Big League Chew Outta’ Here Original

Flavor: This is what Bubble Gum is all about. No frills, no burst of sour, no crunchies. Just pure, all-out sugary bubble gum goodness.

Texture: If nothing else, being a gum blogger has taught me that I have absolutely no idea how to chew Big League Chew. It’s never been a gum to me, it’s always been a game. The only time I’ve ever chewed Big League Chew in my life is when my sister or best friend and I have picked up a couple packs and had a contest to see how much we could fit in our mouths without gagging. (We always ended up gagging. It was disgusting.) As a result, it’s really difficult for me to objectively blog about the texture – I’ve never had any idea how much of it I’m supposed to eat. I’ve had a few wads of it in preparation for this review, and no matter how small of an amount of shreds I chew, it always seems to be too much. From what I think I can gather, this gum starts off really soft. Like really soft, to the point where I feel like it’s going to liquify. After a good 45-60 seconds, it starts to firm up and become a more enjoyable chewing experience. Bubbles with Big League Chew are fantastic. I’ve always maintained that BLC was the best gum for bubble blowing, and although recent gums like Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape Triple Treat give BLC a run for their money in the bubble-blowing category, BLC still remains tops in my book for bubbles.

Presentation: What can be said about Big League Chew’s packaging? It’s flawless. Now that I’m sitting here analyzing it, I don’t understand how Big League Chew is still being manufactured, what with all the overprotective parents out there. BLC is shredded to look like chewing tobacco, and packed in a foil pouch… like chewing tobacco. It was created in the early 1980s to discourage the use of chew and provide a fun alternative. I can understand the mentality and the reasoning in the early 1980s, but in today’s “Joe Camel Must Die” society I’m surprized that this has slipped through the cracks.

Overall: C’mon. It’s Big League Chew. Who doesn’t love Big League Chew?

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Orbit Wildberry Remix

Flavor : Sometimes, when gum emulates a flavor we experience elsewhere in the world, it’s a true delight. Chocolate chip mint ice cream, for example, or strawberry shortcake. But there are some flavors we don’t ever want to experience again, like, say, grape Children’s Chewable Tylenol. And that’s exactly what Orbit Wildberry Remix tastes like to me. When I first opened the package, I thought it smelled a little like grape Big League Chew, and I was excited for that first piece, but I quickly realized upon chewing that the scent I’d detected from my childhood was none other than grape Children’s Chewable Tylenol. I hated it then, and I hate it now. The smell is so overwhelming I may have to toss the rest of the pack. Who wants to be reminded of headaches and fevers? Not me.

Texture : I don’t want to chew this long enough to find out how the texture will hold up. It’s fine, I don’t know, I just want to get this lousy taste out of my mouth.

Presentation : The fashion packs are getting cooler, that’s for sure. There’s a contest on the inside of the flap for a chance to win something called “Orbit bucks.” When I investigated the contest, I was annoyed to find that it was yet another product culling contact information for a vague reward. “Bucks” are applied in the Orbit store, where you can buy lots of things, from gift cards to books to “dorm decor.” I guess if you’re an avid Orbit chewer, it’s nice, but it seems like a lot of steps that most folks won’t really take. Two ways to enter: 1. Take a picture of an illustration in the pack and text it to Orbit (and whatever happens after you do that). 2. Enter the secret password onto their website (after filling out a form with all your contact information). You then win a certain amount of bucks which can be applied to prizes, which are categorized according to type and value. Whatever happened to scratch and win? I just don’t think this is worth it. If you think I’m wrong– shoot us a comment and let us know what cool stuff you’ve bought with your Orbit bucks.

Overall : At least Chewable Tylenol cures headaches. This stuff gives me one.

Rating : o (one gumball)

Stride Shaun White Whitemint

Flavor : In the interest of being fair and thorough here, I’m going to save all my Shaun White commentary for the presentation portion of this review. Let’s pretend this gum didn’t have a weird CGI image of a pro snowboarder on the cover, and talk about what we’re really buying here– the gum. It’s super refreshing and cool, with a slight hint of sweet in the bite. I’ve got to say, though, that I personally can’t get past this new chemical taste that all Stride gums have these days. It leaves this weird film on my tongue, and something in there reminds me of what I imagine Noxema to taste like. I will say, though, that Stride has been putting out some nasty flavors lately and this one isn’t that bad.

