Category Archives: Peel Here! Stickers of the 80s

So you wanna be a Ghostbuster huh?

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Okay, so this is sort of a bit of content recycling of stuff I’ve shared almost a decade ago here at Branded, but in the spirit (pun fully intended) of the new Ghostbusters flick debuting today I thought it would be fun to share my collection of Ghostbusters stickers again.  Besides, it gives me an excuse to dig out all of these from my archives and stare at them again for a bit…

First up, I want to go way back to the first Peel Here column at Branded and take a look at one of my favorite kinds of sticker merchandising from the 80s, the Antioch sticker storybooks!  These slim small books were released in the mid to late 80s and had a mix of heavily picture-driven adaptations of movies and TV shows.  Each book also featured a sheet of 12 stickers at the back of the book that were meant to be applied to each page as a sort of accomplishment for reading through the book. My all time favorite Antioch book is the adaptation of the first Ghostbusters flick…

imageMan, I love the cover design of these books so much, in particular that “12 Stickers” rainbow badge.  That always got me jazzed.  Here’s a look at the copyright page that has one of my all time favorite pieces of Ghostbusters artwork…

imageHow badass is that illustration?!  Here are the stickers that accompanied this book…

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Now these were covered in the first Peel Here column. When I tracked down the book to share here at the site, I was a little curious about the stickers that were included, as I seemed to remember ones that weren’t on the sheet that featured speech bubbles with Ghostbusters quotes and taglines.  It wasn’t until a year or so later when I found a picture online of the sticker sheet that I was thinking of. Since there isn’t really a resource on 23 year-old sticker storybooks, I sort of made an educated guess, figuring that there were probably variants of the books, one with more traditional stickers of the actors, and one with the GB quote stickers.

Well, it turns out that I was wrong, and I was actually combining memories of two separate Ghostbusters books, both printed by Antioch in 1984. I believe I had both, but for some reason I seem to remember the book portion of one more and the stickers of the other. Memory is such a weird thing, and it makes me wonder how many of mine are muddled like this; my brain picking and choosing the best moments to combines into a pleasant recollection of the past. It’s funny; I think this same phenomenon has also led a lot of people to remember things that didn’t exist at all, one of the best examples of which is a finally plot-resolving episode of the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon. The people who believe it exists, fervently believe that it exists, as they have specific memories of events in the episode, in particular a plot point in which one of the main characters was reunited with someone they came across in the realm. I’ve seen every episode of the cartoon, and there is no final episode (well at least not one that was filmed), and honestly the best explanation I can think of is that they are remembering various parts of separate episodes, combining them in their memory into an amalgamated final episode. Like I said, memory is a really weird thing.

Anyway, I eventually managed to track down a copy of the second Ghostbusters Antioch sticker/storybook from 1984, the Official Ghostbusters Training Manual: A Guide to Catching Ghosts…

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Here is a scan the stickers that were included with that book…

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What’s fun about tracking down older books like this, especially ones that came with disposable components like stickers, is that sometimes you can get a feel for how the owners felt about it. Typically, if you found this book in a used bookstore or on eBay the sticker sheet would be lost or used up with absolutely no evidence as to where they ended up. In the case of Antioch, a lot of their books were designed with a page at the back that the owner was supposed to stick the stickers on, and in this particular book’s case, the stickers were designed to be applied on every other page. Luckily there was only one sticker missing from the sheet, and it ended up in the book, so technically it’s still sort of entirely intact.

Unlike the other GB book, which was a straightforward concentrated version of the movie story, this book is actually something new, a training guide to becoming a Ghostbuster. According to this manual, after only ten short lessons (well 9 lessons and a graduation day celebration) anyone who is looking for a change in their life can become a ghost hunting fool. There is of course the matter of making sure you apply the correct sticker to the correct lesson page, but thankfully there are silhouetted hints to help with this.

For sake of ease I’ll paraphrase for those of you clicksters in the go that can’t be slowed down with reading an eleven-page book…

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Lesson 1: Buy a cheap run-down, possibly condemned building for a headquarters…

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Lesson 2: Acquire some large, eye-catching, yet amazingly cheap form of transportation…

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Lesson 3: Build your own proton pack if you don’t have access to a nuclear accelerator (it’s easy)…

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Lesson 4: Acquire or build a foot pedal operated ghost trap (handy schematic provided for construction purposes)…

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Lesson 5: Procure an Ecto-Containment Unit, probably the most daunting task as we’ve learned from the film that the EPA really hates unauthorized machinery located in rickety buildings, operated by people who build things like proton packs and ghost traps…

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Lesson 6: Grow a set of solid brass balls…

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Lesson 7: Know a slimer when you see one (as well as being prepared with old cold anchovy covered slices of pizza for bait)…

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Lesson 8: Learn to be weary of all statuary…

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Lesson 9: Final exam (i.e., pissing off a demigod while waiting for them to summon a giant piece of American iconography to test your mettle)…

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Lesson 10: Sign the certificate and start booking birthday parties because you’re on your way!

