Attention Span

Nov 17, 1999 at 12:00 am


The Willy Wonka candy company has teased us with its Gobstoppers, but these little pellets don’t look anything like the Everlasting Gobstopper that served as the Holy Grail of the candy world in the 1971 film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. So finally, the Wonka Bar itself is available for 99 cents at Toys ’R’ Us. Pretend you’re poor little Charlie Bucket, round up an old man to call Grandpa Joe, and make him give you a dollar so you can slowly peel open the wrapper and look for the golden ticket. Of course, you probably won’t win and the old man will be fairly annoyed and confused, but that’s OK because the grand prize is only a crummy $100,000 scholarship, not a trip to the psychedelic fantasyland presided over by Gene Wilder and his hair.


"They’re flashy," is the best explanation I’ve heard as to why NASCAR drivers’ jackets are the latest must-have in urban fashion. In the world of stock car racing, these replicas of the protective suits worn by drivers are the ultimate sign of fandom: They look real and they aren’t cheap - $199.99 for a cloth version and up $600 for leather. Each jacket is brightly colored in order to draw attention to the logos of each driver’s sponsor. For example, a Ricky Rudd jacket is fluorescent orange with huge Tide detergent logos, and the Ernie Irvan model is blinding red and yellow with M&Ms markings. Forget about Fubu or Tommy Hilfiger, the real action can now be found at the track. Join the race fans and become a human billboard.


Leave it to the World Wrestling Federation to introduce the young folks to the seedier sides of life with the Goddfather action figure. Modeled after the WWF’s resident pimp, the Goddfather figure comes with tattoos, bright clothes and a cane for struttin’. Unfortunately, none of the hos who accompany him to the ring are included, but for $5.99 it serves as a nice introduction to the economy of sex.