Wacky Packages - The 1991 Release


I remember my first exposure to Wacky Packages. My mom pointed them out in a dollar store and said "Hey, I remember those from when I was a kid". This was in 1992, just after these amazing trading card/stickers had re-emerged.

Wacky Packages are stickers, that look like trading cards released by Topps. They parody all kinds of products from candy and pop (my Canadian word for Soda), video games, movies and food. The artwork of the stickers is always gross, bearing resemblance to the Garbage Pail Kids trading cards. On the back there can be a variety of things. Some cards have a puzzle piece, like trading cards from the Batman movie, or Terminator 2 trading cards. Other cards have fake coupons for gross, but not parody, products. And some cards hold an all-important checklist for the series. Another amazing quality of these cards is the relentless use of puns by the artists throughout the image. Check out this parody of Sweet N Low coffee sweetener:


Wacky Packages were first released in 1967. Much of the artwork was done by Art Spiegelman, now famous for his graphic novels Maus and Maus II. They continued to come out through the 70's. After their hype died, Topps tried to revive their popularity in the 80's, and again in the early 90's. I owned the entire 1991 collection, and had doubles or triples of many cards. There's still some stuck to my stereo next to me as I type. The greatest anecdote I have about Wacky-Packs, as I called them, is about my family trip to New Brunswick. For anyone who doesn't know, NB is a small province in Canada, just north of Maine. We went to this mall and I saw the stickers for sale. I had already collected a number of them but lost interest. Then I found out they were only $0.25 for a pack. Each pack had 5 cards, so I bought the whole box of about 50 packs. I spent all my souvenir money an these things...totally worth it.

What's so great about the 1991 series?? These hilarious stickers use the gross-out humour and gratuitous violence that defined the 80's and early 90's. At the same time they bring back the memories of using or seeing ads for the products they mock. The movies, games and books they parody are definitive 90's selections, creating nostalgia within nostalgia. For instance:

Who doesn't love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles??



Rambo taught me to be a man, Bambi taught me to be sensitive.



I don't know how Topps got away with this one...



And my personal favorite...tell me, when are farts not funny??



Recently, Topps has released Wacky Packages in effort to rekindle the flame these treasures once had. Everything from Harry Potter to Nutter Butters are parodied. I assume you can find these new ones in conveniance stores, but if you want the real deal you'll need to check eBay. The older versions of Wacky Packages are pretty good as well, but have become much more valuable than the 1991 cards. Also, some of the products depicted haven't been made in decades, so the joke might be lost to some.

Topps has an offical webpage made for the new series of cards.
Check it out. http://www.wackypackages.com/