code Red - "A Rush of Cherry Flavor"
  2. Supernova - "Strawberry Melon Flavor and Ginseng"
  3. Voltage - "Raspberry Citrus Flavor and Ginseng"
  4. White Out - "Smooth Citrus Dew"
In addition to the main flavor contest, there were other contests and promotions.  Every vote had a chance to win $50,000.  The best YouTube video would give the winner 1% of the total sales from the winning flavor.  And the Mountain Dew Facebook page gave out daily prizes.

The winning flavor, Voltage, was announced on July 4, 2013, after voting through mobile, Facebook and YouTube had closed.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Website Pick #2: Cans In The Basement

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.
In January I was contacted by a fellow can collector here in the United States.  He said he'd been following my blog for a while and told me about his collection and blog.  He began the blog in February 2013 and posted ninety-three articles by the end of the year.  He's off to a good start this year too.

He told me he started the blog as a way to keep himself motivated to collect.  And I shared with him that reading about other people's collections motivates me to continue my collection and websites.  Not only does he have posts about cans in his collection, but he takes the time to do research and offers good soda-related facts and current news from the beverage industry.

He saw my page of trade cans and told me about some of the brands he had for trade.  Before long we made our first trade by mail (which was his first trade ever).  

I highly recommend you follow his informative and entertaining blog.  And if you hadn't stumbled upon it yet, then get comfortable and hang the "Do not disturb" sign on your door because there is a lot of reading there for you to catch up on.