Circus Peanuts and Necco Wafers are Forming a Deliciously Disgusting Candy Alliance


We have some good news and bad news. The good news is that the maker of Circus Peanuts has stepped in to save Necco Wafers from certain death. And if you don't have a sweet spot for hard, chalky candy, this is also the bad news.

As Grub Street reports, the bankrupted New England Confectionery Company (and their Necco Wafers and Sweetheart Candies) have been bought by the producer of Dum Dums and Circus Peanuts. The new owner, Spangler Candy Company, says both the Wafers and Sweethearts will be back on store shelves by 2020.

Yes, people love to poke fun at Necco Wafers—just consider this Cracked headline: "America's Worst Candy Is Saved By Its Second-Worst Candy" (which sounds as though they forgot about Necco-owned Mary Jane candies)—but there is clearly a market for these confections. Last March, when news broke that the New England company faced massive layoffs and was in desperate need of a buyer, it spawned what some have dubbed "The Great Necco Wafer Panic." Fears of a wafer-less future spread, and sales of the candy spiked 63 percent in a single month.

There's also the nostalgic appeal. Founded in 1847, Necco Wafers are the oldest continuously manufactured candy in the U.S. "It is a love/hate type of candy and people are super passionate about it," Clair Robins of told Mental Floss in April. "They are perceived as an old-school classic, and even patriotic—soldiers ate them in the World Wars. But others think it's dry and gross and should die a painful death."

The New England Confectionery Company, which shut down in July after filing for bankruptcy, was also responsible for some of your grandpa's other favorite sweets: Sky Bars, Haviland Thin Mints, Clark Bars, Mighty Malts Malted Milk Balls, and Peach Blossoms. The Clark Bar brand was sold separately to Boyer Candy Company, which said the chocolate bars will start being produced again in about six months.

[h/t Grub Street]

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar


Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

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Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

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Make a Holiday Feast Fit for the Crawleys With the New Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook

Dine as lavishly as the Earl of Grantham this holiday season with the Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook.
Dine as lavishly as the Earl of Grantham this holiday season with the Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook.
Focus Features

For Downton Abbey fans, the holidays probably haven't felt quite the same ever since the show's final Christmas episode—and series finale—aired back in 2015. But if you miss the drama, the opulence, and the familiarity of your favorite upper-crust period drama, you can try your best to recreate it with The Official Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook, which is available for pre-order on Amazon for $31.

The publisher, Weldon Owens, has already released similar books to bring viewers closer to the Crawley clan, such as The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook ($23), The Official Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea Cookbook ($16), and The Official Downton Abbey Cocktail Book ($17). And this new Christmas edition preps you for an upscale holiday dinner, complete with recipes taken from actual vintage cookbooks. You can start your feast with a bowl of pheasant soup before digging into Yorkshire Christmas pie and finishing it all off with the traditional figgy pudding.

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Along with the directions, you'll get bits of history about each dish and how it relates to the world of Downton Abbey. You’ll learn more about the different holiday traditions and get to relive memorable moments from the series along with quotes from the characters.

Weldon Owens/Amazon

The new Christmas cookbook is now available for pre-order on Amazon and will arrive on October 27.

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