Wonka Nerd Magnets

Wonka Nerd Magnets

About ten years ago I was wandering through American Science & Surplus, looking to pick up some fun curiosities to take home. After passing by all the test tubes and beakers I spied a basket full of unopened packages of Wonka Nerd Tile Magnets.

Each set consists of 4 magnets that are about 2 inches by 2 inches in size. They are all of the same type and each set costs 89 cents. The basket had about 20 sets in it, I bought all of them. I had no reason for doing this, I just saw so much potential in them.

Potential as gifts first and secondly as magnetic vandalism that would brighten other people’s day. As soon as I got home I went for a walk with a set. Walking through the park, I attached a magnet to anything that was metal.

On the return loop, the magnets were gone. They were a hit! I would repeat this with 6 other sets.

Eventually I realized the value in giving them as gifts. I gave them out to friends, family and even gave a few sets away as prizes here on the site.

Now I only have one set left and they proudly hang on a metal wall that I hung to hold all my magnets. I can’t help but smile whenever I see them. The art takes me back to my youth, when Nerds hit my town like a tidal wave, Nerd-mania owned us all, and we loved it.

For those who are not familiar, Nerds are basically flavored rock candy. They look like tiny colorful rocks, but what makes them special is their packaging. Packages usually came with two sides, each with a different flavor. On the cover was the mascot of the candy, a colorful anthropomorphized Nerd.

Invented and championed by Angelo Fraggos in 1983, Nerds were a “Candy of the Year” by 1985. Since then the Nerds have been a consistent best-seller. Their popularity has spawned a variety of flavors and product spin offs ranging from Breakfast Cereals to stuffed Nerds.

Are you a true Nerds fan? Do the Nerd Word Search and prove it.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. That was a great story about the magnets. I was a big fan of nerds. Every once in a while if I see them in a store that sells “retro” candy I’ll pick up a box, they are still fun to eat

  2. The Retroist

    They are one of those novelty candies that managed to find a good niche and stay alive. Did you ever have the Nerds Cereal?

  3. I am sorry to say that I never had the Nerd cereal, I was probably to eagar to get the Honeycomb cereal that came with baseball cards

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