I just found a box of "stuff"--for a lack of a better way to put it--that survived from my childhood. One of the coolest things I found was this "Wacky Packages" (actually, "Wacky-Packages"-type) trading card!

"Wacky Packages" were (and are) a series of trading cards and stickers that parodied popular American products. No product, no name brand seemed off-limits. Crest toothpaste was "Crust." Eveready batteries were...of course..."Neveready."

 

Topps Company put out the cardboard cards, starting in 1967.  They were about the same size as baseball trading cards (2.5" x 3.5"). Cartoonists and comics artists came up with the wacky parodies, from 1967-1969, then 1973 to 1976, and 1985 and 1991, plus 2004, and an "old school series" in 2010. This newest series features 33 new cards, but they are parodies of products that were available in the "classic" years. The latest cards are intended to appeal to collectors.

The back of my 1976 "Grumplin" Card. (Craig Allen photo)

My card, a knock-off of the real thing, came from the 1973-1976 period. I have to admit that I have NO IDEA where and how I obtained this "fake." And, why can't I find any of my real Wacky Packages cards?!

Back to the real "Topps" cards: sixteen series were produced in that 3-year period (1973-1976). The authentic cards were sold in 5-cent packs! There were about 30 cards in each series, and 9 puzzle cards with a series checklist.

Many card reprints have been issued over the years, especially from the 1970's series. Occasionally, "Wacky Packages" have been used as free promotional tie-ins with other products. For example, Wonder Bread and Ralston-Purina cereals (in the 70's) used them as free, inserted premiums (read: "toys").

I know that this card survived because my parents had a "Gremlin" in my youth. I learned to drive in that blue 1972 AMC Gremlin X.

The 1972 Gremlin X in the driveway in the early 1980s. (Craig Allen photo)

Memories!

Do you have any (REAL) "Wacky Packages" from back in the day?

2008 Topps Wacky Packages Flashback Stickers, 72 card set. (amazon.com)

What (other) products do you remember the cards spoofing? Join the conversation below!