What Happened to the Marathon Candy bar?

Ever since I was a kid I have loved candy. Even today, Kim would tell you that I am a candy guy. I always loved it when my mom would give me 50 cents at the store to buy whatever I wanted. Every single time that happened, I headed for the candy aisle. I had my favorites back in the day…..things like Fun Dip, Watermelon gum that came in a really long skinny package, Jawbreakers, Lemonheads, Pez, Chiclets and Everlasting Gobstoppers were on my list of favorites. I would even do the occasional Boston Baked Beans candy. But the one that always put me over the top was the Marathon Bar. 

The Marathon Bar always stuck out to me. I love the combo of chocolate and caramel and that’s all there was to this piece of candy heaven. I think that I was drawn to the size. Marathons came in a bright red package that was a full 10 inches long and I thought that I was getting more for my money, even back then! I can remember walking up to the candy bars and seeing the size of the Marathon compared to the others and the decision was so clear. As a kid I figured this was at least twice the size of the other candy bars!

It was made of a braid of caramel that looked like a chain. The caramel was covered in chocolate and it was awesome. I did some research to see what happened and here is what I found out.

The Marathon bar was introduced in 1973 and was sold until it was discontinued in 1981. It was marketed as “the candy bar you can’t eat quickly” in commercials by some kind of a cowboy guy. There was also a bad guy in the commercials that always challenged him to eat it quickly but it couldn’t be done. The cowboy always won because he would take his  time and eat it really slowly. It’s so funny the things we remember from childhood!

Do any of you remember what I’m talking about?

Cadbury has come up with an imitation of the Marathon Bar called a Curly Wurly but they are only sold in the UK & Canada. That bums me out man.

What was your favorite candy as a kid or even today?

68 Responses to “What Happened to the Marathon Candy bar?”
  1. Troy Hochstetler says:

    What happened to the design of your blog?

  2. briantabor says:

    Troy – I owe it to my loyal readers to offer them a very high quality blog. I am stepping things up!

  3. Cheryl says:

    Of course I remember the Marathon candy bar. I’m older than you are, so I have been eating candy longer. Anyway . . . “the cowboy guy” was Patrick Wayne, one of John Wayne’s sons (just in case you are interested). I’ve heard that the Curly Wurly candy bar from England is really, really good, but I have never tasted one.

    By the way, I miss the sunset on your blog. I’d ask you where it went, but you would probably tell me that the sun set.


  4. Tina says:

    Hi, I remember the marathon bar very well, it too was my favorite. I miss it so much, and for a chocoholic, that is not good. It is like a craving of a pregnant woman, lol. I keep writing to the M&M company, begging them to bring it back for a second chance. I believe it would do well in today’s market. COME ON M&M’s BRING IT BACK ! I would like to see everyone writing the company asking for it’s return, maybe we can push for a return visit at least !

  5. Brett says:

    The Curly Wury is very similar, but there is something about taking a Marathon bar out of that red wrapper. The commercial charaters are Marathon John and Quick Carl.

  6. Carla says:

    Thank goodness there are other people who are still thinking about the marathon bar besides my sister and I. I came on google hoping I could find a place to still purchase them. Why in the world would they quit producing such a wonderful treat.

  7. Brenda says:

    Bring back the marathon bar please?????

  8. Steve says:

    I remember the Marathon bar well, and loved it. I was actually looking for a video of one of the commercials. Anyone find one?

  9. gina says:

    I am eating a Curly Curly right now.. and it really is a dead ringer for the Marathon bar. I have my mother in law send them to me from the U.K. I have to take it out of the wrapper and look at the lovely braided bar of chocolate covered caramel. The long Watermelon gum was the “bubs daddy”.. Can’t find that anywhere anymore

