I wanna dip my balls in it!
June 6, 2003 9:42 PM   Subscribe

The best way to describe the taste is flat Sprite with globs of snot floating in it. [more inside]
posted by jonson (34 comments total)
For those of us old enough to remember the mid 1990s, it was a heady time; dot com companies were about to be the next big thing, teen pop was still a futuristic nightmare, and Crystal Pepsi was still the most horrific clear beverage ever created. Until Orbitz came along. No, not the online travel company, rather the short lived practical joke played on the beverage industry by Clearly Canadian. Orbitz combined the public's love of foreign spheres in their drinks and presaged the Boba Tea phenomenon by seven years. Also: it was disgusting. Relive the magic at Retrocrush.
posted by jonson at 9:43 PM on June 6, 2003

My god I remember that crap. I can't even watch someone drink those disgusting tapioca ball drinks without thinking of ORBITZ. I remember buying a 4 pack in the mid 90s cause they were selling it at 4 for a buck. The drink tasted and had the consistency of the juice from cheap, sugary fruit salad cans. I could see these things doing very well with the 8 to 15 year olds in any decade - with the right marketing again.

Needless to say - I wish I would have kept some. I could have sold it on ebay. I wonder if anyone will want my unopened Smurf pasta in a can from the late 80s?

enough about me and that awful syrupy drink. It's people who provide a service like this of cataloging the bizarre crap that companies through at a consuming public that really deserve our support. I'll have to ask my mom if she knows how to knit.
posted by DragonBoy at 10:01 PM on June 6, 2003

Aw. I'm not on the list. I wanna be on the list.

The last soft drink I really liked was OK Cola. It was a black day in beverage marketing history indeed when they pulled the plug. Few remember, but some of us still mourn.
posted by rusty at 10:11 PM on June 6, 2003

Very interesting read, rusty - thanks for that link.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:19 PM on June 6, 2003

James "Kibo" Parry, connoisseur of all things tacky, has a review of Orbitz in the "Don't Drink That" section of his web site.

Of course, Kibo doesn't focus so much on his web site as on USENET, where he has mentioned Orbitz in 125 different messages. I found thecheat sheet rather amusing.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 10:22 PM on June 6, 2003

Wow, flashback. I tried a bottle of Orbitz once. The sprite/snot description is entirely accurate. It was very nice to look at, but the taste... my god, the taste...
posted by mmoncur at 10:36 PM on June 6, 2003

An orbitz investigation.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:37 PM on June 6, 2003

This is some incredible work/research. Has anyone developed a similar site along the lines of adventures in Goldschlager?. I'd look it up but I'm too uninterested/drunk/lazy to do so.
posted by psmealey at 10:49 PM on June 6, 2003

I used to buy Orbitz all the time. But I was only 7 or 8 at the time, and thankfully, my brain has wiped all memories of the flavor.

I totally want to try it again though. The balls just...float. Whoa.
posted by evilbeck at 11:36 PM on June 6, 2003

Since moving to Japan ten months ago, my goal has been to try as many odd drinks out of vending machines as I possiby can. I once picked out a can of "aloe soda" and was not-so-pleasantly-suprised to find chunks of aloe and peeled grapes floating in it. I imagine Orbitz must be ten times worse.
posted by ArsncHeart at 11:58 PM on June 6, 2003

whatever, the orbit girl is hot.

And that's my alcohol-induced waste-of-packets for the evening. Enjoy, kids!
posted by condour75 at 12:24 AM on June 7, 2003

no way! orbitz rocks!

i've still got about 5 bottles left. for those 'special' occasions.

the red one was the best.
posted by cody at 12:31 AM on June 7, 2003

Anybody remember the bubble-gum flavored cola from the 80s? It was a pink can, IIRC...
posted by davidmsc at 12:50 AM on June 7, 2003

I remember buying a few bottles of that crap back in high school. I think my mom still has one or two unopened ones. I'll never understand why they thought they had to mix like 7 flavors into one bottle...
posted by mabelcolby at 3:23 AM on June 7, 2003

De gustibus non disputandum. ;-)
posted by hairyeyeball at 5:08 AM on June 7, 2003

I have three bottles of Orbitz sitting on my Computer desk shelf:
Vanilla Orange
Blueberry Melon
Pineapple banana cherry coconut (with both red and White balls)

I have no idea what any of them taste like.

Note that their Official Website was Orbitz.com (plastered in several spots on the bottle) and they used it back in the day. Now Orbitz.com is a travel site.