Texture : Very good, long lasting chew. Texture has never been Stride’s weakness.

Presentation : Could it be that this is the first athlete representing a gum? I don’t recall whether or not Big League Chew ever actually claimed a real life baseball player as their hollywood representative, but at least that would have sort of… made sense. Big League Chew looks like chewing tobacco. Who chews chewing tobacco? Baseball players. Natural sponsorship. Stride Whitemint is… well, white. And cold, sort of like snow. But so are lots of gums, right? Why doesn’t Shaun White represent Dentyne Ice? Or Mentos (the freshmaker)? I could picture him in a mentos commercial… in fact, I would love to see that dude in a mentos commercial. He’s just about the coolest guy that ever set board on a half pipe; there’s no denying that Shaun White deserves to make lots of money selling product, that much is clear.

But what is going on here, Stride? It’s like they didn’t even try to stitch some kind of connection between sponsor and product. “Oh hey, we got Shaun White. What should we call it, Shaun White Gum? No no no. I’ve got it. Whitemint. That’s clever.” So they’re going simple, I’ll buy that. But they’re not going simple. Printed on the inside of the package is a cartoon that places Shaun White in some kind of competition with a ram. I quote, “It’s on! Man versus Ram. One a competitive animal with freakish strength that loves to be scratched. The other has horns. Together in a fierce competition to see who is the best spokesman… or spokesanimal!” Um. Well. At least they didn’t call this gum “Ram-mint.”

Overall : A swing and a miss… I guess? I just don’t know what to think here. I feel sort of like I’m missing some inside joke (which I very well might be) that Shaun White has with the rest of the world. If you know the secret, please comment (but try not to make me look old or dumb). If not, I’ve got to say that of all celebrities, this is one for whom Stride actually could pull off a half-baked weirdo marketing plan. Throw a bunch of ideas in the air, string some loose (very loose) connection between him and the product and that makes it ok to permit a ram to tell a “your mom” joke on your packaging. You read that correctly. You’ll have to buy a pack to find out the punch line. (Spoiler alert! It’s your mom. )

Rating : ooo (three gumballs)

Bazooka Bubble Juice Bubblegum Nuggets Slammin’ Blue Raspberry

Flavor: Bazooka lovers out there, do not be fooled– Bubble Juice is not for you! Ladies and gentlemen, the creators of the tame, sugary block of bubblegum wrapped in punny comic strips present to the facebook generation a fresh new burst of blue raspberry zing to match the other crazy gums out there on the market today. Has Bazooka Joe sold out? Or has he just adapted to the sour, sweet and neat innovations that many gums offer today? This gum will, like Hubba Bubba or Bubblicious, knock your socks off upon first mouthful, an overwhelming surge of sour blue raspberry goodness that fades almost as quickly as the texture hardens to a barely malleable hunk of rubber. But come on, who said gum was about a lasting chew? Kids aren’t buying Bubble Juice because they’re looking to keep their breath fresh throughout the duration of a date or a business meeting. They’re buying it because it’s fun– and this flavor is as fun as the packaging. Plus, I fear it might induce seizures or something if the flavor lasted for much longer than it does.

Texture : This gum, although marketed as “juice,” is a bunch of blue pebbles that resemble the rocks at the bottom of a fish tank. Much like its predecessor Big League Chew, it’s fun for kids to chew– we had contests when we were kids for who could stuff the most “chew” into their cheeks without gagging. I can imagine a really cool kid someplace who brags about being able to pour a whole bag of Bazooka Bubble Juice into his mouth. The gum hardens up almost immediately, as I’ve said, but who cares. Oh, and P.S.– it blows a pretty slammin’ bubble.

Presentation : So, I’m a little confused about the gimmick here, but for some reason I’m not too bothered by the inconsistency. It’s supposed to be bubble juice– it comes in a little Capri Sun-like pouch and there are pink droplets bursting out of the logo. But inside the pouch, there are… rocks. I feel like I’ve seen plenty of goo-like gums, tubes of gum, bottles of gum liquid that solidify upon chewing, that I’m not sure why the rocks are necessary here. They could be totally re-marketed and sold in pales, “Rockin’ Gum Rocks!” or “Poppin’ Pebbles!” It’s got a lot of potential, and I think the “juice” was sort of a cop-out. I’d be kind of disappointed if I were a kid and opened it up to find a bunch of fish tank rocks. But then… you can pour them into your mouth like juice. I suppose I’ll let it pass.

