Tag Archives: scratch and sniff stickers

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?

Smurfs Chocolate

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

Smurfs Cherry

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 #114: Gordy Scratch ‘n Sniff stickers!

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As I get older I often wonder how much the elementary school experience has changed for kids over the last 30 years.  I mean there are some obvious advancements in technology with tablets and smartphones in the home that have kids pseudo-computing and interfacing with software at a much younger age, but the basic curriculum and environment has to be pretty much the same right?  I mean for pre-K to 1st grade there has to be a lot of glitter, paste, construction paper, safety scissors, crayons, and macaroni art right?  Then you move on to that sweet D’Nealian newsprint writing paper with the blue and red guidelines right?

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I guess what I’m getting at is that I wonder if kids still get cool stickers on their graded homework and tests if they did a good job?  This was such a staple of my youth that I can’t imagine a world where this no longer applies.  One of the reasons that I was wondering is that it occurred to me the other day that I don’t think there are any companies making scratch and sniff stickers anymore.  Granted, I’m not trolling the school supply warehouses, but S’nS stickers aren’t being stocked in Hallmark stores or at places like Target or Walmart as far as I can tell.  So it’s kind of sad to think that kids may not be getting their papers back with a sticker that smells like gasoline or peanuts…

Well, anyway, I’ve written about scratch and sniff stickers at length before, mainly focusing on my personal favorite brand of stickers from my youth, Trend.  Back when I was first working on my Peel Here column I did a four part series on my collection of Trend stickers (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, & Part 4), and I pretty much hit on my favorite stickers and scents (man oh man do I love the smell of a gasoline scratch and sniff sticker.)  I also did a column on my collection of CTP scratch and sniff stickers which I don’t remember quite as well from childhood, but I know they were pretty damn popular (along with Mello Smello and the originator, 3M.)  For years I assumed that those were the big brands in sniff stickers, but after doing some digging recently I found another company that was producing sniff stickers in abundance in the 80s called Gordy.  They did a large series of Big League Chew, Bubble Yum, and Tootsie Roll-branded sniff sticker sets, but the stickers that really grabbed my attention recently are their in-house sniff stickers in the more standard 50-cent-piece size…

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These stickers came in sets of thirty six Smelly Packs, with two sheets of eighteen stickers, each sheet featuring three scents for a total of six scents per pack.  This was a lot different than the rest of the companies making scratch and sniff stickers which tended to keep the stickers limited to one scent per pack.  So these Gordy sets were really geared towards the sticker collector to maximize their collection.

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From the research I’ve done and the stickers I’ve been able to acquire I think there were about 72 different stickers in this series (I’ve only been able to get my hands on 57 of them though…

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Though Trend stickers will always have a special place in my heart because that’s the brand and imagery I have the most intense nostalgia for, I think these Gordy stickers are quickly becoming my favorites.  First off the artwork on the stickers is amazing and way more in the realm of cartoonist’s rendering from the Sunday comics than just the straight up doodle-style of Trend…

Gordy Scratch and Sniff 19

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…but there was also a whole heck of a lot more interesting, horrid and weird scents!  Where as Trend had a few “bad” smelling stickers, Gordy is packed full of examples like Barn Yard, Booze, Sewer, Dead Fish, Garbage, and Bad Breath!

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These smelly stickers are the equivalent of what Bernie Bott’s every flavor jelly beans are for kids today.  I’m surprised there wasn’t a vomit sticker, though granted, there are still 15 stickers I haven’t accounted for…

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Getting back to the cartoonist style of the illustrations, so many of these drawings remind me very much of the work of Evan Dorkin in his Dork series of comic books.  I mean, just look at these Raspberries below!

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That isn’t to say that there weren’t a ton of “good” scents too.  I also love that the drawings aren’t gender specific for the most part.  These more “girly” scents below feature some fun artwork that I think boys or girls growing up in the 80s would have dug…

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I also think the sets that were released are interesting.  All of these scans are fresh off the exact sheets they were originally sold in, so in some cases the trios make sense (like Perfume, Rose and Lilac), bu then you also have sets that are kind of insane combinations (like Raspberry, Blueberry and Tuna Fish?!?)  Then there are some that were just way ahead of their time like this combination of pastries, pies, cakes, and bacon.  Yeah, Gordy knew bacon was going to invade this market in the coming years…

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I like the tone of the humor in some of these stickers as well, like the fact that the Lemon sticker had a joke about getting a shitty car…

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…or that coconut is another term for crazy.

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And finally, a sticker that I’ve shared before when the super rad Belle Dee sent me scans of her childhood sticker collection a few years ago.  Probably the sexiest, most inappropriate for kids sticker that I’ve ever laid eyes on.  Behold, the majesty of the Gordy Banana sticker, which is just, well, bananas!

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