Bubblicious Grape

Flavor: Katie and I have been known to have quite lengthy discussions on our opinions of artificial vs. natural flavors. My opinions on grape are clear: Artificial grape is the bomb , yo, and it doesn’t get any better than grape sugared bubblegum. While I think Bubblicious could have upped the tartness a bit, it’s a worthy grape, indeed. Fades quickly, but that’s to be expected in this genre.

Texture: The meaty purple cube is just perfect, never too hard or too soft, and the bubbles are phenomenal. I couldn’t ask for more.

Presentation: You know, with all the changes in the Gum Packaging world, from the near extinction of the 25-cent packs, to the Plen-T-Pack/Slim Pack evolution, you gotta kind of appreciate the consistency in sugared bubblegums like Bubblicious and Hubba Bubba. The presentation is exactly the same as when I was a kid: a 5-piece pack with the little pull-tab. It’s a familar comfort. The graphics are simple yet eye-catching, featuring bright colors and the trendy “swirls” that the iPod generation seems to be so fond of.

Overall: Some gums are just hard to review, and this is one of them. It’s just such a timeless classic. When you pick up a pack of Bubblicious Grape, you know what you’re getting. You’re not “trying it,” there are no surprizes or mysteries… it’s just a good gum.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Bubblicious Cotton Candy

This review is sponsored by our friends at BestCandyStore.com!

Flavor: True. The label says cotton candy, and this gum tastes like cotton candy. Exactly. Like. Cotton candy. Although, if you think about it, that’s really not that great of an achievement for a sugar-based gum. All cotton candy is, is sugar and flavor, and the ingredients of this gum are ridiculously simple, consisting of little more than sugar, corn syrup, gum base and flavor.

Texture: Eh. It actually starts off somewhat firmer than other bubblegums and never really gets that “smooth” or “shiny” feel to it. The bubbles are unimpressive, very thin and quick to burst. If you’re looking for a bubblegum to use to enter our Bubble-Blowing Contest, this isn’t it.

Presentation: You know, in terms of kid-focused product packaging, this is really minimalist. The pink and the blue works for the flavor, and it has the now-familiar trendy swirl thing going on, but if I were a kid I’d absolutely be drawn to Hubba Bubba over Bubblicious.

Overall: I’ve been chewing a lot of bubblegum lately thanks to the awesome package that BestCandyStore.com sent over, and I gotta say that this one is one of my least favorites. It’s cool that the flavor is so spot-on, but it lacks in nearly every other feature. Worth a try, but there are better bubblegums (as you’ll see…).

Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Bubblicious Sour Citrus

Flavor : It seems that I’ve been giving all sugary gums rave reviews, but I wonder if the quality of flavor has to do mostly with the intake of sugar that I deprive myself of whilst chewing sugar-free, health-conscious gums like Trident. Regardless, Bubblicious will leave a gross film on your teeth for hours, and the flavor fades within minutes, but that initial burst of fruity goodness is (almost) totally worth the cavity-causing, plaque-creating sugar. This gum, however, tastes more like mango to me than citrus. Although they’re often lumped together, mango isn’t actually a citrus fruit. Based on the name, I would expect this gum to taste more like orange-tangerine-lemon-lime. It’s not even sour, but mostly sweet. “Sour mango” might be more accurate, since it is a little more sour than an actual mango.

Texture : It’s Bubblicious. Big and meaty at first, then stale and tough, but producing fantastic bubbles that will definitely stick to your glasses when it pops (you’ve been warned… I learned the hard way).

Presentation : The familliar pink “B” is front and center on this package, and it’s surrounded by really cool multi-color swirlies that suggest lime and lemon. I just don’t taste it. Maybe, like the taster of fine wines, you need a delicate palate to detect the subtle lemon overtones here. Or… maybe not.

Overall : I can’t really give this gum a great rating, because I just don’t feel it accomplished what it set out to do. It tastes good, but it just doesn’t hit the mark.

Rating : ooo (three gumballs )

Psst… enter our bubble blowing contest.

Bubblicious Mango Peach Bursts

Flavor : This gum hits you in the face and leaves everybody else in the room asking “who’s eating candy?” It’s actually a really fine representation of mango, and it does indeed promise a hint of peach. It’s a “burst” gum, so it pops on the first bite, excreting some delightful sugary goo. The flavor goes sort of downhill after a while, though, too sugary sweet and eventually just faintly tasting of nothing but a gob of rubber (not uncommon characteristics among bubbilicious gums– and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since when the flavor runs out, the bubbles are usually best.)

Texture : We recently had a request to review bubble-blowing qualities more often, and so I picked up this sugary gum, a switch from my usual sugar-free gum habits. As I don’t have much to compare it to as yet, I can only say that it blows bubble rather sufficiently. They’re not too big, and they don’t last too long, but they’re nice, manageable bubbles for idle popping while surfing the internets or playing Little Big Planet on PS3. The texture overall goes rubbery quickly and leaves an unpleasant foam on the salivary glands.

