I’ve recreated these Sunshine jelly crystal boxes in all six flavours that were in the range of the time (with a small amount of artistic license on a couple of the colour schemes) from images a couple of collectors have uploaded to Flickr over the last year or so.
Once the second lot had appeared online, I became interested to know how more than two enthusiasts managed to get mint condition flat boxes for the same product, seemingly around the same time. Although it should be noted that the premium cards were cut out of the packaging and collected – the boxes were still retained by someone. For what reason they, presumably a child -would have kept them afterwards, if not for scrap-booking – I can’t imagine. Anyway what were the chances that a whole bunch of them should turn up at the same time? Unlikely.
Apparently these were for sale on Ebay Australia around five to six years ago, as far as one of the buyers remembers. Apart from that I don’t really know anything of the provenance, and why items from a New Zealand brand were being offered outside of the country. Having that background information can tell you a lot about a company and its products over time, such as was the previous owner an employee? Or maybe just a pack rat? Either way, it’s usually worth trying to follow up and see what one can find out because you never know where it will lead you next.
They may look like they date from the late 1950s-early 1960s era; but apparently these actually date from the early seventies, around 1971 (noting imperial is still used in the design, they would definitely be from before 1972). I’ve already previously discussed my thoughts on this very subject and how The Land of the Long White Shroud, as I like to call it, was lagging behind in the post WWII years.
Things were a bit old-fashioned to say the least and the Kiwis remained very much tied to Mother England’s apron strings, whereas Australia embraced US-style popular culture in a much bigger way. That said, this design was very “American” in its approach, I think.
Kiwiana enthusiast Steve Williams says: “They were a bit behind the times as most of these pictures on the cards are from Project Gemini, and they even include a picture of Ed White who spacewalked in 1965 and died in the Apollo 1 fire of 1967″.
That gives a nice five year window at the most – but the packaging was definitely revised post 1964 anyway – as I’ve seen the set from that year, and posted a recreation here when I previously wrote on the Sunshine brand and Auckland company W.F. Tucker and Co Ltd in June last year:
And here, an even earlier 1950s version of their box :
In the meantime I’ve gathered a lot more information as well as images but they will have to be for the future post, when I recap on the brand.