11 popular products turning 50 years old in 2022

Happy birthday to video games, McMuffins, Jet Skis and Boggle!

The Rock, Shaq, Eminem, Ben Affleck, Gwenyth Paltrow and Jenny McCarthy are all celebrating the big 5-0 in 2022. Hard to believe. 

But enough about Gen-X celebrities. Let's talk about some stuff. Most of the products on this list might strike you as surprisingly young. It was a big year for innovation — an entire medium of popular entertainment was introduced. Not to mention some fast-food favorites.

Here are some cultural staples that launched in 1972.

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1. Atari's Pong

Atari, Inc. was founded in 1972 and the electronic gaming company wasted no time in making history.  The brilliantly simplistic arcade cabinet Pong, a minimalist representation of ping pong, hit parlours months later, around Thanksgiving. Hankering for some classic arcade action? You can play official vintage versions of Atari's Asteroids, Centipede and Missle Command in the MeTV Arcade!

Image: Atari

2. Boggle

It boggles the mind that Boggle is as old as video gaming, doesn't it? Har har. See what we did there? The sound of those letter cubes rattling around in their plastic cap is a nostalgia trigger for us. How much sand is in the standard Boggle hourglass? Three minutes.

Image: Parker Brothers / Hasbro

3. Bottle Caps

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory hit theaters in 1971, shifting the focus from the titular "Charlie" of the Roald Dahl novel to the madcap candymaker. Tie-in candy was introduced at the same time, perhaps in the first major movie marketing push of the decade. Breaker Confections of Chicago acquired the rights and created the "Willy Wonka Candy Company," eventually changing to that name in 1980.

Image: Ferrera Pan via Waffle Whiffer / Flickr

4. Canfield's Diet Chocolate Fudge Soda

Our moms kept six-packs of this in the pantry. It tasted like liquid fizzy Tootsie Rolls to our tongue. 

Image: Canfields

5. Honda Civic

Honda was still pretty new to the car game, having been primarily a motorcycle manufacturer until the late 1960s. The Civic changed that. The compact cutie cruised to success thanks to the oil crisis — the thing got great mileage. 

Image: Honda

6. Jet Ski

Jet Ski is a proper noun, like Kleenex, Band-Aid and Dumpster. (Yes, Dumpster is a brand name.) Now it's generic trademark used for any kind of personal watercraft. But the Sea-Doo beat Kawasaki to the waves by four years. Still, Kawasaki had the last laugh, because we call these babies "jet skis" now no matter who makes 'em.

Image: Kawasaki

7. Magnavox Odyssey

Magnavox, not Atari, sold the first-ever home video game console. Pong was a cabinet for arcades, pinball joints, and pizza parlors. The Odyssey now gets overshadowed by the 2600, but give the pioneer its due. It also had a very strange controller, which looked like a tiny sewing machine. It's the trapezoidal box with the knobs on the side, kids. Game "cards" (cartridges, really) held multiple games — you can see the original six in this ad — including Tennis, Football and Haunted House.

Image: Magnavox

8. McMuffin

Mmm… breakfast. A Santa Barbara McDonald's franchise had the bright idea to get into breakfast sandwiches. Here's something largely forgotten about that early McMuffin — it was served open-faced with a side of strawberry jelly. Yep, the sweet and salty combo was genius (if you ask us — try it) but never caught on.

Image: McDonald's

9. Mr. Pibb

Coca-Cola fired a shot at Dr. Pepper in 1972 with its Peppo, a "pepper type soda," so said the can. In an even bolder move, Coke test-marketed Peppo in Texas, the home turf of Dr. Pepper. Dr. Pepper did not take it lightly, filing a lawsuit about the "Peppo" name. That's why the moniker was changed to Mr. Pibb.

Image: Coca-Cola

10. Popeyes

The Lousiana in "Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen" is no lie — the first Popeyes opened in suburban New Orleans. The joint's original name was Popeyes Mighty Good Chicken. And here's a goofy, fun fact — "Popeyes" is not named after the cartoon "Sailor Man." Nope, the fried chicken chain took its name from Popeye Doyle, Gene Hackman's character in 1971's The French Connection. Really!

Image: Popeyes

11. Stove Top Stuffing

"Test your husband," the ad dared. Stove Top was sold as a substitute for potatoes. According to that ad, 62% of husbands prefered the stuffing with their chicken. Which would you rather have? Correct answer: both.

Image: General Foods / Kraft

 
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MommyG60 7 months ago
Mom bought new furniture and Pong was a gift from the furniture store. My brother and I spent hours playing Pong. Only problem was with Dad, one Tv house and he always complained that adapter messed up the other channels.!!!!
snifferdog 7 months ago
I first tried Mr Pipp in Wisconsin on vacation.
When I find I I enjoy it.
JellyrollJackson 7 months ago
Chocolate soda? Never heard of it.
Runeshaper 7 months ago
A lot of these products really hit home for me, literally. Nice that they’re still around (-:
Catman 7 months ago
Pong came out in my drinking days (I've been sober since 1981, BTW, one day at a time). I remember sitting in the bar in the hotel where my cousin's wedding took place, getting smashed and playing Pong with the best man. Never played much after that, but was it really 50 years ago? Seems like just a few months ago sometimes ...
vinman63 7 months ago
Shaq turning 50 he look like he turn 50 years ago.
Stoney 7 months ago
Mr. Pibb is my favorite soft drink, and I feel very blessed and fortunate that it is still readily available here in Georgia. It is my beverage of choice when watching Svengoolie.