Overall : This is the gum version of Gushers candy, which is fine by me. But I must say that the longer I chew, my mouth develops that weird foam that happens while chewing certain gums. This, plus the lack of flavor and faint sweet aftertaste makes me spit it out with disgust rather than satisfaction. The sugar leaves a yucky taste in my mouth, but that’s just a con of sugar gums in general. I’ll brush my teeth with some Trident and save the rest of this pack to satisfy a sweet tooth at lunch some day when I run out of chocolate.
Rating: ooo (three gumballs )

Trident Layers Sweet Cherry + Island Lime

Flavor: A long time ago, a friend of Gum Alert sent us an email asking us about cherry flavored sugarless gums. At the time, there was really nothing to turn to. The only one I could recall, in fact, was a really disgusting mentholated Eclipse concoction that was downright offensive to the taste buds. Lack of a great cherry (like grape, as I mentioned in my review of 5 React 2 – Fruit) left a gaping hole in the sugarless gum world. Well, gum gurus and cherry lovers alike can rejoice! Trident has changed the game with this one. I haven’t been the biggest fan of the Layers line as a whole, but this new one is fantastic. The lime burst you get from what I assume is the candy goo layer starts off pleasantly strong and fades as you chew, leaving the awesome cherry to shine on and on. It rivals the Bubblicious cubes in cherryness and the flavor has decent longevity. Really nice.

Texture: Slightly tough and sticky at first, the chew mellows to a pleasant malleability. It’s easy to spread on the tongue to pop and crack. It does get a teensy bit too soft for my taste, but it might be just fine for you.

Presentation: Trident Layers’s packaging is cute and clever, with an admirable minimalistic style. Besides the Trident logo and text, the only graphic on the package is a cherry being sliced into by a juicy lime wedge. Gets the point across without any unnecessary obnoxious color, holographic fonts, or neon bursts.

Overall: As I said, I’ve not been much of a fan of Trident Layers. This one has made me a believer.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Orbit Strawberry Remix

Flavor: Orbit tends to prefer adding mint to their non-mint varieties (see Maui Melon Mint, Strawberry Mint or Raspberry Mint for examples), and it was difficult for me, for a while, to get into Orbit because of it. I’m a purist, I suppose – I don’t want mint in my Bubblegum. If I want a cooling, fresh feeling I’m gonna pop a Peppermint or a Polar Ice. However, with the introduction of last year’s Perfect Peach, which was, indeed, darn near perfect, my opinion of Orbit as a general line started to come around. Strawberry Remix is straight-up artificial strawberry, and I totally dig it. A tangy, juicy burst on first chew, this gum mellows out into a delightful fruity chew that lasts and lasts. It totally reminds me of the Hubba Bubbas and Bubblicious strawberry cubes of my youth. The flavor is so good, it tastes like it could be a sugared gum.

Texture: It just doesn’t get better than this. From start to finish, the gum remains modestly firm, yet fantastically flexible enough to produce big, awesome bubbles that won’t stick to your nose. The wad itself is smooth and silky – none of those weird white grainy bits that have been annoying the crap out of me lately with other brands.

Presentation: As evidenced by our poll to the right, it seems that the general feedback on the Orbit fashion packs is neutral to positive. Most of you don’t seem to care either way, so I’m going to stop complaining about them moving forward. If you like the fashion packs, you’ll like this one, if you think they’re dumb, you won’t. I certainly don’t feel that my fashion sense is somehow enhanced when I pull this out of my purse. I will say, though, that the outer wrapper of this gum was simply stunning. What a gorgeous rendition of a plump, juicy strawberry! Seems such a shame to waste such beautiful graphics on a cello wrap that’s going to be thrown away immediately.

Overall: I can’t find a single fault about this gum. I’ve bought this gum to review four times, and three of those times I couldn’t help but chew through the entire pack before reviewing it. It’s juicy and refreshing, fun to crack and pop. If you’re looking for a fruit bomb to add to your summer chewing lineup, you’re going to want to buy multi-packs of this one. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Hubba Bubba Max Strawberry Watermelon

This review is sponsored by our friends at BestCandyStore.com!

Flavor : Unlike many of its sister gums (Hubba Bubba Sweet n’ Sassy Cherry, for instance), this gum does not pack a sour punch, not even a little. It’s as sweet as a sugar cube, with a hint of watermelon. The first bite was really pleasant, your standard fake-watermelon flavor that doesn’t at all come close to real watermelon (but then, if it did, kids probably wouldn’t beg their parents for dollar bills to buy it with their friends at 7-11). The strawberry and watermelon are both present, and the flavor is simple and fairly classic in terms of Hubba Bubba-esque gums.

Texture : The chunks are huge! It’s like stuffing a big old hunk of taffy in your mouth on the boardwalk, a true delight. The chew is hearty and consistent for at least ten minutes, which says a lot for a sugar-based gum. The bubbles are, as with all Hubba Bubba, really impressive.

