The Top Ten Reasons Why People Love Wacky Packages
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Ten Eight Reasons Why People Love Wacky Packs
And the bonus reason:
- The art. Norm Saunders was a genius painter, with fifty years' experience, and Wackys were his last great hoorah. He clearly put his heart into it. That no other company had a Norm Saunders explains why none of their knock-offs could ever really compete with wackys. Even when the joke was lacking or too obscure, as they often were, Norm's characters usually compensated.
- They were rebellious, making fun of iconic American products. Perfect humor for a 7 year old, they seemed so devious nobody could believe they could get away with it (and in fact they didn't always get away with it).
- They were funny and clever and the joke writers understood the sense of humor of kids. The humor was almost controversial at the time, but now in the days of anything goes we look back on it as a time of great innocence, that gives Wackys a whole new charm.
- They were novel. Stickers were cool, you could do something more with them than you could with baseball cards, you could plaster them all over the place and anger your parents.
- A significant segment of the population remembers them well. Almost everybody who was between five and ten years old in 1973 remembers Wackys. They were not just a fad that ran through some select circles, they were absolutely everywhere, few people could keep from noticing them. People who had kids at the right time also remember them, (though perhaps with a different attitude!). Wackys usually receive a lively response when shown to somebody who hasn't heard or thought about them in 20 or 30 years (you can see from some of the guestbook entries the effect they have on us).
They died a noble death. Wackys generated many cease and desist requests. Topps is now afraid to reissue them, even though they would most likely be popular. So ultimately Wackys died true to their rebellious spirit, they were taken down by force from the very corporations who were being teased. Pefect! Ironically however, while many corporations complained about being parodied, others complained about not having been parodied yet.
They weren't ruined by the evolution of collectibles marketing. Wackys were basically cease-and-desisted out of business, while all other collectibles became ruined by the evoluion of marketing: now there are intentional variations, short prints, special collectors editions, ad nauseum, which prey cruely on the collector spirit. Everything nowadays is artificial, even t.v. guide publishes five or six different "collector covers" just to take advantage of the completists. The US government rides the gravy train with an array of new "collectible" stamps all the time. And they run t.v. ads telling you not to use the pretty stamps but to save them. In other words they want to sell you a tiny piece of paper that costs less than a cent to make for several dimes. This kind of predatory colletibles fraud never happened to Wackys, fortunately. So Wackys are a pure colletible in this sense, one of the very few.
- Rare wackys are truly rare. Nowadays everybody thinks to save everything, so none of it will ever be worth much, the values of modern stuff is usually falsely inflated by dealers and their ilk. But when you find a 1960's or an early 1970's unopened box or pack or sheet of Wacky Packs, it truly survived by fluke. Only the crazy thought to save that stuff back then. And though there may have been a perception that baseball cards would be valuable one day, nobody really thought that way about Wackys, they were afterall stickers, to be used. That's what makes chasing Wackys so challenging, fun, and satisfying. Collectors get chills up and down their spines when they see something like a full box, it's like being taken through a time-warp.
- They brought kids together, both boys and girls, for over three decades. And now they bring adults together. As crazy as it may sound, a lot of people have made a lot of life long relationships through this hobby.
- Wackys are convenient. They are small, stack and store easily, and are easy to display and appreciate.
- You had to be there! It's impossible to explain the profound effect wackys have on people's memories and nostalgic feelings for 1973-5. But if you read the guestbook of this site and you'll see the amazing effect they have on people, even 30 years later.