Overall : Conscientious parents be warned, although I guess it’s pretty obvious– Bubble Juice will most definitely rot the teeth out of your child’s mouth. But… look at my tongue! As far as I can remember, anything that turned your tongue this color was definitely a must-have for kids under twelve (and oftentimes, over twelve). If you’ll excuse me, I need to spit out this disgusting gob of rubber and drink some more JUICE!

Rating : oooo (four gumballs )

Extra Dessert Delights Strawberry Shortcake

Flavor : I have to admit right off the bat that I’m not the biggest fan of strawberry shortcake. If you put it in front of me, like any other sugary treat, of course I’ll devour it, but I’d never choose it out of a lineup. All prejudices aside, though, I’d say this gum is just all right. It’s got all the elements you’d expect out of a strawberry shortcake gum– it’s sweet and creamy and tastes of the familiar artificial strawberry flavor. I think I would have loved this gum when I was ten or eleven; it’s got that really phony, terrible sweetness that reminds me very much of my smelly Strawberry Shortcake doll. I remember most adults gagging at the smell of her, though, a reaction that I finally now understand, thanks to Extra.

Texture : As a gum, it’s a quality chew– thick, not too soft, not too firm, keeps consistency for a long time. But I think that the reason I feel this gum falls short for “strawberry shortcake” is because so much of strawberry shortcake is about the texture– the soft flesh of the strawberries, the spongy bread, the smoothness of the cream. That’s what I most enjoy about it, anyway, and I feel like it loses half its appeal here. Again, I would not have given texture a second thought back in the day, if a free pack of this stuff had come with my awesome smelly dolly.

Presentation : I wonder if it might suit Extra better to market these three “Dessert Delights” independently from one another. I mean, it’s true, they do have lots in common– they’re all desserts, they all have that unique creaminess to them, and they’re all in one way or another delightful. But I think that, unlike Extra Dessert Delights Mint Chocolate Chip, and even Key Lime Pie to an extent, I wouldn’t categorize this particular gum as a “sinful indulgence,” per se. It’s a kid’s gum, simple and sickeningly sweet. Smack a cartoon character on there and Extra will be selling these by the handful. As for the way it’s packaged now, though, I doubt it would have caught my eye as a kid, when lined up on the shelf beside such masterpieces as Hubba Bubba Max Sweet and Sassy Cherry or straight up Big League Chew.

Overall : I feel like I can’t give this an objective rating, since it tastes like it’s intended primarily for kids. But then, I feel like the packaging is not marketing to kids, so I shouldn’t have to censor my adult opinions. So in honor of my old friend Miss Shortcake, in all of her stinky glory, I’ll err on the favorable side of the gumball scale this time around.

Rating: oooo (four gumballs )

Trident Splash Pucker Me Berry

Flavor: It’s hard not to compare this to the phenomenal Orbit Mist Raspberry Lemon Dew,
because everything about that gum is just right, and it set the standard for “lemonade” in my brain. That being said, this gum is dull, dull, dull. With a name like “Pucker Me Berry” I expect at least some tartness, but even at first bite there’s little else but sweetness, and a vague sweetness at that. There’s a liquid goo center that I suppose could be classified as tart, but it fades away too quickly to qualify for a featured headline. The package features strawberry and raspberry, but I don’t taste either fruit very strongly. All that being said, it’s not a bad flavor.

Texture: We open with our standard pellet candy shell crunch, followed by a period of about 5 minutes of “This is waaaaay too soft.” It takes a good while for the gum to mature into anything that has any substance to it, and even then, it remains pretty sticky, and has a tendency to cling to your teeth and lips if you attempt to blow a bubble.

Presentation: It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but it is worth noting that this is the first time I’ve seen this incarnation of Trident Splash – previously, the Trident Splash logo was centered and large on the front of the package, with the fruit/ice cream/starlight mint graphics hiding behind. It doesn’t make all that much difference aesthetically, since from the get-go Trident Splash has always had one of the busier packagings, almost obnoxiously so. This is a tween’s gum, for kids who have outgrown Big League Chew-stuffing contests, but are too young to carry a minimalist-looking Orbit around.