I wonder if they taste as bad now, having aged, or if they are even fit for consumption.
posted by DBAPaul at 5:47 AM on June 7, 2003

The only thing wrong with that drink is they didn't do a Jetsons ad campaign tie-in. Make me believe I'm drinking the future and I'll happily swallow down the snot-balls.
Curiously their website was actually very "Jetsonian". The Wayback machine has some of their pages (sans graphics sadly).
posted by DBAPaul at 5:56 AM on June 7, 2003

I thought orbitz was the coolest thing. ...however, I only tasted the stuff once and it was a bottle given to me as a gift. What a cool idea.
posted by tomplus2 at 6:45 AM on June 7, 2003

For those of us old enough to remember the mid 1990s..

Um, so this means you're leaving out the 10-and-under Mefi crowd?
posted by crunchland at 6:50 AM on June 7, 2003

Woo-hoo! I'm on the list! In your face, skallas! ;-)
posted by rusty at 8:57 AM on June 7, 2003

teen pop was still a futuristic nightmare

every generation of wet behind the ears punks ALWAYS think THEY invented teen pop.
or was it sex?
posted by quonsar at 9:02 AM on June 7, 2003

I liked it :( sorry :(

although lets be honest here, nothing outclasses Clearly Canadian. that new gatorade fitness comes close, with orange and carrot Sobe closer still.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:39 AM on June 7, 2003

I was given a few bottles for some promotional thing, way back when.... I still have one.... Gave the others away... Never tried it.
posted by Espoo2 at 10:01 AM on June 7, 2003

Its a shining example of of American marketing in action.

Actually, I think it's a shining example of Canadian marketing.
posted by Fabulon7 at 10:34 AM on June 7, 2003

Eeew. I remember these! I had just moved to Austin and was walking around in a Planet K store (bizarre enough for a small town girl), and in the cooler they had all sorts of sodas I had never seen before. I grabbed one of the Vanilla Orange Orbitz ('cause it looked cool and my nickname was/is Orb). I got out to the car, opened it up, took a swig and almost puked. :D

I drank the whole damn thing though. After paying that much for it, I thought I ought to ... to remind myself to not buy strange looking sodas and stick to things I recognize. LOL!
posted by Orb at 12:46 PM on June 7, 2003

Actually, I think it's a shining example of Canadian marketing.

posted by samuelad at 1:38 PM on June 7, 2003

Can't remember the taste, but simply loved how it skeeved everyone out to watch me take a swig.
posted by Fupped Duck at 3:59 PM on June 7, 2003

I never tried Orbitz, but rusty was spot-on with OK Cola. It was only available in certain markets (I think it was being tested). I found some in Colorado Springs in the summer of 94, I think it was. Good stuff, great marketing. The 800-number on the can was full of hilarious stories, and you could leave your own for others to hear. And, in the gym where they practice the play in "Waiting for Guffman", you can spot an OK Cola machine in the background. I damn near pissed my pants when I saw it for the first time. I don't know if it was there before filming or if Chris Guest put it there purposely. Damn.
posted by Ufez Jones at 5:10 PM on June 7, 2003

There's a bottle of this (with the little yellow balls floating in it) sitting in one of the edit bays at work. Last week, a guy came in and grabbed it and was about to drink it -- I felt duty-bound to warn him.

And I liked OK Cola...even if it was Coke's craven attempt to market to Gen X: "What's the point of OK Cola? What's the point of anything?" one of their slogans went...

I wanna be on jonson's list too. [/whine]
posted by Vidiot at 5:13 PM on June 7, 2003

At the local icecream store down the street from where I live there used to be a whole rack of those horrible drinks just begging me to buy them, so I spent three weeks saving up my allowance money and finally went down to the store, bought the drink, watched in amazement as those little tapioca balls floated around, took a sip....
and immediately spat it out in disgust. I'm pretty sure I dumped the whole bottle out too.

But man, were those little balls cool or what?
posted by krazykity16 at 9:38 PM on June 7, 2003

I had Orbitz once, but only because the guy at the gas station told me there were pop rocks floating in there. Imagine my disappointment.
posted by mikrophon at 4:04 PM on June 8, 2003

The balls were cool. I wrote an article about Orbitz for my college newspaper (which appears to have disappeared from the web) and said something about putting it on top of a lamp and having a cheap lava lamp. I remember orbitz.com (before it was the travel site - odd that the airlines chose that name) said that Orbitz came from another planet, blah, blah, blah. Even Clearly Canadian didn't want to take responsibility for it.

I have a can of OK soda (coincidentally Coke's stock symbol KO turned backwards), but unfortunately don't have any Orbitz.
posted by Frank Grimes at 2:25 PM on June 9, 2003

haha, no way, orbitz were cool. i used to have a bottle sitting on my desk at work. wish i could still get them. heh.
posted by wrffr at 9:04 PM on June 9, 2003

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