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Since I believe anyone who has made it through my cliff’s notes is just as capable of handling nuclear equipment as anyone who read the book, I’m also providing a cleaned up version of the certificate so that you too can bust some ghosts…

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There was also a book that adapted the second film…

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Here are the 12 stickers that came with this one…

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As much as I love these Antioch sticker books from the 80s, one of my recent passions has been collecting a bunch of bootleg stickers from popular movies and TV shows.  There’s just something amazingly fun about how bad these knock-offs can be.  Case in point these Ghostbusters puffy stickers.  You’ll know why I love these so much by the time you look at the last sticker on the sheet…

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That’s right, stare into the face of the ultimate doom that is…a panda?!  Much scarier than a terror dog right?

Last up for today I have my collection of some way more official puffy stickers from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon.  There were 4 of these sets made, but to date I’ve only managed to track down three of them…

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Last, but certainly not least today are my collection of the sticker cards from the subset of the 1989 Topps Ghostbusters II card set.  There is some really great pre-production art on these…

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And of course, here’s a look at the puzzle poster from the back of the cards…

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So, anyone have any other favorite Ghostbusters stickers from the 80s in your collections?  Share pics or links in the comments section, I’d love to see them…

Peel Here #120: What do Smurfs smell like anyway?

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Looking back at the past 10 years of running this site, it’s occurred to me that a lot has changed since those early days.  One of the things that really stands out to me is that I found it incredibly important to rigorously categorize the pieces I was writing into columns for the first few years.  At first this really helped me focus on topics and to keep a regular posting schedule.  But as time went on I really started to feel like I was boxing myself in a bit and that a lot of what I was writing became formulaic.  I don’t remember if it was a conscious decision on my part, but I know that I broke free of that and started letting my current passions and collections steer the content that I write about.  Though at the end of the day I much happier with where Branded is today, I do kind of miss some of the columns that I started way back when.  So I figured it would be fun to resurrect a few of them from time to time.

So today I’m dipping back into my Peel Here column by sharing some more of my favorite scratch and sniff stickers.  This time it’s a first series of Ganz Brothers Smurfs scratch and sniff stickers from 1983.  Though I know that these were released in both the US and Canada, when I was seeking these out for my collection I could only find packaging that was originally released in Canada…

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There were 12 different sets of stickers in the first series, each with a unique scent and three different designs related designs.  Each pack as contained 12 stickers, 4 of each design…

Smurfs Strawberry

I always loved these kind of branded and themed stickers as a kid.  I think a lot of it had to do with the idea that the characters on the stickers were also experiencing the same scent sensation, but it was also fun to see how the artists would work in the different smells into the artwork.  So of course Grumpy’s strawberry scented ice cream fell off his cone…

Smurfs Spearmint

On the other hand, I never would have guess that the Smurfs turned mint leaves into skateboards, but it’s pretty rad.

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It’s also interesting that Papa Smurf ends up very prominently it all the stickers that had red colored scents (strawberry, peppermint, cherry and rose.)  Granted, he’s also in a couple of the other sets, but I think it’s neat that the designers were probably thinking about the red ink and Papa Smurfs outfit.  If you’re going to keep these stickers three-color, you might as well capitalize on that…

Smurfs Peppermint

Similarly, in all the sets that feature Smurfette other designs would sometimes work in yellow since her hair color was already included.  There are exceptions of course like this peanut butter sticker set below.  Speaking of which, is that Grumpy or Handy about to massacre that peanut?!

Smurfs Peanut Butter

Smurfs Orange

As an adult it’s kind of fun to find the missed opportunities, like in this chocolate scented set below.  Why not have Chef Smurf carrying that cake?

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Or the fact that this cherry set below could have been branded Smurf Berry scented!

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And come on.  How can you not work Jokey into this banana set?!

Smurfs Banana

I think one of my favorite designs from this first series of stickers is the Grumpy Smurf with the popped bubblegum bubble (heck, anything that points to my online handle, Smurfwreck…)

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Lastly, I think it’s surprising that Brainy only ends up on a single sticker design in the first series.  Just this below root beer sticker…

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I love the suggestions on the back of the packaging as to where to stick your new Smurfy stickers.  Stick ‘em on your books (nope, nope, nope)!  Stick ‘em on your pirate puffy shirts (wha?!)

