At the end of the day, when playing is over and done with, you put your toys away and then what? You have nothing to show for it, no lasting reminder of a day’s hard work. Manufacturing something while still managing to have fun would well and truly validate your childhood. And if that something was edible, the venture would be win-win. Sno-Cone Machines debuted in 1967 and combined the best attributes of toydom. Brightly colored, shaped like a snowman, noisy, soggy and syrupy, Hasbro’s first sno-cone factory was a guaranteed hit.
The mechanics of the Frosty Sno-Cone Machine (because it was shaped like a snowman, get it?) were laughably simple. You poured ice cubes into the top, jamming down with his little plastic hat and turned the crank in his back for all you were worth. Eventually, the crushed ice dispensed from Frosty’s stomach cavity into paper cups, ready for the syrup addition that transformed a pile of slush into a delicious treat. The sheer excitement of creating such a confectionary masterpiece may have improved the actual taste of the flavored syrups but it’s a good bet that your adult palette would revolt at the very notion of a strawberry Sno-Cone. Hasbro was a toymaker not a dessert connoisseur.
Frosty was followed by Snoopy in the sno-cone making business and kids in the 1970s enjoyed a doghouse shaped ice machine. Again, the ice went on top, a goodly amount of arm torque was applied and the result came out of the doghouse door. The syruping could begin then with dozens of flavors like cherry, lime and strawberry. In fact, any sugary liquid could do in a pinch if your sugar- junkie brother had already squeezed every last syrup packet into his greedy little mouth. Plenty of Sno-Cone machines were sold and plenty were broken by curious kids who made the logical leap of “If it can grind ice, what else can we jam in there?” Unfortunately, Sno-Cone machines didn’t hold up very well against blocks of cheese, rocks, marbles, perhaps your dad’s tax returns.
In addition to Frosty and Snoopy, many other cartoon characters eventually joined the ranks of sno-cone makers, keeping the proud tradition of homemade ice dessert alive to this day. The manic smile of Spongebob Squarepants as he brings forth cupfuls of slush may make you nostalgic for Snoopy’s quiet dignity but hey, that’s progress.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of owning any of the aforementioned sno-cone machines, perhaps churning out tasty summer treats for your childhood chums, we’d love to hear your memories in our comments section.