Also a big fan of Bottle Caps, Boggle, and Egg McMuffins (the only thing at McDonald's I actually like lol)
KJExpress Stoney 7 months ago
I had never heard of Mr. Pibb until going to eat at a Longhorn Steakhouse. I like it too, but it doesn't seem to be available where I live in the Northeast, so I will have an occasional Dr. Pepper instead. 🥤
Stoney KJExpress 7 months ago
From what I understand, Mr. Pibb is very difficult to find outside the Southeast. I also like Dr. Pepper, when Mr. Pibb is not available.
KJExpress Stoney 7 months ago
Well, if I am ever down your way I will have to grab a few cans. 😋
vinman63 KJExpress 7 months ago
Dr Pepper is okay, but Mr Pips is better.
gockionni Stoney 7 months ago
We have it in the PNW
UTZAAKE 7 months ago
1. The inspiration for professional tennis from the 1990s into the current millennium.
9. Mr. Pibb always reminds me of the old Fort Lauderdale Strikers NASL franchise.
KellyTenace 7 months ago
Wow. The sexism in that last ad. Just, wow...and wasn't the 1970s supposed to be the decade feminism came of age? Apparently not really.
bdettlingmetv KellyTenace 7 months ago
Only 1972. The feminism is gaining steam- doesn't mean it made it Madison Avenue, though. Not for another five years or so. There are exceptions along the way (Virginia Slims cigarettes, for example) but, as seen on "Mad Men", women largely did not control the narrative. Yet.
Sorry, I did not do that first sentence well, and I'm not sure there is a way to edit.

Try:

"The Feminist Movement is gaining steam..... "
JimmyD KellyTenace 7 months ago
I'm sorry this is happening to you.
KellyTenace 7 months ago
This comment has been removed.
AndreaZ KellyTenace 7 months ago
LOL....I sure hope you get the help you obviously need.
GEMof72 7 months ago
I used to love Egg McMuffins!
GEMof72 7 months ago
Love the facts I read about on MeTV.
Michael 7 months ago
That reminds me, I was thinking of trying some hot Dr Pepper this season.
Michael 7 months ago
This comment has been removed.
denny Michael 7 months ago
Don't recall the hot Dr Pepper, so I looked it up. It's actually in the movie Blast from the Past, Christopher Walken's character drinks it.
kkvegas denny 7 months ago
I love that movie.
denny kkvegas 7 months ago
Yes it is a great movie.
Andybandit 7 months ago
I know every item except the fudge item and the Magnavox odesey. In 2023 I will be seeing what will be turning 50 that year. Like I will be
Peter_Falk_Fan 7 months ago
I like Bottle Caps and Egg McMuffins. I take McDonald's surveys so I can buy one Egg McMuffin, get one free. My wife gets the free one.

We had a friend in the 70s who owned a Honda Civic. It took 15 seconds to go from 0-60. We would tease him because he was a tall guy. He had the last laugh when the gas crisis happened. Even my mom traded in her Chrysler New Yorker for a Honda Accord.
Deleted 7 months ago
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Michael 7 months ago
I wonder if they'll air all the episodes? When MeTV ran Banacek, 2 or 3 episodes were missing. "A Million the Hard Way", and "The two million clams of Cap'n Jack" were definitely missing. I think the pilot, "Detour to Nowhere" was missing too.

They aired on A&E, I think the early nineties, and all the episodes were there then. I'd not seen them since they first aired.

I should have got it on DVD when I could.
Stoney 7 months ago
Thank you for the info...I wish my carrier (AT&T) had COZITV. Oh well, at least they have MeTV. Thanks again.
Jimo 7 months ago
My wife and I were given an Odyssey manufactured by our hometown electronics builder Magnavox 1976...thought it high tech.
gockionni Jimo 7 months ago
Heck I thought Pong was super hi-tech lol, only we didn’t even know what hi-tech was back then
cperrynaples 7 months ago
A clarification on 3: Willy Wonka the movie was resold to Warner Media and the Wonka candy went from Quaker Oats to Breaker, the company that created Bottle Caps!
LoveMETV22 cperrynaples 7 months ago
I read Breaker was a division of Quaker already, known as "Breaker Confections" (a subsidiary of Quaker Oats).
justjeff 7 months ago
Once in awhile, if I got bored playing Pong on a video machine at a local bar, I'd set it so the "ball" would keep going back and forth in a straight line from paddle to paddle for an indeterminate amount of time.
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LoveMETV22 7 months ago
This comment has been removed.
I feel bad (not sorry) that you made an inference into my explanation of what placing a quarter on a video machine represented. I enjoy conversing with you however your response is rather insulting and abrupt. I don't, haven't, or ever make comments that belittle someone. I don't appreciate being portrayed as such. So whatever negativity you derived from my straightforward explanation is on your part not mine. I'll chalk it up as a misunderstanding on your part.
Peter_Falk_Fan LoveMETV22 7 months ago
The apartments where I lived as a teen had a lodge with a pinball machine. Sometimes there were three or four quarters in a line on top near the plunger. Each quarter represented someone's spot in line. If you didn't want to watch, you could get a snack or watch a pool game. No one would take your spot. Someone would always tell you when it was your turn. The management would have a different pinball machine every month. I spent about half of my paper route earnings on pinball.
albundy LoveMETV22 7 months ago
Some people have no idea. Almost EVERONE knows putting a quarter on a machine means you have the next game when that person quits. Same as putting money on a pool table. Basic common sense.
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