This candy was originally introduced in 1978 and had an entirely different name. The silly name of this candy bar was changed from Whatchamacallit but the general identity of the candy has always been pretty much the same. This is a really memorable bar for people who were kids in the 70s and it continues to be popular even today.
If you have ever wondered about the backstory of this candy bar with the silly name, there is a lot to tell. Like most candies, this chocolate bar has changed names and ingredients over time and has been loved at each stage of its life by candy lovers all over the world. While not as famous as it was in the 1980s, this is still a beloved candy bar that is well-known, particularly by older people who first fell in love with it in the 70s and 80s.
Thingamajig has also been the source of a lot of speculation and confusion as the bar itself was given such a short period in the spotlight and might possibly have been renamed rather than being retired. People who have always loved Thingamajig and Whatchamacallit might have been sad to see the way that Hershey’s has chosen to manage the branding and sales of these bars, but the story of Thingamajig is quite interesting and leaves more questions that it does answer.
This candy bar was first introduced in 1978. At the time, it was called Whatchamacallit and was named by Sallie Grayson. Sallie was famous at the time for being the associate creative director at Doyle & Dane Bernbach and she was in charge of the branding for their newly acquired client, which just happened to be Hershey’s Chocolate. Thingamajig was not a thought in anyone’s mind at the time, and the silly name of the original bar was a big hit without the need for additional varieties to be created and branded alongside this bar.
The bar was first sold as a peanut-flavored crisp covered in chocolate. It was sold in this version from 1978-1987. This was a lighter candy bar than what was typical at this time and not as sweet as some of its competitors. In 1987, there was a shift and the flavoring was altered to include a peanut butter flavored crisp and also a layer of caramel inside the candy bar.
The candy bar under the Whatchamacallit name was found in many different recipes at the time. There were candy cookies, cheesecakes and cupcake recipes that all featured this candy bar as one of the primary ingredients. There were not many things on the market at the time that offered the flavor blend that Whatchamacallit did.
The candy bar was advertised heavily in the US on TV and radio during the 80s and was sold by Hershey’s in Canada as the Hershey’s Special Crisp. This is not a bar that is marketed anywhere else and the Whatchamacallit was never sold under that name to Canadian markets. While there are some other treats that are sold by Hershey’s in Canada under different names, this is one of the only treats that was ever sold exclusively under a completely different name.
In 2009, Hershey’s decided to make a new version of the Whatchamacallit that would be called Thingamajig. This bar was an offshoot of the parent bar and it included cocoa crisps and peanut butter inside with a chocolate coating on the outside. This bar was probably intended to replace the Whatchamacallit, however, it was sold very briefly and never really took off.
The Thingamajig was reintroduced in 2011 at Hershey’s Chocolate World in Pennsylvania, but it is no longer being produced. Whatchamacallit is still sold in the US but is not nearly as popular as it once was. The Thingamajig has proven to be a lasting point of confusion for enthusiasts who loved the candy bar.
Why make a candy bar that you did not intend to actually sell for longer than a year? Why advertise it so briefly and then pull it off the shelves? People who loved the Thingamajig bar were shocked that it was suddenly no longer sold and then even more confused when the product seemed to reappear later under yet another name.
There is speculation about whether or not the Thingamajig was a taste test that failed, or whether Hershey’s always meant for the bar to be a short and limited-edition product. The fact that the parent bar, Whatchamacallit, was never sold under that name in other countries is another interesting aspect of the history of this many-pronged branding effort.
To make matters even more confusing, the company then made the Whozeewhatzit bar in 2021. This is a lot like the recipe for the Thingamajig and offers the same cocoa crisps, crisped rice, and peanut butter interior of the Thingamajig. There was a naming contest that was held to create the name for this new bar and the company got more than 43,000 entries before Whozeewhatzit was settled upon. The winner of the contest was Lisa M from Massachusetts.
Enthusiasts for Thingamajig have hailed this as the rebranding for this short-lived bar and there is hope that this version of the branding for the candy bar will stand up to the test of time. The reason for the rebranding effort has never been revealed by Hershey’s and they have never stated that this is the Thingamajig under a new name either. They have acted from the start like this is an entirely new product that has never been seen before.
The fact remains, however, that the people who loved Thingamajig have stated loud and clear that the new Whozeewhatzit tastes exactly the same.
What Does Thingamajig Taste Like?
Those who love the Thingamajig bar will tell you that it tastes like peanut butter and caramel with a hint of satisfying crunch at the same time. It’s been characterized as a crunchy Snickers or a crunchy Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. There is not much difference in taste to report between the Whatchamacallit and this delightful little bar. Most enthusiasts will tell you that the Thingamajig has a stronger peanut butter flavor as well as a little more crunch to it.
Thingamajig Wrapper Design
You can still see Thingamajig as an entry on Amazon, but it is no longer sold on the platform. This has caused a lot of false hope for everyone who loves Thingamajig bars and thinks they are going to be able to pick them up via Amazon, only to have their hopes dashed when they click on the link.
The wrapper was red and had a really colorful type that declared the Thingamajig name. You could see the candy bar depicted on the shiny wrapper and there was clear language stating the cocoa and peanut butter flavor you would expect as well as the Hershey’s logo. Some packaging does declare that it is a limited-edition flavor.
Whoozeewhatzit is currently sold on Amazon and you can try out this delightful version of the bar that is probably the same recipe under a new name. This branding is red and has the same style, many-colored lettering for the logo. You will get the same Hershey’s branding and the same declaration of the taste that you can expect from the candy bar when you read the package. This branding looks very much like a comic book and has a very specific feeling to it.
Thingamajig Ingredients Compared with Whoozeewhatzit Ingredients
Thingamajig is stated to have these ingredients:
- Crisp rice
- Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil
- Palm oil
- Soybean oil
- Vegetable oil
- Cocoa butter, maltodextrin
- Safflower oil
- Nonfat milk chocolate
- Barley malt
- Natural and artificial flavor
Whoozewhatzit has the same ingredients almost to the letter but sugar tops the list instead. This is clearly essentially the same bar and you should expect that you will get the same taste experience with this bar as you would when you could buy Thingamajig.
Should I Buy Thingamajig off eBay?
While it might be tempting to buy Thingamajig that is being sold on sites like eBay, remember that this is a food product. You might find that the bars you will gain access to will be stale and less than delicious as well as being possibly unsafe to eat. If you really want to have a Thingamajig, you should just buy the new and fresh Whozeewhatzit bars that are for sale on sites such as Amazon, Walmart, and more.
You can also get your Thingamajig fix at the movies when you pick up a Whoozeewhatzit to go with your bucket of popcorn and your soda. Thingamajig may have gone the way of some other candies that are beloved and did not hold up to the test of time, but you can still enjoy the flavor and crunch of this bar by picking up some Whozeewhatzit candy instead.
Some advertising is included in this informative video:
A Whatchamacallit ad that is very classic: