Until I wrote the title of this post, I never once considered the Bubble Bobble/bubble gum pun, so no, there is no correlation between the subject and ingredients in this case.
This is Bub, one half of the heroic dragon duo in the game, made entirely out of various gum brands and flavors, replicating his 8-bit appearance in the 1986 video game. I mapped out a grid on a piece of Carolina board to lay down the gum in the correct sequence on a 10″ x 10″ square.
Chiclets (31 pieces)
Wrigley’s Spearmint (60 pieces)
Wrigley’s Big Red (46 pieces)
Bubblicious Grape (3 pieces)
Wrigley’s Doublemint (5 pieces)
for a total of 145 sticks, slices, pieces, and cubes of gum covering 161 half-inch squares.
The Doublemint was left over from the Canadiens’ Foogo. When I went to the store to buy more, the Chiclets were a lot cheaper. As it turned out, each Chiclet barely covered the area needed, and they are decided NOT white, which is both a little weird and disturbing. As for the discrepancy in the shades of green or red, the lighter colors are the most recent additions to the critter. Some of those darker pieces have been on the board since February!
The grape gum was a real pain in the balls to find. I scoured convenience stores, grocery stores, drug stores and bodegas to no avail. Through this guerilla research I did learn that convenience stores are not necessarily convenient, Trader Joe’s sells no gum at all, and pretty much everyone is over the concept of bubble gum. Every CVS, Food Emporium, Duane Read, Walgreens, Shop-Rite, Stop and Shop and Hot Carl’s Deli I set foot in is stocked with chewing gum (very different from bubble gum) that promises to whiten your teeth, offer fresh breath or spay your cat. Sugar-loaded brands like Hubba Bubba, Bubble Yum, Bubble Tape and Bubblicious are extinct or endangered. Of those names, the only one I saw with any sort of regularity was the original pink Bubblicious flavor, which did me no good.
I accepted I’d either have to go to a specialty candy shop like Dylan’s Candy Bar and get pillaged, over-order massive amounts of grape gum online, or walk around with a sockful of quarters and hope to find a gumball machine. Fortunately, I found my Holy Grail at a random newspaper/snack cart on the corner of 34th Street and Madison Ave yesterday.
Despite covering 16 half-inch squares, I only needed 3 pieces of grape Bubblicious. I also cheated on the spearmint at the end, filling the last five squares with two sticks of gum. I’m convinced I saw an image that had one red pixel next to Bub’s eye, but I can’t find it now, so it looks like a mistake… Oh well, I’ll fix it when I create Bob (the blue guy).
To wrap things up, I colored in the remaining grid with a Sharpie. The thought crossed my mind to fill the border with more gum (maybe blue), but the left side of my jaw now permanently clicks whenever I chew anything. It’s annoying.
More on working with gum later…