Buying Wacky Packages at stores that are no longer around.

This is the first checklist of The Wacky Packages series from 1973.

Hello everyone! Today I am writing about my memories of the places that I bought Wacky Packages. They were a series of humorous trading cards featuring parodies of North American consumer products. They were first released in 1967 and they were moderately successful. In 1969, they were released a second time and they were called Wacky Ads. Not as successful as the previous series and some of the stickers were pulled because they were too controversial. The 1967 and 1969 series are very rare and are worth a lot of money today. In the spring of 1973, Wacky Packages returned as the official first series by the Topps Company. They were very popular and lasted until 1977. The first memory of seeing Wacky Packages was when I was in the fourth grade at Koraes Elementary School, which was temporarily located at W 83rd St & S Damen Ave in Chicago. One day, I was on the school bus on my way home and I saw this kid who sat across the aisle from me carrying his notebook that was covered with Wacky Packages. That piqued my curiosity greatly and I asked him where did you purchase those. He said he bought those at Kresge’s in Roseland. I lived in Roseland at the time and Kresge’s was located on S Michigan Ave right next door to Gately’s Peoples Store. When I got home, I asked my mother if she needed to shop at Kresge’s. She said yes, and we were on our way. When we arrived there, I asked my mother if I can buy the stickers. I saved some money at the time and she said yes. One package of those stickers cost 5 cents at the time. I had a quarter on me and I bought 5 packs. When we got home, I hurriedly opened them and saw how beautiful they were. I laughed at them too, because of all the funny pictures and products that were shown on the cards. The first series consisted of 30 stickers, according to the checklist. I never check them off, so I used my memory of which ones I had. The packs came with two stickers, a checklist and a piece of gum. The back of the checklists had pictures that form a puzzle of a Wacky Pack sticker. You had to get nine checklists to form the Gadzooka sticker. Sometimes the packs were duplicates and it was very frustrating to collect all 30 of them at the time. The second series was released in the summer of 1973. The series consisted of the 1969 series plus 8 new ones. I bought those as well. I had the entire series up until 1977. When we moved to Ashburn in September 1974, I bought some more from the new places around my neighborhood. Edward’s Drug Store, Crestline Pharmacy from my neighborhood, Turn-Style and Super-X Drugs at Ford City Mall, Zayre on Columbus Avenue, and the White Hen on W 79th St. When the series ended in 1977, I was hugely disappointed about the news. I don’t know what happened to the ones I collected, I must have thrown them away by accident. In 1979, the Topps Company reintroduced the Wacky Packages starting with the first series. In 1985, a new series was produced, but it only lasted two years. A new series of Wacky Packages have been released sporadically over the years. The last one was released in 2017. When I had those stickers, I used to trade some of them with the other kids in school. I only did that if they were duplicates. That was a lot of fun to see what the other kids had. Wacky Pages has a website that shows all the stickers and the unreleased ones. I also bought a book called The Wacky Packages Gallery at Comic-Con in San Diego. It had a complete list of the cards, posters, boxes and other wonderful things. It was published in 2000. Wacky Packages were a very entertaining card series that was unique in the 1970’s I laughed at most of them. The anticipation of each series of cards being released was very exciting for me when I was young. I miss those times very much. Well, that’s all for now. Thank you. Pete Kastanes, Admin for Vanished Chicagoland Facebook Page.

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