30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Beat of a Different Drum

One of the beautiful things about our hobby is the variety of options we have as collectors.  The proof is in the pudding.  Just check out all of the Blog Bat Around posts that were inspired by Night Owl's various projects post.  It's amazing how diverse we are as a community, yet at the end of the day we're all one thing: collectors.

When I sat down to write my BBA post, I couldn't believe all of the different projects sitting on my plate.  I even discovered semi-abandoned projects that I haven't paid attention to in quite some time.

One of those projects is collecting an entire run of sealed Chu-Bops.

What the heck are Chu-Bops?

#7 Rush: Permanent Waves

They're miniature album covers that contained a piece of bubble gum in the shape of a record.  Gum ingredients and the Chu-Bops number were printed on the back.  And when you opened up the album cover, it revealed lyrics to one of the songs on the album as well as a variety of advertisements including fan club membership information.

Chu-Bops were produced and sold from 1980 to 1983 in nine different series.  According to chu-bops.com, people could purchase their favorite albums for 29¢.  Three of those series honored The Beatles, Elvis, and The Rolling Stones and were considered "special collectors editions".  These albums had a suggested retail price of 33¢ each.

Series 1

Series 2

Series 3

Series 4

Series 5

Series 6 (Elvis Presley)

Series 7

In all, there were a total of 85 different Chu-Bops produced.  So far... I have managed to collect 32 different ones.  Unfortunately, 25 of the 53 albums I need are part of The Rolling Stones and The Beatles special series which tend to command a premium on eBay.

Although I do have a saved search for these on my eBay account, I don't really look for them nearly as much as I used to.  That being said... I haven't completely shut down this project.  It's on hiatus until further notice.  Maybe I'll find a collection sitting at the flea market this summer to help rekindle that fire.

Until then...

Did any of you ever collect Chu-Bops?

Do you think that there's a market right now for this kind of product?

Personally, I'd love to see these reborn.  I'd definitely collect some of my favorite album covers if someone like Panini started selling these.

Well that's it for today.  If things go as planned, I should be driving home from the Oakland Coliseum right about the same time this post is published.  Hopefully my buddy and I just witnessed the A's take down the Texas Rangers and crawl back up to .500 in the standings.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!


  1. What's old is new....I bet they will be popular again. Heck, this post might spark a small rush on the Chu-Bops. Very interesting for sure!

  2. I remember these. Never bought any but they're cool!

    I don't know if they would be successful now in the same format. I don't think kids would appreciate album covers, if they knew what they were.

  3. I don't know how it is that I have never heard of these before! If I thought I needed anything else to collect I would definitely look into these a little more :)

  4. Holy crap, I forgot all about these. I didn't even know their name at the time, but I thought they were so cool and if I wasn't so heavily invested into cards at the time, I'd have gone for those. I think a friend had one or two.

  5. I remember those!!!!! Bought a couple. Couldn't tell you the album.

    And shame on you for posting a Rush album without the video for the lyrics on the back:


  6. Woah, these are cool. I'd love to see these with modern albums since album artwork is largely becoming one of the most forgotten aspects of musical releases now.

  7. I had a few of them...definitely remember having Get The Knack, and I bought a couple of the Beatles ones. Don't recall seeing the Kinks one which is very cool. I think it could work today marketed to vinyl hipsters.

  8. Never seen those before. Probably would have saved the metal records out of them like I do the music cards.

    Angus is right, though. They'd have to do just single songs since young'uns download one track at a time these days.

  9. Never seen them before. I don't think they would be for me, but I could see them being popular again. Just throw Bieber on one and watch the profits soar.

  10. I do remember them but man that was a loooong time ago

  11. Chu-Bobs I've got some of those. loved the concept. I have Series one in the collector's album. and one or two Beatles (from the Beatles series they did). I don't recall where I have them. I'm not sure if I ever had any dupes or not. Most of mine no longer have the disc shaped gum. I might have a Pat Benatar sealed. I think the ones in my album were the ones I had opened and consumed the gum way back in the early 80s when they were new.
    I alos have one lone imported one from Germany (i think) that had a girl band. I might have gotten it as a bonus when I had ordered the album to store the mini-albums. The cover had the girls driving a car. Ah They were called "The Pinups" this video shows the album cover https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uruphd4g0Q

  12. SumoMenkoMan - Lol. I hope not. I'm already having a tough time putting this set together ;)

    Angus - Great point. Kids these days don't even appreciate CD's let alone album covers.

    Jon - They're really cool. If you decide to collect them one day... I hope I've finished the project so we're not outbidding each other on eBay.

    night owl - I don't remember seeing these myself back in the early 80's... but I sure wish I had. I know a few I definitely would have purchased (KISS, The Police, Pat Benatar, Journey, etc.).

    JediJeff - I'm not worthy. Totally dropped the ball on that one, but I added it for future viewing pleasure.

    Zippy Zappy - Me too. I'd be all over these.

    The Lost Collector - I'd never seen them until a few years ago when I stumbled across some at the flea market.

    Bret Alan - I could definitely see them sold at some of the record stores in my area. Like Angus pointed out... it wouldn't be marketed towards kids. But people who grew up listening to vinyl might be interested.

    GCA - Yeah. It'd be a tough sell for kids... but Matthew brought up a good point with utilizing people like Bieber. I'm sure my students would be all over Drake Chu-Bops too.

    Matthew Scott - You're a genius. Bieber sells. By the way... kinda glad they're not your thing. I'd be afraid Wes would hoard them on eBay and I'd never have a chance to finish the collection ;)

    B Man - Aww... c'mon. It's only 35 years ago :)

    CaptKirk42 - Never heard of the group or the song... but it sounds like early 80's music. I've seen one of those albums on eBay. Might start chasing them down after I finish the project. Noticed while scanning that the gum is really damaging the covers, so you might have made the right call by taking them out and eating it back in the day.