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spacerClick hereAll New Wacky Packagees
with Mr. Stinkhead

The precursor to the infamous Garbage Pail Kids were TOPPS' Wacky Packages; trading card stickers that spoofed contemporary products. Each sticker resembled popular packaging, but with a bodily function, or otherwise subversive theme. Crest toothpaste was now Crust, Snickers is now Sneakers. Not only were they making fun of the logos and packaging, but they were gross and parents hated them. Kids can handle satire, the problem is that in other cases of kid-aimed satire, "grown-ups" have a tough time satirizing kids stuff. Kids don't like satire of things only their parents enjoy. (There were several Mad Magazine satires of R rated movies that I just didn't get when I was 8). However, I'm really enjoying this series, as these are spoofs that will be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.

Click hereInfact Garbage Pail Kid was originally slated as a Wacky Package, to spoof the Cabbage Patch Kid phenomenon in the early 80s. Don't correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this card was never produced so that they could launch the GPK line as a spin-off line. The artwork featured a beat-to-hell Cabbage Patch Kid box with a ripped-to-stuffings doll jammed inside.

Click hereDon't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of the GPKs, but I really like how the format of Wacky Packages allow for the punchline of the card to be more than just fart and booger jokes. If GPKs were elementary school, Wacky Packs are middle school. There are plenty of booger and weeping-sore jokes, but the play on words, and logo treatments are a little more intellectually satisfying.

Click hereOk, before you lose all faith in my journalistic integrity [Ed note: too late], let me explain. I'm a graphic designer, I've been studying packages and advertising since I was little. I love the extra mile that the artists went to to match the logos and fonts used on each package, inject a joke, and paint the whole thing to look like a three dimensional object. Sure it's easy if you have Photoshop, but this is hand drawn. The artistry involved is awe inspiring. [Ed note: Alright, that's far enough]

Click hereBeyond the collectible stickers (now on high gloss white card stock), there are also randomly inserted window cling stickers and temporary tattoos of popular cards. And, my favorite part, are the fake coupons and advertisements on the backs of many of the cards. Most of the cards have puzzle pieces, but a good number have coupons for non-existing products and services.

Click hereMy favorite part of the original 1980's GPKs were the little awards, 'wanted' posters, and fake Bazooka Joe-style comics that were on the back. The new GPKs only have puzzle pieces, but it's good to see the departure in format return. I enjoy seeing the TOPPS writers stick to a format to tie all of the cards together, but these card backs are a cool look at what they do when they're allowed to explore.

Click hereWacky Packages are in red foil packs of 6 cards for $.99, and just came out last week. Collect all 55 cards. You can see more at their web site WackyPackages.com For the fine art collectors in our midst, check out the original art auction TOPPS is holding at the end of June. Info and preview available at TheToppsVault.com.

Article © 2004 MillionairePlayboy.com. All images are © TOPPS.






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