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UK Smarties Tubes: Gallery 1
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My oldest smarties tube. It dates back to the 1950's, but there is no date shown. The tube is just a touch over 11cm in length, which is smaller than the 13cm tubes shown on this page. The tube is also 1mm wider than these tubes, so the lid is also very collectable. Note that SMARTIES is written in upper case and that they are described as 'CHOCOLATE BEANS'. On the back of the tube are the words ROWNTREE & CO.LTD.,YORK,ENGLAND.  
This tube is from the 1960's. Note the white background behind the SMARTIES which are now more spaced, giving a sense of movement. The sweets are now described as 'MILK CHOCOLATE BEANS', which is slightly different to the 1950's tube. This tube has the letter 'C' on the reverse of the lid. Click the tube to see much more detail.
A 1970's tube. This is the new metric width, which for some reason means the tube is slightly thinner and shorter. A major difference, therefore, is the size if the lids. The old imperial lids do not fit into this metric sized tube.  
This tube is longer than the 1970's tube and a tiny bit longer than the 1950's and 60's tubes, but a bit shorter than tubes with a best before date of FEB 1987 onwards! The tube is also the familiar brown colour that characterised the 1980's / early 1990's tubes. Added to this, there is a special offer on this tube. 2 PENCE OFF, taking it to 14 pence instead of the usually recommended price of 16 pence.Best Before 1 SEP 86.
A standard sized, standard design smarties tube from the late 80's. Best before '1 NOV 86'.
Same as the previous tube, but longer as there is 10% extra free. This makes it the same length as the standard tubes which appeared from late 1987 and onwards. BB  '1 FEB 87' to '1 Apr 87'. And it cost 16 pence, as printed on the tube. There is more though...
This tube is essentially the same as the one dated 1 NOV 86. However, it is a bit longer, being the same size as the 10% Extra Free tube. Best before 1 NOV 87.
This is the new style tube. It is no longer made with the old style spiral seam going round the tube. Instead, it has a single straight seam running along the back. The design also has a bright gloss appearance instead of the matt finish on the older tubes. Best before '1 DEC 1987'.
My FIRST tube. Purchased at Blackburn train station. I bought it simply because it was a special edition tube with blue smarties. The best before date is stamped on the cardboard disc base, and it says '1 JUN 89'. I probably bought it late on in 1988, and certainly no earlier than September (school terms). I kept the tube and thought nothing else of it.
Not part of my original collection (I initially collected limited editions) but it is a unique design in it's own right and I finally have it in my collection...20 years later and a little tarnished by cigarette smoke! The difference between this and the Dec 87 tube is the addition of an information panel. Click the tube to see. Best Before 1 July 89.
Blue Smarties returned !!! Permanently replacing the light brown Smartie. The tube actually cost 19 pence, and there is a shop sticker on the tube to prove it. Best before date is '1 MAR 90'.
A standard tube ie, no special offers etc. Just a bog-standard tube. However, there is a new slogan on the front of the tube in big white letters; ONLY SMARTIES HAVE THE ANSWER. The slogan appears in this format on standard tubes for about five years. This coincides with another change ie NESTLE taking over ROWNTREE MACKINTOSH. There is a very slight hint at this change written on the back of the tube. Can you spot it? Best before '1NOV 90'.
WHITE Smarties with WHITE CHOCOLATE inside! Not all the Smarties were white though. They were added to the tubes in roughly the same proportion as the other Smarties. The white Smarties are a big clue that Nestle had just aquired Rowntree Mackintosh, as white chocolate is a Nestle speciality. However, there is still no NESTLE emblem on the tube. Continued...
During this period smarties usually retailed for 20 pence. This box promotes a one pence discount at 19 pence. It also displays the Nestle logo on the back. Click the tube to see this detail. Best before date '1 DEC 91'.
SPECIAL EDITION COOL DUDE smarties. The box had a purple lid, and the purple coloured smarties stood out from the other colours, as they had a smiley face with sun shades printed on one side. You could even collect 8 tokens to send off for your own shades. Click here to see them. COOL...     The best before date is '1 MAR 92'.
Another standared tube. HOWEVER...the best before date is now printed on the box, not embossed on the base. Click the box to see for yourself. A tube at this time cost  22 pence.
10% extra free. Thank-you very much. And because the tubes are always full to the brim, this means a 10% bigger tube. Best before '1 JAN 93'. This was also the LAST tube made by Rowntrees under the company name of ROWNTREE MACKINTOSH.
The first tubes made under the company name of NESTLE ROWNTREE. These tubes contained 'Gruesome Greenie' smarties with faces printed on them. They were also white chocolate flavoured. Click here to see one. There was also a special offer of a Gruesome Greenie Pouch, if you collected 10 tokens. Offer closed 31-12-92. See one here. Lids were green. Best before 1 JAN 93.
Nestle finally put their name on the front of the tube...AND replace the traditional ROWNTREE lid with one that simply says 'smarties'. This probably went largely unnoticed,as the fuss about the take over had died down. Best before 1 NOV 93.  
The orange flavoured Smarties are 'super strength' orange . They have a the word 'ZAP' printed on them. This pack also has a special offer. Collect 10 tokens for an electronic Smarties 'zapper'. Click here to see it! Best before 1 FEB 94. The lid is orange, AND it's the old ROWNTREE one. However, this is the last time that the old lid can be found on the tubes.  
Another 10% extra free!  Best before 01 JUL 1994.
UK Smarties Tubes 1  2  3  4  5


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