Back in 1973, the Mars candy company unveiled a new and sizable confection. The Marathon bar, packaged in a bright-red wrapper, was an instant hit and stayed in the candy aisle for the rest of the decade. Today, they reside in the extinct foods graveyard, but memories of this chewy treat remain in the minds of any former 70s kid.
The Marathon bar consisted of caramel braided into a pretzel shape, then dipped in milk chocolate. With a respectable length of eight inches, and a colorful red wrapper, they were impossible to miss on store shelves.
For a short time, a larger, fifteen-inch version was even available in limited locations. And just in case you questioned the girth of the Marathon bar, a ruler was printed on every package, proving their dominance over the competition.
A series of memorable commercials were produced in the 70s, featuring “Marathon John” and his nemesis “Quick Claude”, a villain who could do everything fast … except eat a Marathon Bar. The character of “Marathon John” was none other than Patrick Wayne, the real-life son of iconic cowboy, John Wayne.
Sadly, when the 70s came to a close, so did the popularity of the Marathon bar. By 1981, the once-popular confection disappeared completed from the candy aisle, leaving a wake of distraught fans.
While Marathon has yet to return, despite their protests, there is a similar candy bar manufactured in Great Britain called the Curly Wurly. While it mimics the shape of its predecessor, they don’t taste exactly the same, although they are close. If you are longing for a Marathon bar, this is about the best you are going to do until someone with a brain brings back this beloved treat.
Meanwhile, if you have fond memories of eating these 70s candy bars, I hope you will share your Marathon memories with us in our comments section below.