Tag Archives: Peel Here

Wax Paper Pop Art #12: One of the best looking mustaches in the business…

I’ve been falling in love with the USA network show Burn notice recently, and it’s got me thinking about all the tropes that make for a great one-and-done hour-long action shows.  And this got me thinking about Tom Selleck and his sweet ride.  So here you go…

Magnum P.I. Bubblegum Cards from Donruss, 1983.

Wax Paper Pop Art #11: Of black gloves and blonde nightsticks…

Can you hear the theme music?  I can.  And now I’m going to try and stop an out-of-control Winnebago that has an illegal poker game inside.  Or do I tackle that out-of-control go-cart with the wind-surfing sail attached?  Damnit, there’s also some unruly skateboarders tearing up the local sidewalks!  Of course Elvira is also in town, so there’s that too.  A CHiPie’s job is never done…

CHiPs Sticker Cards from Donruss, 1979 (which you can see here.)

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Wax Paper Pop Art #10: Before the WWF was pissing off panda enthusiasts…

Today’s waxy pop art comes from the 1985 Topps Pro Wrestling card set (which I’ve yet to procure any stickers for sadly.)

Peel Here #105: Rescued from 23 years of un-love!

The wife and I were browsing one of our local antique malls recently when I stumbled on a new booth with a couple bins of ephemera.  I usually strike out when I find stacks of magazines and paper as the stuff I’m interested in, kids stuff mostly, just doesn’t seem to register as profitable.   But something caught my eye that got me to stop, a bit of Mylar sticking out from the stack that looked really familiar.  Sure enough, it was the outer packaging of a sticker collecting set put out by Diamond back in 1987.  This particular set contained a G.I. Joe sticker collector album and ten packs of stickers…

I’ve talked about this fad before with a set of Jem, Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling, and the Filmation Ghostbusters stickers, but basically in the late 70s through the early 90s there were a handful of companies (the main one is called Panini) producing sticker collecting sets that took a cue from the excitement surrounding baseball and bubblegum cards.  Instead of releasing sheets of all purpose stickers, companies like Panini and Diamond would put together mini collector albums, these magazine-like books that you’d fill with specific stickers to illustrate a story or to fill out sports team rosters.  The hobby is mainly a European one which is still going strong today.  I haven’t really seen is stateside since the 90s though.

  

What’s a little sad is that while inspecting the set I noticed that there was a little piece of wrapping paper tapes to the back.  This had been intended as a Christmas present for someone back in 1987 and it was never opened.  For 23 years this sticker set has been laying around unloved, and I planned on righting that wrong.  I never had the G.I. Joe set growing up (I only had a handful of Topps branded baseball sets and the Transformers the Movie set), so I was really excited to get this home and see what was inside…

My biggest fear was that the stickers wouldn’t stick to the pages after all this time.  Of all the stickers in my collection, there are only a handful that could probably still be used as intended.  Most, including just about all of the Topps, Donruss, and Fleer sticker cards have bonded semi-permanently with their backing, and even if they can be peeled up, they just don’t have any stick left in them.  With a sticker book like this it would be a shame if they didn’t work anymore, but my fears were assuaged.  The stickers stuck just fine!

One of the things that I love about this set is that it featured a bunch of stickers which utilized the packaging art from the figures.  I love this art and it’s really cool to finally get a hold of some for characters that I hadn’t seen in years like Chuckles and Jinx.  I only managed to get 4 of these pieces in the 10 packs which is kind of a shame.  It makes me want to rush over to eBay and see if I can’t complete this set…

   

These album sets were also fun because they typically featured some sort of activities on the pages to go along with the story and the stickers.  The gimmicks in this set are hidden printing on the pages, much like the McDonald’s calendar I shared a while ago.  The set comes with a little red cellophane decoder screen that filters out the obscuring red ink overlays to reveal secret messages, character file-card info, and the answers to puzzles.  Below you can get an idea of what these games were like with the mismatched hats of the following four Joe team members (which I’ve digitally un-obscured with the modern magic of Photoshop…)

It’s also kind of neat that Diamond took the time to print out the sticker images on the majority of the spots where the actual stickers are supposed to be applied so that kids who couldn’t track them all down had a chance to more or less follow along with the story (again with their trusty decoder strip.)  The one time when they refrained from this was with the images that required multiple stickers to complete.  These are considered top secret, which is also kind of neat as it enhances the collectability factor.  I know I always relished the feeling of completing a four-sticker image.  The artwork in the album is pretty decent as well (even though the cover of the book is kind of fugly.)  In particular I really dug this hidden image of Zartan posing as a government agent.