  10. gina says:

    oops I meant Curly Wurly.. I am going to have a second one 🙂

  11. Rick from Ohio says:

    You can actually purchase Curly Wurly’s from Jungle Jim’s grocery store in Cincinnati, OH. In fact, I’m eating one right now. They are very delicious and are made by Cadbury. I’m not sure if Jungle Jim’s will ship orders but you can certainly call and see what they have to say about it. When you call, have someone from the International Foods Dept./ England look for them because this is a super large gorcery store with food from all over the world. They sell the bars in the store for $.89 each or you can buy an entire box (60 per box). I love the old Marathon bars too but the Curly Wurly’s are also packed with chocolate and creamy caramel. It’s been so long since our taste buds have flavored a Marathon bar but I believe you’ll be satisfied with the taste of a Curly Wurly. If Jungle Jim’s won’t ship them out, try contacting a local grocery store in your area that stocks international foods. Maybe they can somehow get them for you. -Rick in Ohio

  12. Lenore says:

    Wow, I was just telling some friends how when I was growing up my Grandma had a candy store and of ALL the choices I had to pick one thing every visit this was the one thing I picked. I even have a picture of me holding one of these in it’s bright red wrapper. I wish they’d bring it back even if it pulls out all of my teeth now. ha ha ha..

  13. marathon lover says:

    THANK YOU Rick from Ohio!! I literally gasped as I read your comment. I was at Jungle Jim today and bought candy cigarettes (I know, bad but fun) and as always, looked around for a Marathon Bar. WOW! Curly Wurly’s are at Jungle Jim’s!! I must go back soon. Did not know about Curly Wurly’s. Additonally, just planned a short family vacation to Toronto and can’t wait for my kids to buy them in Canada! Awesome!!!

  14. Misty says:

    My favorite of all time… Reminds me of the snack shop at the community pool in the 80’s … I would get one at Adult Swim break and when the whistle blew, I’d still have 1/2 of it left! Didn’t know if i wanted to jump into the pool or try to finish the chewy thing.. love it! bring it back.

  15. Misty says:

    BTW, I could swear it was sold well into the 80’s. (after 1981)… as I frequented the pool as a child in the 80’s.

  16. JULIA says:

    I was talking to a friend at work today,we were talking about, favorite candybars.Low and behold I shouted
    out hey! don’t forget about the marathon candybar,and they both looked at me and said,(A What Candybar?)and
    I said, you guys are in your mid-fourties and you don’t know about the marathon candybar,I’m in my early
    fourties and i can tell you everything there is to know ABOUT A MARATHON CANDYBAR!IT WAS MY FAVORITE CANDY-
    BAR back-in-the-day!I know this because I brought one every chance i got.
    my friend insisted that I google It,to see if the marathon candybar still exsisted today,I must say I was really surprized to find out that,not only I remember the grand-tasting candybar,what
    I REMEMBERED most about the marathon bar is, the briaded soft carame, with milk chacolate on top the taste
    of the caramel and chacolate oooohhh!I EVEN REMEMBER the little white cardboard papper the candybar sat in
    with a bright red wrapper witched covered the candybar,I TELL YOU THERES NO canndybar I know of, in the USA
    I will be on the look-out for curly wurlys i’ve just got to try one or maybe two if it compares to the

  17. Erick Weinstetter says:

    My favorite candy bar as a kid. I used to ride my BMX bike to “Downtown” Washington Crossing, PA and go the one Deli we had next to Dougs house or to Cumberland farms or to the Pharmacy.
    I didnt know it then but those were the best times of my life.

  18. christine says:

    Finally, people who remember this darn candy bar. I’m always asking people if they remember the candy bar “Marathon”. I’ll ask, “you know, the one that lasts, and lasts”…

  19. Jack.Jnr says:

    Like what you did. Here’s wishing you a very happy and prosperous new year !

  20. Kat G. says:

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wasn’t there also a TV commercial that shows a guy and girl each nibbling a Marathon bar from the opposite end (like the dogs do in Lady and the Tramp)? The boy I had a crazy crush on in 8th grade supposedly did this Marathon Bar kiss with my best friend, Jackie. I was crestfallen.

  21. Jill A says:

    Just bring it back it was my fav as a kid and my husbands too. I tell my kids and they have no clue..best in the world….

