Classic Marathon Candy Bars
During the 1970s and into the early 1980s, one candy bar reigned supreme in the eyes of many, especially kids—the Marathon candy bar. Made by the confectionery giant Mars, the Marathon bar held a special place in the hearts of young consumers, including myself. What made this candy bar so remarkable? Well, at first glance, it looked enormous!
Introduced to the candy-loving world in 1973, the Marathon bar was a unique creation. It featured a braided caramel core, generously coated in smooth milk chocolate. However, what really set it apart was its unconventional shape. While it might not have weighed much more than your average candy bar, it had an astonishing length of eight inches. For kids, the allure of an eight-inch candy bar was irresistible, no matter how thin it might have been. It was like a candy fantasy come to life, and I, like many others, indulged in them as often as possible.
The marketing campaign for the Marathon bar was just as memorable as the candy itself. It featured a cowboy character named "Marathon John," portrayed by none other than Patrick Wayne, the son of legendary actor John Wayne. These ads were narrated by the talented voice actor Dan Ingram, who delivered the candy's catchy slogan: "Lasts a long time."
Despite the tagline, my personal Marathon consumption wasn't exactly a lesson in moderation. I devoured them as if trying to defy the very idea of something "lasting a long time."
The Marathon bars had a distinct identity, easily recognizable thanks to their vibrant red wrappers. This bold packaging made them stand out in the candy store, beckoning young customers to experience their unique length and delicious caramel-chocolate combination. And for those who had any doubts about the candy's impressive length or just wanted to measure it themselves, the wrapper even featured a handy ruler, leaving no room for underestimation.
However, like all good things, the Marathon's run came to an end in 1981 when Mars decided to discontinue the brand. It would take decades for me to find a similar candy experience, and it came in the form of the delightful Curly Wurly, produced by Cadbury.
Today, I indulge in a Curly Wurly about once a month, and with each satisfying bite, I'm transported back to the late 1970s. All I see is that smiling cowboy, reminding me of the times when an eight-inch candy bar was pure childhood magic.