Again, through the magic of Photoshop we can see both images clearly probably for the first time in 23 years…

  

My favorite piece of art by far is on the back cover.  It features a bunch of the season two (of the cartoon series) Joes as well as a kid with a walking stick against going into battle against a single B.A.T. and a bunch of Crimson Guard soldiers.  The painting also features a rare moment where Lifeline, the medic in red at the front of the charge, is strapped.  Odd considering the character is a pacifist and all…

I also thought it was interesting that the company featured a sticker trading policy where anyone could trade any two doubles for a specific sticker they desired.  I wonder how many kids took advantage of this service?

If nothing else, I had a lot of fun peeling these stickers and placing them in the collector’s album.  Even if it sat for 23 years, this book finally got some of the love it deserved!

Wax Paper Pop Art #9: That’s one primary-colored Knight Rider…

I wonder why the person in charge of picking the colors for this 1982 Donruss Knight Rider wax pack didn’t think to switch out the red and blue of Michael’s shirt and jacket to get it a bit more accurate to the show?  Anyway, I wish these cards had a sticker card subset, but alas, they didn’t…

Wax Paper Pop Art #8: 3-Color Dukes edition…

Speaking of the Orange, Blue, Yellow combo, here’s a couple of other wax wrappers that hit this in a slightly different way…

 

Dukes of Hazzard (Donruss, 1980)

 

Dukes of Hazzard, Design #2 (Donruss, 1980)

Peel Here #104: Holy Crap!

I’ve talked a lot about collecting here at Branded, and on a few occasions I’ve discussed how the hobby leads to certain unobtainable “holy grail” items.  The hobby is, by nature, goal driven; when you find one thing, one object that you desired and enjoyed, as a collector you’ll inevitably seek out another item linked to the first and so on.   It’s these goals that keep you going, looking for the next piece to acquire, and the beauty of most collections is that there is usually one item that is really hard to obtain.  Personally, though it’s frustrating during the hunt, this unobtainability is what keeps the fire stoked; it’s what keeps it interesting.

Though I’d consider myself a collector, I’ve always been hampered by my own frugality.   As much as I’ve wanted certain expensive things over the years I’ve found that I have a hard time paying much more than bargain prices.   If I can’t find it cheap, then it can wait.  So even though some of my “holy grail” items are available, it’s unlikely that I’ll ever add ‘em to the collection based on crazy high collector’s prices.  I’d resigned myself to the fact that no matter how much I wanted a set of 1st series Garbage Pail Kids stickers, it just wasn’t going to happen.  The set runs upwards of $300 on eBay, which is roughly $280 more than I’d ever be willing to pay for 82 sticker cards.  But the hunt kept me searching.  About seven months ago I stumbled across a single 1st series card, 36a Wrapin’ Ruth, in a comic shop.   I was so stoked because I’d never seen one up close, and it was only a buck.  I snatched it up and put it proudly at the beginning of my collection, just waiting for the other 81 stickers to eventually join it.  I wasn’t holding my breath.

Then, just a couple weeks ago, a co-worker came in with a big bag of miscellaneous Garbage Pail Kids cards.  Her son had just gotten into the newer series and one of her friends had given her a bunch of their old stickers to pass on to him.  Since they were older and because she knew that I collected them myself, she gave me first crack at them considering that her son would be more interested in using them as stickers than collecting them.   This has happened before, people have given me a stack of cards to rifle through, either to help them find anything “worth some money” or to add to my collection.   Typically there isn’t anything of value, and usually the cards are in pretty bad shape.  This stack was no different as you can see in the 1st picture above…

Some of the cards looked like they’d been dipped in beef stew, while others suffered from the normal issues; checklists had been ticked off and there was a fair share of cards that were either written on or were missing borders.   But as I started sorting the stickers into piles (beef stew, borderless, doubles of stuff I already had), I found a pocket of cards that were stuck together.  As I carefully pried them apart I realized that they were 1st series cards, and they were in pretty good condition.  Well, they were actually pretty bad in that they all had a thick line of residual tape glue on the backs where they’d been taped into a picture album, but none of them looked like they’d been dipped in stew.

I decided to take my lunch so that I could concentrate on the stickers, and a half an hour later I was staring at a sight that I honestly never expected to see, a near complete set of 1st series Garbage Pail Kids stickers!  I kept muttering, “Holy crap…” under my breath as I was sorting and I found more and more of the set.

All told, the set was only 14 stickers short (including my Wrappin’ Ruth), and whoever had collected these as a kid had managed to at least get at least one of each of the A&B stickers except for one set.  So even though the set isn’t complete, all but one of the John Pound paintings are accounted for, as well as most of the Tom Bunk illustrated certificate backings.

After spending a good four hours rubbing off the residual tape glue, and putting them into card pages that evening I was finally looking at something I never thought I’d have.  Granted, the cards aren’t in the best condition, but who cares!

Not to look a gift-horse in the mouth, but I was a little bummed that there wasn’t a Potty Scotty sticker.  Growing up, though I never managed to see any of these stickers firsthand, I was aware of a handful of the cards based on other GPK merchandising.  In my eyes there were six main cards that sort of defined the series and Garbage Pail Kids as a whole, Adam Bomb, Dead Ted, Nasty Nick, Bony Joanie, Brainy Janie, and Potty Scotty.  In fact, any GPK that featured a toilet was sort of like the equivalent to Bobba Fett or Wedge Antilles in the Star Wars Universe.  I’m glad I snagged a Jason Basin though…

This is kind of a silly thing to admit, but for years I used to have this reoccurring dream where I was in an orchard of trees that had GPKs instead of leaves.  It was perpetually Fall and the stickers where falling to the ground in big heaps and I’d spend the whole dream raking up the cards and sorting them by series.  I’d always get so depressed after waking up and realizing that the big pile of 1st series GPKs weren’t real.  The past two weeks have felt like that dream.  I guess in some way, as glad as I am to have finally scored these stickers, it’s sort of anticlimactic in a way.  The hunt is mostly over.  Sure, I can pick up the missing 14 stickers over time (if I can find the damn things cheap enough), but I almost don’t want to.

I did decide to go ahead and order one sticker, 35b Rockin’ Robert.  Seemed like a shame to be missing the one John Pound painting.  I think I’m going to have to consider Potty Scotty as the new holy grail for my GPK collection…

Anyone out there have any stories of stumbling on your own holy grail items?

Update!! I received my Rockin’ Robert…

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Wax Paper Pop Art #7: Chester Copperpot, eat your heart out…

In a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Goonies, today’s Wax Paper Pop Art features two wrappers from the 1985 Topps bubblegum card set.

I talked about the stickers from this set here.

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Wax Paper Pop Art #6: Orange-Blue-Yellow

This week brings a slight theme, orange-yellow-blue.  Most of the bubblegum card wax wrappers I’ve seen have limited color palettes, between two and four colors, and a good chunk of them feature yellow and blue.  So these three really jumped out at me…  

Space: 1999 (Donruss, 1976)

 

Elvis (Donruss, 1978)

 

Three’s Company (Topps, 1978).  I talked about the stickers here.

Peel Here #103: Look after Mr. Bond. See that some harm comes to him…

For the most part as a kid I was pretty unfamiliar with the whole cult of personality surrounding the James Bond franchise.   For some reason, aside from A View to a Kill and the Timothy Dalton flicks, I never ran across any of the films on Saturday Afternoon TV, so I was almost completely unaware of the Sean Connery flicks or a lot of the character’s conventions.  In fact it wasn’t until the James Bond Jr. cartoon in the early 90s that I really started paying any attention to the series.  I think a lot of this has to do with the idea that the Bond films have always been aimed a bit more at an adult audience, though I have to say that Roger Moore’s Bond feels a whole heck of a lot more like the Adam West Batman series than I ever would have guessed before seeing the flicks.   I did know Moore from his part in one of the Cannonball Run flicks, but I never realized how dead on his self-parody was until I watched Moonraker for the first time last year.

It doesn’t surprise me that Moonraker garnered a series of Topps non-sport cards as it was trying to appeal to the Star Wars fans, and for the first time I think also to kids more than adults.  I think it’s also one of the first instances of taking a franchise character to space in an attempt to breathe new life into a series (well Robinson Crusoe on Mars not withstanding), which is way crazier than jumping any scurvy shark (so maybe Happy Days really went too far with their intergalactic time traveling show.)  So Moonraker is most likely to blame for Gilligan’s Planet and Jason Goes to Space

Of these stickers my personal favorite is number six, the one with the gondola driver getting whacked as Bond sails along leisurely in Florence.  It has to be the one sticker in the set that kids everywhere either threw away or tried desperately to trade for a Jaws portrait or the space station sticker.  Personally, I think the absurdity of the sticker sums up the zaniness of the film for me.

Even though the Dalton flicks are my favorite in the series (I know, it’s heresy I tell you) I’m glad they didn’t get the sticker treatment.  I couldn’t imagine 22 stickers with Dalton’s over-emotional Bond on the verge of silent hate-filled tears, though I would totally love some pock-marked Robert Davi stickers.   Those would be swell…