Mike Burns, Co-Founder of CanMuseum.com, returns with another look at beverage cans
20 years ago, in 1991, A&W put out a set of really cool summertime set of Snoopy and Woodstock cans in the USA. These are popular characters from the Peanuts comic strip, written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz from October 2, 1950 to February 13, 2000. This time of the year, Peanuts fans (such as myself) look forward to watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas. I am also quite partial to cartoon dogs such as Snoopy, Pluto, and Scooby-Doo.
This is a can set of 8 + 1. There are eight cans in the main set of which there is a different design per can. When researching for this article I discovered a rare 9th can which duplicates one of the designs with alternate coloring. Now, I can’t decide if it is really a 9-can set or an 8-can set or an 8 + 1 can set. (Please post your opinions below this review as I am curious as to what you think!)
Since this is the largest can set I have reviewed to date, I am going to attempt to do so by flavor. What makes the set even better is that the designs for each can wrap around the entire can instead of just being on one side. This effect creates a detailed scene or comic panel per can.
The A&W Root Beer cans highlight baseball and grilling. The baseball can has Snoopy in an orange hat hitting a baseball with his bat. There is a blimp in the background with the A&W Root Beer logo on it.
The grilling can has Snoopy as “Joe Cool,” with sunglasses on, an orange “Joe Cool” shirt, and a chef’s hat. He is grilling some hamburgers, has an A&W Root Beer cooler filled with A&W Root Beer. He is also holding a can of A&W Root Beer that has the same design as this can.
The Diet A&W Root Beer cans show Snoopy and his best friend, Woodstock, weightlifting and surfing. The weightlifting can has both Snoopy and Woodstock holding barbells. Snoopy is showing off by holding it in one hand over his head and Woodstock is close behind holding the barbell at chest level. There is also an easel with a sign that has the Diet A&W Root Beer logo on it.
The surfing can has snoopy with sunglasses on his forehead on a surfboard holding a can of Diet A&W Root Beer with the same design as this can and two straws. Snoopy has a thought balloon that says “SURF’S UP!” and Woodstock is flying in the air in front of him. These are the only two cans that feature Woodstock in this set.
The A&W Cream Soda cans have Snoopy on the beach and cycling. The beach scene on the A&W Cream Soda can has Snoopy walking on the beach as “Joe Cool” with a thought balloon that says, “COOL.”. Snoopy is wearing an orange “Joe Cool” shirt and has sunglasses on his forehead. To the left of Snoopy is a can of A&W Cream Soda with the same design as this can and two straws. We also see a starfish a seashell and a beach umbrella.
The cycling scene is on the A&W Sparkling Vanilla Cream Soda can. On it we have Snoopy riding a bicycle and wearing a bike helmet for safety. In the background there is a hot air balloon with A&W Cream Soda on it. I guess they didn’t have room to add “Sparkling Vanilla” to it.
This leaves us with the Diet A&W Cream Soda cans. They show Snoopy jumping hurdles and dancing to music. The Diet A&W Sparkling Vanilla Cream Soda hurdles can has Snoopy wearing an A&W tank top jumping over a hurdle. It also has a flag with the Diet A&W Cream Soda logo on it. Again, I guess there wasn’t room for the “Sparkling Vanilla” on the flag.
The final can in the set I own is the music A&W Diet Cream Soda Can. On it, Snoopy is dancing the “Snoopy Dance” with musical notes in the background. Snoopy is wearing sunglasses and there is a can of A&W Diet Cream Soda to the left of him with two straws. This can is particularly important to me because I am a musician and because the Peanuts are known for introducing us to some great jazz music. The soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of my favorites.
There is a +1 can or 9th can of this set I discovered while doing some research to this review. It is an A&W Diet Cream Soda can with the same design as the A&W Diet Cream Soda can that is in my collection. The only difference is a reversal of colors. On this can, all brown lines are orange and all orange lines are brown. I was surprised to find this can and according to the collector that has it, his friend found it on the same shelf at the store in Missouri where he bought the other cans in this set.
Overall the Snoopy A&W can set is one of my favorites. It was designed very well with complete scenes wrapping around each can and the design stays true to the branding of each soda flavor. What do you think?