Overall: Eh, it’s alright. If I was 12 years old, this would get 4 gumballs, solid. But I’m not 12 years old, I’m 31 (at least for another week,) and this flavor just doesn’t cut it with me. It’s a blister pack full of empty promises.
Rating: oo (two gumballs)

Special Feature: The Bubble Trials

Christopher, A friend of GumAlert, alerted us to the fact that although we’ve reviewed multiple bubblegums, we rarely touch upon the bubble-blowing qualities of the gum. This is an element that we’ve absolutely neglected, so I’ve gone out and bought a variety of sugarless bubblegums to compare.

In this special post, I’ll be comparing the bubbles blown by six different brands of sugarfree bubblegum: Bubblegum Trident, Stride Uber Bubble, Extra Classic Bubble, Orbit Bubblemint, Wrigley 5 Zing, and the yet-to-be-reviewed Sugarfree Bubble Yum.

Bubblegum Trident
In my initial review of Bubblegum Trident, I noted that this “might as well be a chewing gum.” This description still fits. When you first start chewing Bubblegum Trident, the consistency is really hard, and the bubbles are small and thick. After you chew for about 5 – 10 minutes, the texture of the gum softens and the bubbles increase in size but remain a hard, thick, almost latex balloon consistency. However, the bubble pops and you’re right back to a hard wad. Makes my teeth hurt, in fact.
oo (two bubbles)

Stride Uber Bubble
This one is also tough to chew, and it has a slightly grainy consistency that makes blowing bubbles near impossible. You can barely spread the gum around your tongue before it forms tiny little holes in it. I chewed it for about 15 minutes and it stayed way too firm.
o (one bubble)

Extra Classic Bubble
“Made With Real Bubbles” is printed on the inside of the packaging, and that’s pretty gross if you stop and really think about it. Anyway, this one is a much softer gum when you first bite into it, but again, it firms up to the point where I worry about my dental work. I had such high hopes for the bubble potential when I first started chewing it, but I was quickly disappointed. I think I blew about 3 bubbles before my jaw started to hurt and I gave up.
o (one bubble)

Orbit Bubblemint
Still hard to chew, but definitely easier to spread. Bubbles are decent, but get thin and pop really quickly, and are really sticky. Since it’s technically supposed to be a bubble-mint hybrid, if you blow a big bubble that doesn’t pop and try to “suck” the bubble back into your mouth, your sinuses are blasted with mintyness. Similarly, if you pop a bubble just right and the air blows into your eye, it stings quite a bit.
oo (two bubbles)

Wrigley’s 5 Zing
This gum fools you into thinking you’re going to get great big awesome bubbles, but they fall short every time, popping with a loud, disappointing SNAP when you just start to fill them up with air. Also very sticky.
o (one bubble)

Bubble Yum Sugarfree
Bubble Yum is one of the main sugared bubblegums, so they know what’s what when it comes to bubbles. However, once again the bubbles are sub-par. This gum has the opposite problem of the others: it’s too soft. I feel like it might blow a decent enough bubble, but it wants to slide right off your tongue with the slightest pressure from the air.
oo (two bubbles)

Conclusion
Now that I’ve chewed enough xylitol in one sitting to make me nauseous, I think I can say with some certainty that sugarless bubblegum is more about the flavor of bubblegum, and less about the actual blowing of bubbles. If you’re in a bubble-blowing mood, you gotta bite the bullet and risk a cavity and pick up a pack of Big League Chew or Bubble Tape.

Hubba Bubba Max Island Punch

Flavor : As per usual with sugary gums, I feel like an alcoholic drinking my first real beer after many years gone dry when I chew this gum. The flavor is initially delicious, much like a fruit punch lollipop, with a little extra flavor that’s faintly reminiscent of cherry blowpops. After years of sucralose and xylitol, some good ol’ fashioned sugar and corn syrup really hits the spot. I imagine kids and adults alike would really enjoy this flavor. Fruit punch for the kiddies, rum punch for the rest of us.