  22. charlene says:

    i was just talking to my 14 year old about my favorite candy bar as a child. it was the marathon bar. i remember walking from my grandparents home to the store to buy one. i went on the internet to show her what they looked like. no candy bar today compares to the marathon bar!!!!!!

  23. Jonah Ficker says:

    Fantastic blogpost, I favorited your site so I can visit again in the near future, Cheers

  24. cairin says:

    I remember the Marathon Candy Bar, but I think it was called “WIG-WAG Candy Bar” before it was Marathon..maybe? Does anyone recall? I know the chocolate used to fall off the caramel when you bit into it, which is possibly why it wasn’t around too long. Then I think it was introduced later as the Marathon Candy Bar. I still remember the commercial for Wig-Wag and the words to the song…. “It’s a big time bar, Wig-Wag… and it’s three hands high… Wig-Wag, Wig-Wag… it’s a super big bar Wig-Wag…..” they would raise their arms out to the side and level with their shoulders, swinging their lower arms around in sync. I remember standing in front of the tv trying to swing my arms the same way. (I also remember the Fig Newton song and dance!)

  25. Tricia says:

    You can get the curly wurly in the US. GO to http://www.oldtimecandy.com They have tons of candy from the past and present. The marathon bar was always my favorite! At old time candy you can either by one bar (mix and match bag) or by a box of 24? I think. It is worth it!

  26. troy c says:

    I thought this candy bar was 12 inches long because i remember it had a ruler on the back of the wrapper and then they cut it down to 10 inches. I may be wrong about it being 12 inches but i do remember the ruler on back. I also remeber one of the comercials that had a train robbery or something about the cowboy being on a train.

  27. joey diggs says:

    Marathon Bars ruled! But Marathon was the copy, not Curly Wurly. I know because I had a Curly Wurly three years before Mars copied it. Marathon came out in 1973, Curly Wurly in 1970. They’re both awesome though.

  28. david kelly says:

    I loved Marathon bars. I remember getting them at the corner store for a quarter as far back as back as 76. That was a huge candy bar for a five year old. Just carmel and chocolate. In fact it had a ruler printed on the back of the bar that showed it to be 12″ if my memory is correct. During Saturday morning cartoons the commercial would come on. It was Marathon John, he was the cowboy in the commercial who said”Marathon, lasts a good long time”. Then the six guns would shoot into the air.

  29. Georg says:

    When I lived in Hawaii in the early seventies, I remember buying the Marathon bars in the Hickam AFB PX, which cost 8 cents at first, and the bar was about 12″ long. I remember in the next couple years they shrinked a couple times down to I believe 10 inches, then 8 inches. The wiki page on the Marathon bar doesn’t mention anything about the bar being bigger than 8″, but I KNOW they were bigger at first. Even as a ten year old, I remember when they shrunk, I couldn’t believe how cheap the company got, since the price went up to 10 cents a bar.

  30. Valerie N says:

    OMG, my co-workers and I were just talking about our favorite candy as a child and immediately this candy bar came to mind. I would put it in the frig or the freezer so that on summer days the chocolate wouldn’t melt so fast while holding it. I loved to stretch it out and have the chocolate crumble in the packaging. It was the best thing to eat while watching my favorite shows! So happy I found other people who know what I’m talking about! Wish they still made it in the US where I live 😦

  31. Jean says:

    I remember marathon bars and wish they still made them they were so good and I loved how they had a braided design they really should bring these candy bars back..

  32. Lynda K. says:

    One of my first memories is eating a Marathon candy bar. Since I was so little, it took a lot to chew the caramel…….but it tasted so good and was such a good experience, it stuck in my brain even though I was only 1 year old. When you are little, the wonderful braided chocolate and caramel seemed to stick out for miles. Ahhhhhh……..what a memory. I would love to see this candy bar make a grand return! I’ve tried the curly wurly bars from the UK, but they seem thinner than the marathon.

  33. rapunzelfan says:

    God bless the internet. I suddenly get nostalgia for the MARATHON BAR of my youth and google it and wind up here with fellow Marathon Enthusiasts. I agree…bring back the Marathon Bar!