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I’m not positive how many series of these were made, but I know that I’ve seen a handful of other scents over the years including pizza, lemon, and fruit punch.  So I’d have to guess that there are at least two series.  Anyone know of any other scratch and sniff Smuff sticker scents?

Peel Here & Scream, Day 31!

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We’ve finally arrived on the big day!  Happy Halloween everyone!  Hoping today is full of hayrides, haunted houses, trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, Halloween parties, and all sorts of spooky merriment!  Me?  I’m going to kick pick one of the recipes out of the Vincent Price Cookbook, chill out and have a blast watching horror movies and handing out buckets of candy to kids this evening.

The last sticker for this countdown is a Mello Smello promo sticker given out at Circle K’s back in the 80s and feels like the perfect image to close out this season with…

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Again, hope everyone has a happy Halloween and thanks for stopping by Branded this month to check out all the vintage sticker fun.

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Peel Here & Scream, Day 30!

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Well, we’re just one day away from the big show, the 10th Halloween where I’ve been sharing creepy, spooky 80s era fun here at Branded in the 80s.  If there’s one thing I’m really grateful for when it comes to running this site it’s that it’s forced me to pay more attention to the little things that surround my favorite holiday.  Looking back, the 10 years that preceded Branded I feel like that era is just a blur where the Halloween-y celebrations were minimal at best and I wonder about how many cool things slipped by my radar during that time.  Ah well, maybe I’ll find out over the next 10 years when the folks start really waxing nostalgic over the late 90s and early 2000s.  I assume I’ll be a regular reader of the Branded in the Millennium website whenever someone starts that ;)

Now onto the stickers for today.  First up is this rather creepy sheet of stickers from Hallmark released back in 1982.  Even though the illustrations are on the cute and cuddly side, if you pay attention you’ll see that these stickers are a tad more intense than the fare that I’ve been sharing so far during the Countdown.  Take that vampire scarecrow for instance.  Instead of just posing with a cute black cat it looks like he’s about to attack it!  Or what about that spider that’s sizing up that bee that it’s about to devour?  Or those seriously frightened jack-o-lanterns, or that freaky ass tree monster!

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Alright, let’s bring the intensity down a notch with this sheet of stickers released by Paper Magic back around 1983-84.  The stand-outs for me on this sheet are the anthropomorphic potions in the witch’s cauldron (which are awesome in a scrubbing bubbles sort of way) and that ghostly duo that look like they’re one werewolf drummer away from an awesome band…

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Next up today are a couple of packs of Window Weirdos stickers released by the Sticker Store around 1980 or so.  I love these because they’re so sketchy, and the whole idea of peeking into the windows of a creepy house to see all the weird things living inside is genius!

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Last up today on this eve before Halloween is this small sheet of stickers that I haven’t been able to identify in terms of exact year or manufacturer.  I will say that I love the aesthetic and if I had to pinpoint it I’d guess these were released sometime between 1985-1987.  Also, Cowboy pumpkins for the win…

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Come back tomorrow for my final day of the 2015 Peel Here & Scream Countdown to Halloween!

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Peel Here & Scream, Day 29!

Peel_Here_ScreamFor today’s Peel Here & Scream I’m jumping in the haunted DeLorean and heading back to 1983 for these classic monster stickers from Hallmark.  Is that the most dapper werewolf you’ve every seen or what?!?

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I also dig that this sheet features the grim reaper.  He doesn’t get nearly enough play at Halloween if you ask me.  Also, dig the vamped out Bride of the monster on this sheet too.  Next up is a scratch-n-sniff pumpkin sheet also from Hallmark, though this time from 1984…

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Both of these sheets came complete with cut lines, so my assumption is that these were designed to be cut up and distributed as treats for Halloween.  Maybe proto Stick-R-Treats?

Anyway, there are only a couple days left, have you all got your plans in order for the big day?

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Peel Here & Scream, Day 28!

Peel_Here_ScreamWe’re getting down to the wire for this year’s Halloween season with just a handful of days left before our towns are besieged by tiny ghosts and goblins and we all get sick off of eating way too much candy.  I can’t wait to plant myself on the porch and hand out candy to a bunch of excited trick or treaters!  But enough about me, lets get to today’s stickers shares which is all about Hallmark Stick-R-Treats!