Texture : I got to tell you, this gum can blow some serious bubbles. The longer you chew, the bigger and better the bubble. It’s got incredible elasticity and seems to be intended for the sole purpose of blowing some slamming bubbles and packing some serious flavor punch (pardon the pun).

Overall : Shannon and I both had to chew some sugary gumz for our professional photoshoot to update our disturbing blog picture (thanks Colin! Photo coming soon). Shannon chewed strawberry and I chewed Island Punch, and I could instantly rate this gum a lot easier than other sugar gums, because I had a fair comparison sitting right next to me (Usually it’s difficult for me to be un-biased as a loyal non-sugar gum chewer). Shannon regretted that we couldn’t find Big League Chew because it blew better bubbles, but my gum blew better bubbles than any wad of Big League Chew that I can recall. She muttered “This is disGUSTing” intermittently and with each utterance I was reminded of how tasty my gum was. This gum is really good, and I don’t even like sugar gums, or fruit punch, or green candy really as a general rule. I just gave my roommate a piece and I think he put it best: “Mmmm. Me gusta. That’s good.”
Rating: ooooo (five gumballs )

Trident Strawberry Twist

Flavor: Much like its Orbit rival, the new Trident Strawberry Twist is reminiscent of a very distinct flavor from my past—not Big League Chew, but McDonald’s Strawberry milkshakes. At first whiff of the gum inside the packaging I sensed that delightful, creamy, strawberry twang of a McShake, but I tried to convince myself it was in my head. Then came the BURST of flavor, and I confirmed its likeness to that milky pink treat. Every so often I’ll smell it wafting from my bag and crave it, yearning to delight its satisfying flavor. I found myself even thinking about the gum as the week went on, looking forward to the burst of milkshaky goodness as many times in a day as I wanted (with no indigestion or brain freeze). Unfortunately it goes downhill from the burst. Surprisingly, the flavor fades in a matter of a minute at most—an unusual characteristic for Trident gums. The flavor is such a pleasure, however, that I usually chew two or three pieces in one sitting, just to enjoy the burst.

Texture: It’s your average Trident at first, but it loses that reliable Trident texture quickly. It decreases in size and becomes rather hard, and if you chew it for long enough (which I’ve only done once) to get past the initial strange hardening, you’ll find that it’s pretty squeaky, much like many pellet gums, also an unusual trait for a stick of this variety.

Overall: It’s delicious. I don’t drink McDonald’s strawberry shakes anymore for one reason or another, but I can definitely see myself buying this gum again for a little after-meal treat. It’s nothing I want on my breath; it’s not a freshener in the least. Nor is it any kind of “Twist”– I think they were stretching it with the title, but at least they didn’t claim “Mint” like Orbit. I’ll chew it again, just as sure as I’ll someday buy another McMilkShake, at 3 in the morning, on my way home from the bar.
Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Orbit Strawberry Mint

Flavor: I’ve purchased this gum before and it drove me crazy the first time—what the hell does this flavor remind me of? Every time I chewed it I couldn’t even really enjoy it because I was so focused on figuring out what the hell it was. Piece by piece, the pack dwindled until at last it was gone, the mystery unsolved, the question unanswered, and all too soon did I forget about it altogether. Upon peeling back the plastic outer shell of Orbit Strawberry Mint (another “mint” fallacy, by the way), I instantly remembered the mysterious reminder—oh, what is that—and didn’t even have to pop a piece in my mouth before I knew the answer. Strawberry Big League Chew. With a sigh of relief and a very genuine smile (a rarity during the work day), I put a piece in my mouth and silently congratulated Orbit on taking on an impossible and commendable task that they may not have even realized they were tackling—a healthy version of my beloved childhood favorite.

Texture: Of course, it’s not the stringy-to-grainy-to-gushy big league chew (which is admittedly a good thing). Texture-wise this gum leaves something to be desired, though, becoming too smooth and mushy for my tastes, but maintaining form nonetheless.

Overall: The flavor fades quickly and the texture too, but all-in-all I need to give this gum an ultimate rating just because of that childish glee that bursts into my mouth upon the first bite. Although I didn’t recognize it at first, it’s overpowering to the senses even sitting idle in the pack, unchewed—it’s that Strawberry Big League Chew, all over again, and it isn’t rotting my teeth in my mouth.Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)