Although the sun is a temperamental visitor to the UK, when it does show its face, the first thing that springs to mind is the humble ice lolly! There are plenty of lollies in supermarket freezers these days, such as the classics Magnum and Solero but none compare with the classics of old. We’re talking about the ice lollies from the ice cream vans during the 80s and 90s. So roll up the retro ices! Check out this list of lollies and tell us which is your favourite:


The list blasts off with the Rocket. This red, yellow and purple ice was always perfect on a summers’ day. This is a no nonsense ice lolly, no ice cream or funny business, just straight up ice with three flavours working their way down the Rocket in stripes. The bottom third was zingy pineapple flavour for a power finish.


Fab is one of the all-time great ice lollies. The top third is chocolate with coloured sprinkles, the middle section reveals the second layer of ice cream, while the strawberry ice at the centre is revealed on the bottom third. The genius of the Fab is the strawberry ice finish for refreshment after the ice cream and chocolate feast.

Funny Feet

The hilarious Funny Feet (shouldn’t it have been Funny Foot?) was pink ice cream in the shape of a foot on a stick. Sounds unlikely but true! This delightful ice cream was strawberry flavour throughout. The Funny Feet ice cream had a complete set of toes, which you bit off one by one until you were left with a pink blob on a stick. These are back on the shelves in supermarkets, but we’re sure they are smaller now than in the 80s.

Nobbly Bobbly

Our favourite: the Nobbly Bobbly. This dream dessert has the delicious combination of strawberry and chocolate together in an easy-to-eat rectangle shape with every inch covered in hundreds and thousands or, as we like to think of them, the bobblies.


The twister is probably the most refreshing of all the retro ices, combining strawberry and lime ice with pineapple ice cream. Twisters have a made a big come-back in recent times, but seem to only be around in the mini version. One of the very best.

Strawberry Split

A simple classic. The Strawberry Split is vanilla ice cream with the top half covered in strawberry flavoured ice. No messing here, just plain delicious goodness. A similar offering was the Orange Maid but this had no ice cream in the middle so Strawberry Split won out every time.


Unique among the retro ices with its innovative cardboard shell, Calippo was one of the poshest ice lollies. The classic Calippo was syrupy orange but all flavours were equally refreshing. Contained in its long cardboard wrapper, you gently pushed the Calippo out from the tube to suck on the top. The only drawback was it was too cold to hold without wrapping in kitchen roll first and the cardboard went all soggy at the top. The best bit was always the dregs, which consisted of syrupy liquid and icy slush. Gorgeous.


Feast is the big boy of the pack – the only retro lolly to contain nuts. Chocolate ice cream wrapped in a chocolate shell with bits of nut all over the surface made the Feast more of a meal than a lolly. This was the kind of satisfying lolly you could eat if you missed lunch – the Snickers of the ice cream world.

Screw Ball

This upside down plastic cone housed a naughty raspberry ripple ice cream with a bubble gum treat at the bottom. The bubble gum was a totally unique idea but it was possibly this innovative twist that made the screw ball more expensive than the other lollies.

Mr Whippy / 99

Who could forget the ice cream van classic? Even though not strictly a lolly, this creamy marvel had to make it into the top 10! Mr Whippy was always a bit of a gamble because it partly depended on the skill and generosity of the server. You could end up with a perfectly formed tall, shapely ice cream twist perched atop the cone, or it could be a dripping sad mess before you even got to touch it.

The 99 was a Mr Whippy with a chocolate flake added. The drawback of Mr Whippy in any of its guises was that the ice cream man’s hands touched the cone after touching everyone’s bacteria-ridden money. But it tasted divine!

So there you have it, the definitive list of the best retro ice lollies. There are a number of other tasty ices that didn’t quite make it to the top 10, including Mr Freeze and Lemonade Sparkle, but we think this hall of fame is otherwise pretty spot on.

Which lolly would be your choice for a healthier treat? We opt for the rocket – pure ice. It also sounds like it might make you run that bit faster.

What do you think? Did this top 10 include all your favourite retro lollies?