Presentation : I was curious what qualities made this particular Hubba Bubba “max,” and discovered on the Wrigley website this explanation: “…Hubba Bubba Max gum – a unique and captivating product with extraordinarily long lasting flavor and the combinations of two colors and two flavors in one chunk.” I don’t know that the flavor of this gum is “extraordinarily long lasting,” although it does last longer than I remember the original Hubba Bubba lasting when I was a kid. The hunks themselves seem to me to be much larger, and since things usually seem smaller the older you get, I’m assuming that the size of the pieces must have actually increased in size over time.

Overall : I wouldn’t pick this one over, say, Bubblicious Cotton Candy or the aforementioned Hubba Bubba Sweet n’ Sassy Cherry. When compared to some of the other gums that punch you in the face with flavor, this one really doesn’t stand on its own. But it is what it is, and I’m sure it’s plenty of kids’ favorite.

Rating : oooo (four gumballs )

Bubbaloo Sour Cherry

This review is sponsored by our friends at BestCandyStore.com!

Flavor: Oh, MAN is this gum good. Like, for serious, guys. It’s got a liquid center that offers just the perfect amount of soury goodness before fading into this amazing artificial cherry flavor. Being a sugar-based bubblegum, the flavor doesn’t last very long, but that’s to be expected. This is a gum for kids, and they generally don’t have an attention span worthy of a gum that lasts an Extra, Extra, Extra long time. Yes, this is a worthy bubblegum, one that every kid should have in their backpack at all times.

Texture: MAN! This gum is GOOD! It starts out with the delightful aforementioned liquid center explosion and it just goes from good to great. I’d put this in my top 5, nay, my top 3 all-time bubble blowing gums. This gum blows a mean bubble (take note if you’re still looking for a gum to use to enter our Bubble Blowing Contest) and it’s not overly sticky like some other bubblegums out there. Though I admit I haven’t been courageous enough to blow a bubble big enough that it coats my classes upon bursting, I certainly don’t have any issues getting it off of my face or lips at all. (ETA: I just burst a bubble all over my glasses, and while it left a smudge, it came RIGHT off with no sticky residue!) The texture is soft, but not mushy. Firm, but not hard. It’s “slick” and “shiny” or “smooth” in the mouth, the type of texture I yearn for when I chew gum.

Presentation: Our friend at BestCandyStore.com sent us four flavors of Bubbaloo in a boxes that opens to be displays. A quick google image search leads me to believe that this is the only way Bubbaloo is packaged. It’s a shame, because this gum surely deserves a spot next to the Hubba Bubbas and Bubbliciouses of the world. I’ve never, to my knowledge, even seen it on a counter in a store – I would think that merchants would hesitate to put out this type of display in this day and age, with theft and all. However, a box of 60 of them is only $3.89 over at BestCandyStore.com, and it would totally be worth it if you can’t find them anywhere else.

Overall: MAN, THIS GUM IS GOOD!!!!

Rating: ooooo (five 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 )

Freshen-up Bubblegum

Flavor : Freshen-up Bubblegum is, to me, a classic, and the bubblegum flavor here stands true to the historic flavor we all know and love. The gel inside the gum isn’t overly sweet, and adds a gooey burst of flavor upon the first bite. Although my pack was rather stale, I remember back in the day the goo being plentiful and lending itself to the hydrating sensation now found in gums like Orbit Mist. The flavor only lasts for a couple of minutes, but I think they were going for much more than just long-lasting flavor here.

Texture : This gum was way ahead of its time. The grandparent of the now popular liquid-filled pellet gum, Freshen-up was among the first (if not the first) commercial gums to explore the concept that gum could be more than just a chewy, flavored stick. Gum is a treat, a kind of candy, dating back to the five-and-dime gumballs cupped in the palm of a twelve-year-old boy, alongside licorice and chocolates. This gum recognized the importance of the first bite for some people– how for some, it doesn’t matter how long the flavor lasts or how malleable the chew is after ten minutes. For some people, it’s all about that burst of flavor right at the start. Getting to chew it for longer than a gummy bear, well that’s just an added bonus. It’s a whole different market, and it’s given birth to such diverse favorites as Dentyne Pure and Bubblicious Mango Peach Bursts.

Presentation : Celebrating thirty-five years on the market, this gum has always been a fierce competitor for flashier packages and cheap (although effective) gimmicks. It’s packaging hasn’t changed for as long as I can remember, metallic pink and an illustration of an oozing piece of gum. It’s simple, unassuming, and blends in with all the others on the rack if you’re not looking for it.

Overall : I have to admit that when I mention this gum to my friends, no one can ever really remember the name of it, although most do recount fond memories of a pack in their pockets in grammar school. I can’t remember the last time I saw someone pull a piece of Freshen-up out of a bag and start chewing. Does anyone still buy Freshen-up? Or are the packs in the stores as fresh as the day I bought them fifteen years ago?

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs )