Peel Here & Scream, Day 15!

We’re almost halfway through the 2015 Countdown to Halloween and it’s really starting to feel like the season here at Branded HQ.  Since making the move to Maryland from Atlanta last winter I’ve been dying to know what it was like to experience a true summer to fall transition in a state where I’d get to see a more drastic change in the weather and foliage.  Maryland has not disappointed on that front.  The days have been in the mid 60s, the nights in the 40s and 50s and the leaves are starting to change.  Down in the south it’s not uncommon for the weather to stay in the 80s and 90s throughout November, and at least in the areas that I used to haunt the majority of the trees were everygreens and pines, so there was very little in the way of autumn colors on the leaves.  So it’s been really awesome to finally get a taste of what a true fall season is like.

So in honor of that, here’s the most autumn-y stickers I have to share on the countdown this year.  I’m not sure exactly on the date or company on this sheet, but I think they might be Amscam from around 1979-1981.


The illustration style is crude but a whole lot of fun and the whole sheet has a very heavy fall feel to it with lots of yellows, oranges, and browns.  Love it.

Swing back by tomorrow for more spooky sticker fun and again, if you have a second, check out the Countdown to Halloween official site for a list of hundreds of other sites participating in the month-long celebration of the holiday!


Peel Here & Scream, Day 14!

Welcome back to the Peel Here & Scream, the 2015 Branded Countdown to Halloween.  Well, sooner or later it had to happen.  Lisa Frank had to grace this site.  I’ll be honest, as sticker crazy as I was as a kid, it led me to breaking through the gender barrier when it came to falling in love with a lot of the more girl-oriented properties and brands (Strawberry Shortcake and Jem spring to mind.)  That being said, I just never got into Lisa Frank.  I was aware of all of the stickers, school supplies and clothes, but it fell way outside of the Venn diagram that made up my interests.  But as I said, being a guy who loves to collect and share a massive amount of vintage stickers, sooner or later I had to pick up some Lisa Frank stuff.  Running across these vintage Halloween stickers was the breaking point…

lisa frank

I’m not positive when these stickers were released, but if I had to guess I’d pinpoint it somewhere between 1987-1989.  First things first, Halloween dolphin with.  This sheet of stickers is covered in Halloween dolphin witches.  That is just…I mean…I’m not sure exactly what to say about it.  It’s like two nightmares merging, Ecco the Dolphin meets ridiculously colorful girly Lisa Frank.  It’s amazing.  That’s not even to discount the trick-or-treating surfer dude ghost duck.  There are just so many layers of WTF awesome on these sheet of stickers.

Aldo, this was perfectly weird timing as I noticed while I was finishing this piece that my good bud Ben over at just posted a bunch more of the Lisa Frank Halloween stickers from his vintage sticker collection!  Holy synchronicity Batman!

I’m not sure I can top this sheet, but swing back by tomorrow to see what I have to share next, and as always, be sure to check out the Countdown to Halloween website to find a list of a plethora of other sites also celebrating the month of October with blog-a-thons.


Peel Here & Scream, Day 13!

So, changing things up just a bit for day 13 of the Countdown to Halloween I thought it would be fun to share a set of the four Halloween-y Trend scratch-n-sniff stickers from the early 80s.  Though I know there were more Trend brand Halloween stickers than these four, I’m most familiar with these and can distinctly remember getting them on homework papers from elementary school.

trend witch

The scents on these stickers is all over the map from normal to weird.  For instance, the witch sticker above smelled like licorice, while the description on the skeletons below was bone (though it smells more like musk.)

trend Skeleton

These Trend ghosts are probably the best smelling of the bunch as they are coconut scented…

trend ghost

The Swooper bat below is described as cave-scented, but it really smells like a campfire.

trend bat

Swing back by tomorrow for another round of vintage Halloween stickers and remember to check out the Countdown to Halloween for a ton of other sites participating in this marathon of macabre all October long!


Peel Here & Scream! Day 12…

Welcome back to week 2 of the Countdown to Halloween here at Branded in the 80s.  To kick things off I wanted to share one of my favorite all-time Halloween-y Hallmark sticker sheets from the 80s, these amazing designs from 1984…

1984 Hallmark Halloween stickers 4

I absolutely freaking love these candy trick-or-treating designs!  It kills me that imagery of trick-or-treators is rare in vintage sticker sheets, but this sheets almost makes up for it. Remember to swing back by my metaphorical house tomorrow for more sticker treats.  And check out the Countdown to Halloween for a ton of other sites also handing out virtual goodies all month long!


Peel Here & Scream, Day 11!

Today’s Countdown to Halloween post is a another short but cute one as I take a moment to share another super cute set of stickers that are more adorable than creepy.  But they’re still heavy on the Halloween charm.  This sheet hails from 1982 and is another Hallmark sheet.  Is this the first Owl that’s graced this countdown?

1982 Hallmark


Peel Here & Scream! Day 9…

We’re nearing the end of the first full week of the Countdown to Halloween here at Branded.  Since I shared a sheet of pun-laden, gravestone-centric AGC stickers earlier in the week I thought it would be fun to share some Hallmark stickers that are in the same vein…

1984 Hallmark Halloween stickers 3

The jokes on these stones are pretty groan worthy, like zombie groans, but I adore the heck out of the illustrations.  That vampire is freaking adorable!  These hail from 1984, by the by.

Come back around tomorrow for another installment of the Halloween-y sticker countdown and if you’re looking for more sites celebrating the season like mine, you can find a plethora of ‘em with a metric ton of spooky content over at the Countdown to Halloween!


Peel Here & Scream! Day 8…

For today’s edition of Peel Here & Scream I’m going super traditional with a couple of Hallmark pumpkin sticker sheets.  They might not be the most exciting stickers, but they’re classics and I love ‘em.  First up is this sheet from 1981…

1981 Hallmark Halloween stickers 2

This second sheet is out of this world and hails from 1984.  Not exactly sure why these Jack O’Lanterns are in outer space, but I love, love, love them.  The only draw back on these sheet is the repetition.  At least that first sheet had about 14 different designs…

1984 Hallmark Halloween stickers 2

Remember to come back tomorrow for more Halloween-y sticker fun, and if you have a minute, head on over to the Countdown to Halloween website to scope out all the other sites participating in the 2015 blog marathon festivities!


Peel Here & Scream! Day 7…

For day seven of the Countdown to Halloween I’m jump back into my collection of spooky stickers for another edition of Peel Here & Scream.  Today I’m changing things up a tad by sharing a vintage sheet of AGC stickers (instead of Hallmark, which admittedly will dominate this countdown.)

1983 AGC

These stickers hail from 1983 and feature a bunch of Halloween-y gravestone puns.  They’re not all winners (Jack O. Lantern, really AGC?)  But some of these remind me of Garbage Pail Kid-style name puns which I love.  Dee Funct for the win.  Also, the illustration style of these stickers reminds me a ton of the Witch’s Night Out Halloween cartoon special.  If you’ve never seen it, do yourself a favor and check it out!

Let’s reconvene back here tomorrow for another installment of Peel Here & Scream, and remember, there’s a ton of other site participating in the Countdown to Halloween, all of which you can find at the site aptly named, Countdown to Halloween! ;)


These Should Exist: The Lost Boys Edition!

Over the past year I’ve been having a lot of fun with my latest Branded in the 80s project where I try and fill in some of the pop culture gaps when it comes to properties that weren’t merchandised nearly as well as they could have been back in the day.  The basic gist of the idea for me is creating mini sets of Topps trading cards for movies, TV shows and cartoons that never had sets of cards, but totally should have.  This idea started last year when I was working on my Countdown to Halloween theme of 31 days worth of articles and appreciate for one of my all time favorite flicks, The Monster Squad.  While putting that month’s worth of content together I thought it would be fun to create a digital set of trading cards that looked as accurate as possible to actual vintage Topps releases, up to and including recreating wax wrappers.  I had such a blast creating these and sharing them that I’ve worked on 5 additional sets in the last 12 months (including sets for Adventures in Babysitting, Rad, Jem & the Holograms and a couple sets that I co-created with my Cult Film Club co-host Paxton Holley for Young Guns & Young Guns II.)  Around June of this past year I started jotting down a list of all the flicks and shows that I felt needed card sets, and when the one-year anniversary of the Monster Squad cards was about to hit I went back to the list to find a flick that would be an appropriate Halloween-y follow up.

Lost Boys Wrapper A

The movie that immediately jumped out at me was The Lost Boys, which along with The Monster Squad were my first two big forays into watching horror flicks back when I was 10 years-old in 1987.  My parents had been very strict with my sister when it came to letting her watch R-rated movies, or anything even remotely resembling the horror genre, but they were a little bit looser with me.  For all intents and purposes 1987 was the year they gave up trying to keep me from watching more adult flicks, but before they completely let me loose in the horror section of the local video rental store with their rental card there were a handful of flicks that were sort of baby steps into horror for me.  The Monster Squad and The Lost Boys were these movies, and the latter in particular as it was aimed at a slightly older audience with the level of gore and intensity.

Lost Boys Wrapper C

Unlike most of the sets I’ve worked on so far, with the Lost Boys set I felt the urge to start with creating the wax wrapper and then work out from there.  When I sat down to tackle the wrappers I kind of wanted to go in two different directions with the style.  The mid-eighties was a time of transition for Topps in terms of style. They had begun to phase out the bold, italicized logo (the one on the wrappers above) in lieu of a more spindly, art deco logo.  There was also some shake up in terms of the pictures on the wrappers.  For a few sets they moved away from the high contrast, thick line art illustrations and instead went with photo realistic images that used black and white halftone shading and minimal color fills.  You can see this on the Supergirl and Cyndi Lauper wrappers.  So I got it in my head that I’d try my hand at doing both styles for the wrappers.

Lost Boys 1 - combo

As for the cards themselves, I knew I wanted to go with something stark and dark for the border colors and I hadn’t really done any black-bordered cards yet.  So I dug up some Jaws 2 cards and took a lot of inspiration from the fin design in the border to create a bat for the Lost Boys cards.  I’m really happy with how it turned out.

Lost Boys 2 - combo    Lost Boys 4 - combo

Lost Boys 3 - combo

Lost Boys 5 - combo    Lost Boys 6 - combo

This is also one of those movies (like the Monster Squad) where I could easily have created 80+ cards, but I decided to keep it tight with 15 cards.  Otherwise I’d probably still be working on this set next Halloween…

Lost Boys 10 - comboLost Boys 7 - combo    Lost Boys 8 - combo

Lost Boys 9 - combo

I did want to make sure that I hit on all the major characters though.  On my short list for cards that didn’t make the cut were Big Ed (the boardwalk cop), the punks, Nanook & Thorn, Michael eating Chinese takeout, and the Vampires Everywhere comic book…

Lost Boys 14 - combo

Lost Boys 11 - combo    Lost Boys 12 - combo

Lost Boys 13 - combo

Even though I skipped over some cards that I wanted to make, but didn’t.  There was one card that absolutely had to be made no matter what, Tim “Sax Man” Capello.  He “still believes” his card is the best in the set, and therefore I still believe that it’ll probably be the first one folks right-click on and save for their digital Lost Boys cards collection…

Lost Boys 15 - combo