- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Topps wants to give kids a new reason to blow a nickel and hang out with Bazooka Joe as they give their choppers a high fructose corn syrup bath.

It has introduced a hipper version of the pop culture icon and his motley gang to add “street cred” to the characters that have been around since the 1950s.

Joe, still with the eye patch (must have been a hunting accident), now has long hair and ripped jeans but is still saddled with his turtleneck challenged pal Mort.

New friends include the tomboy Casey McGavin, heavy metal playing exchange student Wolfgang Spreckels and passionate environmentalist, Cindy Lewis.

It’s a necessary initiative but I think the trading card manufacturer needs to go a bit further if it really wants to get a teen’s attention.

Here’s a couple of ideas:

• Give Bazooka Joe … a bazooka. This is not your daddy’s Bowery Boy and if he wants any type of street cred the dude needs to be packing some serious heat. Also, drop those ripped jeans below the waist and offer big enough pockets to conceal the weapon.

• Make the comics available as cell phone downloads or better yet let average fans turn them into viral video segments. Not really funny but I thought it would be a good idea. (click here to learn the origin of a guy with a Ninja star permanently stuck in his eye)

• Topps has added the gum flavors Cotton Candy and Watermelon but I think we need Budweiser and grain alcohol.

• Get him a show on Cartoon Network. Specifically in the Adult Swim lineup with Seth Green and Seth McFarlane involved. Humorous, scatological cartoon shorts about the absurdity of American culture will sell plenty of gum — especially the grain alcohol flavor.

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