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Mike says "I've always been a junk food junkie. Back in 2002 or so, I was bored and searched the web for candy wrappers. Not too many popped up. So, half as a joke, I decided to start my own page. I posted some wrappers and people started emailing me...people were actually visiting my page! So, I added a comments section and made it easier to leave me a comment. More people came, more wrappers were added, and so on."
"A little bit of history...my page started out on Tripod...a free web site service. But it quickly outgrew Tripod and I got my own domain in July of 2005."
Seriously....why? Don't you have better things to do with your time?
Mike says "I don't spend that much time on the web site, really. I don't update as much as I should. The comments are updated like once ever other month, if I'm lucky. And I only spend about two hours or so doing that. Adding wrappers is a pain and I only do that when I have a bunch (which is why I started the Coming Soon page). They take me a while to do."
Why are all the wrappers on one page like that? Why don't you break them down into categories?.
Mike says "I know very little HTML (web page programming). When I started the page, I didn't have that many wrappers and put them all on one page. And then I kept adding and adding. As of August 2012, I have 750 different wrappers. I don't know how I would break them down...I like them all on one page so you can see them. Plus, it's just easier for me. So, it's part laziness, part not sure what to do with them."
Update!! In September of 2013, I finally decided to break down the wrappers alphabetically.
Did you really eat all the candy from all those wrappers?
Mike says "Yes. It's one of the rules. I have had people offer to send me wrappers, but I have to eat the candy that was in the wrapper. And no, I won't eat something that somebody sent me over the Internet."
You must weigh like, a thousand pounds. You know this isn't healthy, right?
Mike says "Yes, I know candy is not the most healthy thing in the world. Everything in moderation. That being said, it is an addiction for me and I usually have at least one candy bar a day. Like most people, I need to lose weight, but I don't consider myself grossly overweight and try to get to the gym three times a week. Update in July, 2010: I've been doing the Weight Watchers Points system and have lost over 35 pounds. Although according to the BMI Chart, I'm still 'overweight'. I don't get it, but whatever. If I lose much more, there's not going to be much of me left. "
What's with the banners for the candy websites that sell candy? You getting a cut?
Mike says "Yes, I get a cut. I am an affiliate for Old Time Candy Company, which means when you click on a link or banner, their web site tracks you back to my page. And if you buy something, I get a small commission. It's a way to try to make some money as this page does cost me money (domain name, hosting, etc.)."
Wasn't your website in a book or something?
Mike says "Why, yes, it was. Thanks for asking! I like reading books on candy and I had heard about the book Candyfreak by Steven Almond (see my Candy Book Review Page for more information). I got it out of the library and really enjoyed it. At the back of the book was a list of candy web sites and I was shocked to see my old Tripod page (which was my current page at the time) listed. Of course, I had to buy the book after that."
What are your favorite candy bars?
Mike says "This list changes all the time, but my all time favorites are Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers, Hershey's Chocolate Bar, Caramello, and M&Ms. I also like Milkway Midnight and Dark Chocolate Snickers."
What happened to Chocolite, PB Max, Peanut Butter Snickers, etc?
Mike says "Candy bars come and go. That's the sad truth. For one reason or another, the companies that made these candy bars decided to stop making them."
Why don't you have a forum so people can start threads and have discussions amongst themselves?
Mike says "I thought about this and decided because of lack of time, I wouldn't be able to run it like I would want. Forums tend to have a lot of people posting junk (off color comments, etc) and a lot of spam and I don't have the time to constantly clean up threads, etc. I know there's software you can run to cut down on that stuff, and I could always find a friendly person to help me out by being a moderator, but you're still talking about stuff taking up time. So I decided to keep the 'leave me a comment' thing going. Then I can review the comments and weed out the spam and not-so-nice comments much easier. And by not-so-nice comments, I mean stupid people saying stupid and crass things. If someone disagrees with me, as long as they include their name and town, I post the comment."
Why do you collect wrappers? Can I have them since I collect wrappers?
Mike says "I get this question fairly often. I don't collect wrappers. I save them, scan them, post them, then throw them out. For a while, I was sending my wrappers to someone overseas who asked for them for his daughter, who collected wrappers from around the world. I'm not really interested in saving them for other people...sorry."
Why do your comments seem so dated? The new Star Wars movie is all the rage? WTF?
Mike says "My comments are from the time I posted them. Most (if not all) comments should have a date in them so you know when they were posted. So, at the time I talked about the Dark Chocolate M&Ms, which featured the Star Wars move (come to the dark side), everyone was talking about Star Wars. I don't go back and edit them once they become outdated."
How come some wrappers say when they were added and some don't?
Mike says "When I started the web site, I had no idea it would become as popular as it has. So, I never really planned things out. I should have listed dates the wrappers were added from the beginning, but didn't think about it. So the early wrappers don't have dates. But all the new ones have dates."
Do you ever Google yourself? What are other people saying about your web site? Where are the awards?
Mike says "Yeah, I wish I would win some awards. That would be neat. But so far, none. And yes, I Google myself every once in a while. I cracked up when someone left these posts on some forums about my web site:
Wow, an entire website devoted to scans of candy wrappers. Congratulations to that guy. There are a lot of stupid, boring websites on the internets, but that one might be king.
That dude is weird. He scans candy wrappers and briefly comments on them. And it looks like itís pretty regularly updated.
I think that website was made by a fat guy.
HA! Those made me LOL."
Who's this Laurie you mention from time to time?
Mike says "Laurie is my girlfriend. We met in NJ in September of 1999, moved to Pittsburgh in 2000 and are still together."