  34. Martha Hendrock says:

    There was another commercial with pirates and the bad guy was “quick Claude” and he always said “I can do everything fast”……..but of course he couldn’t eat the Marathon bar fast. I too loved the Marathon bar…….especially if it was really fresh!!!!! It amazes me that I remember this stuff!

  35. Maria says:

    Just bought 5 Curly Wurly bars in McKinney Texas at Mom and Pops located in the downtown square. $1.40 each with tax. I remember this candy bar from when I was a kid. I’ve been looking for it for about 30 years. I had no idea what it was called, but I remembered the shape and that it was chocolate and caramel.

  36. Robert says:

    So, does anyone know why they stopped making the Marathon bar in 1981?

  37. Robert Medrano says:

    I too miss the Marathon bar, every time I ask someone , ” do you remember the Marathon bar ” and they say no I’m suprised. Glad to see others remember the greats.

  38. BELINDA says:

    Believe or not I still remember the Marathon bars. When I was 12 for Christmas my mom decorated the tree with the bite size bars like ornament and while she was.at work my sisblings
    and myself would rob the tree.,, We would empty the tree branches as fast as she refilled them…We would also eat that that was left in the bag once we found it… oh was that fun.

  39. Joelle says:

    Yea, as much as I’m not a candy eater anymore, as a child I was amazed by this candy bar. I remember all the rumors that surrounded its being discontinued – the last batch was poisoned and kids were dying; kids were getting brain tumors FROM them; there was aluminum or lead in them… the list goes on. But I didn’t care – if I could have gotten my hands of just one more of those when I was 10 it would have given me some closure. I loved the commercials. I loved the idea of it. AND it was a super treat since we weren’t really allowed candy. If my mom came home from the store with 3 Marathon bars for me and my brothers, we knew she was in a good mood and that we were getting candy that day – and it literally could last you all day. I don’t get why they discontinued it. I truly think about it at least a few times a year and ponder it. Today I decided to google it. Thanks for caring about it as much as I do.

  40. Joelle says:

    Also, on Wikipedia it said that the 15″ bar was only sold in Pennsylvania and Southern California. But I Clearly remember eating ones that were over a foot long. I think that’s why my mom got them – because she knew that if she bought us those, she could say – no more candy for a month and we couldn’t argue about it.

  41. Dave says:

    The best candy bar ever i would cut it up and freeze it eating one braid at a time.

  42. Leanette says:

    Of course I remember that old candy bar.. I was a kindergartner and received one as a ‘reward’ for saying my ABC’s perfectly (an amazing accomplishment for a 5 yr old! lol) I remember thinking what a big girl I was for tackling such a huge caramel/choc twisty thing.. 🙂

  43. Marie B. says:

    If you don’t mind paying for shipping, you can order them online at http://www.oldtimecandy.com

  44. Chad Murray says:

    I remember that there was Marathon candy bar commerical that involve The Red Baron called “Kirk” as the Marathon Man threw the candy bar out of the plane and into the hands of Kirk and there was skywriting at the end.

  45. Eileen says:

    I have tried Curly wurly and it tastes nothing like the Marathon bar. The chocolate they use makes it taste different.

    I have also emailed the company to bring it back, but just got a generic response. Maybe someone can win lotto and bring back the Marathon bar.

  46. deth says:

    you never told us why they stopped making it.

  47. reignoferror says:

    I suspect ‘cairin’ must be a fellow Canadian. The Curly Wurly/Marathon bars were known as Wig Wag when they were available in Canada.

  48. Michele says:

    I am so happy to find this blog! Yes, Yes and Yes! I remember this and every time I would explain or describe to someone they had no clue what I was remembering. My dad would bring me these candy bars home as a child, I thought they were the cats meow and I loved the commercial! I am so excited as you can tell with all of my explanation tallies. Thank you for writing this…things just aren’t what they use to be.OH, I also remember when they stopped selling them….bummer.

  49. Michele says:

    I just read all the comments…I feel like I just found “MY PEOPLE”…lol

  50. cherry says:

    i never had a marathon bar but sure wish I did

  51. MisterPL says:

    Nostalgia is a powerful drug. I used to love Marathon bars and have benn looking for a substitute for decades.

