Whatever Happened To Popsicle Sprinklers?

It's 1992, and it's a hot one, but the scorching temperatures of the summer months won't keep you from enjoying even one day of freedom from school. Maybe you're playing basketball, drawing with chalk on your driveway, or riding your bike around the cul-de-sac. Whatever you're doing doesn't matter once you hear it: A faint, unmistakable melody in the distance. Everyone looks around; do you really hear it? The sound grows louder and louder until you see the run-down truck around the corner. It's the ice cream truck, and time is limited to beg your parents for money and make it back in time to get in line. But you do, and you spend your few dollars on a rather fun treat: a Popsicle Sprinkler.

The Popsicle-brand Sprinkler, which was a vanilla-flavored ice cream treat coated in chocolate and multicolored sprinkles akin to nonpareils, rose in popularity during the early 1990s. The confection found itself competing with other frozen staples of the time such as character pops (from Disney, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network), Choco Tacos, Sno Cones, and Dippin' Dots. But sometime in the early-aughts, the fan-favorite vanished, never to be seen again. The exact date is not known, nor was there ever any announcement of the discontinuation. One day, in the early 2000s, they were just gone.

Is there hope for a return?

Unfortunately, nobody on the internet seems to know what happened to the Sprinkler. Though there is no verifiable cause to explain the discontinuation, it was phased out as some prominent, long-running frozen treats were birthed. For example, the SpongeBob SquarePants popsicle was released in 2002 and can still be found in stores nationwide. A fellow Popsicle-brand item, Scribblers, debuted in the early 2000s. The crayon-shaped frozen treats have even been revamped with a Crayola partnership, and Scribblers can still be found in stores across the country.

Some fans were surprised to even learn that Sprinklers were gone. One such person was Caitlin Krehan, who started a petition on Change.org to bring back the dessert. Krehan cites the nostalgic emotions associated with the treat as a reason for its return. "This may not be a big deal to some people but this brought so much joy to people that I feel it's worthwhile to bring them back, even if it's for a limited time," Krehan wrote in the petition. The petition has 1,685 signatures to date.

Eventually, Krehan's petition gained traction on social media and even got the attention of Popsicle. "While we don't have plans on bringing these items back, we'll let our team know you'd like to see them return. Thanks for being a fan of Popsicle!" the brand wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. They even ended the message with a smiley-face emoji, but the response, it seems, was a bittersweet confirmation for fans of the ice cream truck staple.