Since I grew up in the midwest, I never had a chance to buy any Big Wheels snack cakes. I wasn't even aware of the product until I discovered the boxes for sale on ebay. Big Wheels existed only out east or where Drake's Ring Dings were sold. Essentially, Big Wheels are Ding Dongs. I'm not sure on all the legalities, but Hostess wasn't allowed to sell Ding Dongs in Ring Ding territory because of the similar sounding name and shape. I would like to know the history behind the creation of the Big Wheels mascot Chief Big Wheels. I wonder why Hostess decided to go with a Native American themed character? I suppose since they already had Twinkie the Kid they were going for the whole cowboys and Indian thing. But what does an Indian Chief have to do with a wheel? I like the character, but I'm thinking a race car driver would have been a better fit, especially in the early 1970s.
I added the above box to my collection a couple of years ago and it came from my friend Waffle Whiffer who is a big Hostess collector. Check out his amazing Hostess archive here. Waffle send over this very cool pic of a Chief Big Wheels hat premium from his collection. It's a fantastic piece!
If you have an eagle eye you might notice on the hat that Chief Big Wheels is orange. That's because orange flavored Big Wheels were available for sometime.
From Dan Goodsell's collection, here's a rare box of Big Wheels with the orange flavor frosting! Kinda funny a snack cake that's marked vitamin fortified.
The above vacuform Chief Big Wheels has been in my collection for a few years now and came from our friends at the Tiki Ranch. I'm guessing it was probably part of a larger display and is also from the early 70s. The big V started showing up on Hostess products around the same time.
I was hoping to find an old Big Wheels commercial, but there doesn't seem to be any online. Was there any made? I did find two ads from the early 1970s pushing the vitamin fortified campaign.