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Have you ever heard the rumor that Tootsie Pop wrappers featuring an Indian shooting a star could be redeemed for free Tootsie Pops? Although Tootsie Roll Industries has never held a promotion involving collection or redemption of their wrappers, the “Indian Wrapper” rumor has persisted for almost 80 years! Since several Tootsie Pops made around the same time had different wrappers, it started rumors that those which featured an Indian with a star were “special”. Tootsie Roll has received streams of letters from consumers attempting to redeem their Indian Wrappers, but the truth is, there never was a promotion. Yet amazingly, Tootsie Roll Industries processes nearly 150 letters every week!
That said, when we first partnered with Tootsie to make our cool kids clothing, we didn’t know the truth about the Indian… in fact, silly us just thought that it meant good luck. Kind of like a lucky Indian penny , but completely different. Regardless, we loved the Indian and the rest of the Tootsie characters from the wrapper, so much that we included them in one of the first images that we ever developed. And just as the legend itself has persisted, our Tootsie Characters image is still one of the faves in LikeWear’s cool kids clothing line!
So where did this rumor come from?
Nobody really knows where the rumor started. Tootsie Roll maintains that there was no special promotion or contest associated with Tootsie Roll wrappers. Ever. Where the rumor began is still a mystery… The wrapper only sports the “Indian Chief” design for variety, no special reason or mystery. Some independent merchants, however, did honor the myth and gave out a supposed free Tootsie Pop when kids brought in wrappers to their stores for redemption. This was financed totally by the stores that participated. Sweet deal! Yeah, pun intended.
Tootsie Roll used to respond to kids who wrote in to claim their free pop with an apologetic letter and note, but now it seems that the rumor has lead to a legend of its own. Tootsie now encloses a short story called “The Legend of the Indian Wrapper”. This is intended as a consolation prize for younger children who would otherwise be upset to receive no free lollipop in the mail.
The story tells of a man “long, long ago, when all lollipops were made alike,” who wanted to make a new kind of sucker with something special inside. But he couldn’t figure out how. Well, one day the man awoke “to find a grand Indian chief smiling at him. The chief told the man that he would help him make a lollipop with a chewy candy center, if the man promised the chief that he would never, ever, stop making them for people. The man promised. … The ‘Indian Wrapper’ is supposedly a sign that the grand chief has personally checked that particular lollipop for the chewy candy center.”
Does your Tootsie Pop have a chewy candy center? Yes? Well, how many licks did it take to find out? Oh wait, that’s a different story.