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Stick-R-Treats were sold in bags by Hallmark for folks to hand out in lieu of candy during Halloween from around 1983 to 1995 or so.  I didn’t get many as a kid, but I would have loved them in my pumpkin pail…

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Somewhere in my archive I also have a sheet of Gremlins stickers too.  I’ll have to update this post later with those…

**UPDATE**  Here’s that Gremlins sticker…

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Peel Here & Scream, Day 27!

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Sigh, this work week is already kicking my butt, but I’m not gonna let that keep me from sharing some fun vintage Halloween stickers! First up we have this awesome sheet of Hallmark stickers from 1980…

1980 Hallmark Halloween stickers

There is absolutely nothing I don’t love about that sheet of stickers.  Ghost mice eating candy corn, happy scarecrows, warm fuzzy devils, werewolves, and ghosts hiding behind their own “Boo”.

The other sheet I wanted to share today is just as adorable…

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What’s up wi all the mice eating candy corn stickers all of a sudden?!?  I’m not sure what company released this second sheet, but by the look of the artwork, I’d say that these were probably released around 1980-81.

Well, you know the drill.  Come back by tomorrow for even more Vintage Halloweeny sticker fun!

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Peel Here & Scream, Day 26!

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Welcome back to the last week of the 2015 Branded Countdown to Halloween!  Can you smell that?  Nope, it’s not a fresh batch of scratch ‘n sniff stickers, it’s freaking autumn!  I’ve been mentioning here and there that I recently made a long distance move from Atlanta to Maryland and one of the most jarring aspects to this change in scenery has been experiencing a true set of four seasons.  Down in the south we basically get two seasons, summer and winter.  At least in the area where I lived there weren’t a ton of leafy trees that changed color in the fall (mostly there were just various pine trees), and the temperatures usually went from a bamly, humid 90-100 degrees down to the 40s and 50s almost overnight sometime in mid to late November. Up here though, it’s far enough up north that the foliage is beautiful with vibrant red, orange and yellows in the leaves and you can actually smell autumn in the air.  That mix of dying and fallen leaves, the crispness to the 60 degree weather, and somewhere off in the distance a fire.  This is my first fall experiencing this and I feel like I’m in a movie, like those final moments in Big with all the autumn colors lining the streets and all the neighbors out raking the leaves into piles that kids are playing in.  It’s pretty awesome.

I’ve finally stocked up on candy for the trick or treaters, and the girlfriend and I have broken out our collection of Halloween TV show episodes, specials and movies.  I think I might even break out my copy of E.T. just to watch through the Halloween scenes of the film because today’s vintage sticker sheet is all about E.T. and the holiday…

E.T. Hallmark Halloween Stickers 1982

Released by Hallmark back in 1982, these stickers played up the Halloween-y aspect of the film without really touching on any of the imagery that’s in the movie.  We get one sticker with E.T. dressed as a ghost, but none of the kids, or even a silhouette of the group out and about which is a pretty iconic image from the film.  It’s a little weird, but still a very welcome addition to the season sticker collection.

Well, come back by tomorrow as I ratchet up the countdown and start sharing twice the amount of stickers during this last stretch to Halloween night!

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Peel Here & Scream, Day 25!

Peel_Here_ScreamAlright folks, this may be the last Sunday of the 2015 Countdown to Halloween, but there’s still a lot of fun left to share, so let’s dive right in with this trio of Ghostly sticker sheets!

This first sheet of spooks hails from 1987 and was released by Hallmark.  This sheet is a little weird because at first it appears that most of the illustrations are the exact same, but if you look closely there are subtle differences in each…

1987 Hallmark Halloween stickers 1

This second sheet is a sister release to the above sheet and features the same style of ghosts, though with a bit more panache!

1987 Hallmark Halloween stickers 2

Last up today is a sheet of specters released buy Amscan back in 1985.

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Swing back by tomorrow as we start the final march to October 31 with 6 more days of Halloween sticker fun!

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Peel Here & Scream, Day 24!

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Today begins the final week of the 2015 Countdown to Halloween, and that special night is approaching fast.  So for this last week I’m going to ratchet things up a bit and double the amount of stickers I share each day!  First up today is this sheet of pumpkin-heavy Amscan stickers that I think is from around 1986 or so and reminds me a lot of the paper cardstock decorations that my elementary and middle school classes used to put up each year.  I love the witch stirring her cauldron with a femur!

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Next up is this sheet from an unknown company that looks like it hails from somewhere between 1980-1982 if I had to guess based on the style of illustration on these.  I love that these are very pumpkin-heavy stickers too, and even though both of these sheets are in the more “adorable” vein there’s something about them that just screams Halloween to me.

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Stay tuned for more sticker craziness at Branded!

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