    I just discovered Curly Wurly bars are sold in the US through Wegmans grocery stores in their International Foods section. They’re pretty darn close and at 69¢ each, I’m tempted to buy them by the case.

  52. Tom Zelikoff says:

    Thr Curly Wurly is sold at Edwards Friedman’s Nut Co in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

  53. John Harper says:

    My wife and I were just talking about this bar.

    It brought us to this site.

    That was the top bar to get for Halloween! Thanks for the memory

  54. Tk says:

    I have often thought that maybe Marathon Bars were a figment of my imagination. I’m so glad to find someone else who loved them as much as I did. I only wish we could still enjoy their chewy, chocolatey deliciousness.

  55. MisterPL says:

    For my birthday last month I received a case of Curly Wurly bars. Not exactly the same as the Marathon, of course, but dangerously close. My kids love them. It’s nice to be able to give them a taste of my childhood, pun intended.

  56. Ruth says:

    I do remember Marathon candy. I born in 1972 and one of my favorite candies was it. BTW, I stopped by because I was searching for old candies. I live in PR and I know about some candies was made here and I got curious because my husband, who is 8yrs older than me can’t remember it. What I remember is a chocolate coating caramel candy that was like a braid. I just love it! And I can still remember when I was in first grade, I could buy a bag of Doritos for a quarter as well as a orange soda bottle for other 25cents. Wow, good times. Stay safe and blessings.

  57. Stephen jones says:

    Marathon candy bar is still available in Puerto Rico

  58. Michaela Heiss says:

    I miss the marathon bar too. I got braces on my teeth and wasn’t allowed to eat them. Till I got my braces off they were gone. You can order the curly whirly online. I tried them and they don’t compare.

  59. I know this response is REALLY late(10 years), but I just stumbled upon the article after being reminded of the Marathon bar in a YouTube documentary about a group of young men who got lost in the forest. Turns out they had bought some snacks at a convenience store on the way. I was wondering what year the events in this story had occurred, so I looked up the Marathon bar that was mentioned(having forgotten this snack by name). It was only after seeing the shape of the candy bar that I remembered it.

    I really liked these things back in the day, but I was surprised to see that it’s been 27 years since they were discontinued. It doesn’t seem nearly that long. I’ve never heard of the Cadbury Curly Wurly bar, and I live in the US, so I don’t know if they are available.

  60. Christine Barnes says:

    Please bring back the Marathon bar , my kids never got to try that amazing candy bar , I got one every day in my lunch …

  61. cindy says:

    I am eating a curlywurly bar that I bought from amazon. Free shipping. Took a few weeks with regular delivery, but worth it.

  62. Daniel Harper says:

    Why can’t companies keep their products on the shelves for retail ? I mean seriously aren’t their enough people in this world today to keep these products of yesterday ? I would love to see The Marathon bar, Koogle, and Lemon Coolers from Nabisco surface back on the market again ,among other snacks and foods .Dear major companies please come back to us on some of these products Sincerely Dan Harper

  63. Robert Sherman says:

    I too ordered the Cadbury Curly Wurly bar from Amazon and I love them as much as the Marathon bars I used to eat back in the 1970’s. They are a little smaller though.

  64. Mona LeBeau says:

    I still want to know what happened to the Marathon Bar? Why did they stop making it? Does anyone know?

  65. Kevin Dalton says:

    Why won’t the maker’s of the marathon bar tell us why they discontinued it?!

  66. Steve says:

    I still think about the marathon bar! It was my favorite as a kid! I might havevto order some curly wurlys to try it out.

  67. Cynthia Arthurs says:

    My favorite candy bar of all time even to this day I long to have a Marathon Candy Bar! I still don’t understand how someone could mess this up of one of the greatest candy bars of all time SMH

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] many things. It’s hilarious that after 2 years of blogging, my most popular blog is entitled, “What Happened To The Marathon Candy Bar?” I have gotten comments from all over the world on this blog. I guess I am not the only one who […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: