Tag Archives: Trading Cards

Wax Paper Pop Art #29, Assembling some of the Avengers…

Well, it’s Friday and I’m really looking forward to the weekend and catching the Avengers sometime tomorrow morning.  Seems like a good opportunity to share my two main Marvel comics wax wrappers.  First up is the wrapper for the Topps Marvel Comic Book Heroes Stickers from 1974

I didn’t have any wrappers that were more in line with the Avengers, so I figured it’d be fun to pair the above with my favorite wax wrapper of all time from the 1979 Topps Incredible Hulk card set!

Here’s to hoping the Hulk gets to smash a bunch of stuff tomorrow…

Wax Paper Pop Art #28, The Ewoks Join the Fight!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I slapped together a Wax Paper Pop Art post.  I’ve got to get on the ball and finish scanning my collection so I can start these up again.  In the meantime, and in honor of my BFF Wicket W. Warrick stuffed toy, here are a couple of wrappers from Topps Return of the Jedi card series circa 1983…

I find it fascinating that the designers decided that out of all the Ewoks they could have featured on one of these wax packs they decided to include a baby.  Granted, they were cute as hell, but aesthetically speaking wouldn’t Logray or Chief Chirpa have been a better choice?

I think it’s safe to say that this is my favorite book ever!

Yesterday I opened the mailbox to see a package from Amazon and my heart skipped a beat. For well over 15 years I’ve been dreaming about the idea of my perfect coffee table book, and in that little brown box I knew it was about to become a reality.  For anyone who’s been reading the site for any length of time probably already knows, I’m a huge Garbage Pail Kids nut.  Collecting and trading those stickers was a very big part of my youth, and though my original collection was lost decades ago I still cherished my memories of those gross and funny sticker cards.  By hook and by crook I’ve managed to rebuild a pretty decent collection of the vintage GPKs, including a near complete series one set that I never thought I’d manage.  All the while though I keep hoping that one day Topps would step up and release a nice photo book that reprinted all the awesome artwork from the original 15 series.  Heck, at least the first three series would have been awesome.

A few years ago my hopes got a big boost when Abrams and Topps released the first two volumes of their Wacky Packages retrospective (Volume 1 and Volume 2); I mean a nice GPK book would surely have to follow.  Well, one of the wonderful editors at Abrams assured me that something was in the works, and for the past six months I’ve been dying to see the final product.  Well, the wait was finally over…

Needless to say I ripped through the Amazon packaging so that I could finally put my hands on this coveted Garbage Pail Kids  tome and it’s pretty much everything I could ever want in a coffee table book.  This volume reprints the first five GPK series (206 separate paintings in all) which covers the initial boom of the phenomena.  There’s a forward by series mastermind Art Spiegelman that gives a nice overview of how the original series came about, and a short but sweet afterword by the original GPK artist John Pound which has some fun insights into his participation as well.  This book isn’t about the history of the stickers though, it’s all about a gorgeous presentation of the cards themselves.  In that department I think the book is amazing with only a few caveats in the missed-opportunity department.

  

First and foremost, the volume is beautifully designed in the same fashion as the Wacky Packages books, including a wax paper dust cover (which is still a very clever detail) and various bits of GPK collecting imagery (empty sticker backs, empty card boxes, stale sticks of chewing gum, and examples of the first five wax packages.) T he artwork of the cards themselves is presented pretty close to the actual size of the original paintings if I’m not mistaken, which is a very nice touch as well.  There was also a lot of care in how the “sister/brother – A& B” naming of the cards was represented, as well as working in imagery from the checklist design, and a handful of the series one Nutty Awards cardbacks.  There are even 4 included stickers that never made it press in any of the original series (for various reasons, but mostly due to overly violent imagery is my guess.)

There are a couple details that I think would have been nice to see though.  Since part of the deal with Topps was that the artists didn’t sign their work, it would have been nice if the various artists had some sort of attribution by each piece in the book.  Granted, John Pound did all the sticker artwork for the first two series, but Tom Bunk joined in on series three, and for those not versed in telling the two artists apart it would have been a nice touch.  The other thing that I would have wanted to see would have been a better representation of the cardbacks for each series.  As I mentioned above, there are a handful of the series one Nutty Award backs on the inside front cover of the book, but there aren’t any from the remaining 4 series in this volume at all.  Even if there were only a couple sampled at a smaller size in each chapter it would have gone a long way to completing the experience of collecting these sticker cards in the book.  Again, not a huge complaint, just a missed opportunity.

  

All in all though, I am so excited that this Garbage Pail Kids book finally exists and is sitting here right in front of me as I type this.  I’ve already flipped though this book 10 times and I still kind of can’t believe it’s actually real.  I know that may sound like hyperbole, but it’s true.  The only thing that could top this would be seeing two more volumes collecting the remaining ten vintage sets in the near future. Abrams, are you listening?

Wax Paper Pop Art #27, The most powerful wrappers in the universe!

Today is Friday the 13th which seems like the perfect opportunity to share some cool Jason Vorhees themed bits of Wax Paper Pop Art, but alas none exist.  This reminds me of one of my favorite blogs that is sadly defunct, the Bubblegum Fink.  BF was a huge influence on Branded, and one of the really cool things he did was to create sets of digital trading cards that aped the style of Topps sets back in the 70s and 80s.  One of my favorite would-be sets was for Friday the 13th, and it would have been awesome had it actually existed.  I never saved any of the images sadly, but here’s a post of someone else who took notice of these awesome pieces of should-be-nostalgia

Anyway, in lieu of simplistic Hockey Mask art I thought I’d share a set of some of my favorite Topps card wrappers from the Masters of the Universe series circa 1984…

These images, in particular of He-Man and Skeletor were very prevalent on MOTU merchandising back in the day.  Actually both of them also grace the two Lazer Blazer sticker sets as well.  It’s kind of cool to get a chance to see the same image in so many iterations over the years…

   

I talked about the sticker cards from this set, as well as a bunch of other MOTU stickers in an older Peel Here column.

Wax Paper Pop Art #26, Sucking at a video game was never so pretty…

For today’s WWPA I thought I’d share a wrapper for a set of cards and stickers that I haven’t been able to get my hands on just yet.  The 1983 Fleer Dragon’s Lair game cards and stickers…

The few times I’ve played the original arcade game it totally kicked my butt.  It was beautiful though, as Don Bluth’s animation tends to be.  To hear all about it check out episode 81 of the Retroist Podcast!

Wax Paper Pop Art #25, the Rocket Launcher edition…

Since I ended up talking about the Rambo cartoon yesterday it only seems fitting to end the week with a bit of Rambo Wax Paper Pop Art.  This wrapper is from the 1985 Topps card set (I’ve posted about the stickers in the past…)

Wax Paper Pop Art #24, T-M-N-T-Turtle POWER!

So, I thought I was going to be able to get to scanning the Baseballs’ Greatest Grossouts stickers earlier in the week, but that fell through so I thought I’d bump up this week’s Wax Paper Pop Art.  Hopefully I’ll be able to tackle those stickers tonight.

Anyway, in keeping with the slight theme of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I thought I’d share my collection of TMNT wax wrappers.  Before I get to that though, I wanted to give an update for the postcard project I started on Tuesday.  22 of the 24 postcards have been claimed, and so far they’re being mailed out to twelve different states and provinces in the US, as well as four other countries spanning three continents.  There are two left, an April O’Neil and a Splinter, waiting for homes to be mailed to, so check out the post below for details.  I’m super excited at the response to this idea and I think I might do some additional postcard runs in the coming year (I already have an idea for this coming October…)

Now, on to the WPPA.  First up we have the four wrappers from the 1989 Topps cartoon stickers and cards set…

  

   

Next up is the wrapper for the 1990 Topps movie cards and stickers…

I must have seen this movie at least a hundred times over the years.  It’s been one of my go-to comfort classics and it reminds of a lot of when I first left Florida as a preteen.  In 1990 my family pulled up roots and moved to New England for a year, and coming from the sunny beach minded southern peninsula it was a shock to my system.  Not only was the weather and landscape different, but the general vibe I got from the kids up there was a whole heck of a lot different as well.  That summer when the TMNT movie came out in theaters, it felt like a link back to my childhood in Florida.  My introduction to the toys and cartoon series was one of my last memories with my longtime friends down there and collecting the movie cards when they came out brought me out of an isolating funk…

This next set of wrappers jumps back to the cartoon series.  The first one is for the 2nd series Topps cards that came out in 1990…

…and these next three are also from that series of cards, though they’re a bit different.

These are from what I believe is the Canadian variation of the 2nd series cards.  Though they’re not labeled as O-Pee-Chee (the Canadian version of Topps), I’m taking clues from the title change (these are Teenage Mutant HERO Turtles), and the ingredients for the included gum which have the classic Canadian/UK spellings of flavour and colour with the added “u”.  The Michelangelo wrapper above also has an alternate illustration, whereas the rest of the wrappers feature the same imagery from the 1st series packaging.

  

Last up today is the Topps wrapper for the 1992 live action sequel to the TMNT movie, Secret of the Ooze…

This flick also marks a strange place in my nostalgia as the end of my toy collecting for the most part.  By ’92 I was more into comic books and roleplaying (not straying very far from the Turtles though as I was a Palladium TMNT and Other Strangeness junky throughout high school), and toys were taking a backseat.  Add to this the weird toyline from this flick with all the freckles and the goofy vibe of Vanilla Ice, and I pretty much lost interest in the film series and collecting the action figures.  I have a soft spot in my heart for the flick now, though it was a long time in coming…

Wax Paper Pop Art #23, They should call it Monster Ball…

So for this week’s Wax Paper Pop Art I thought I’d provide a teaser for a set of stickers that I’m going to share on next week’s Peel Here column.  1989′s Baseballs’ Greatest Grossouts sticker cards were the follow-up set to Donruss/Leaf’s 1988 sticker set Awesome All*Stars

The illustrations on these wax packs were done by (I’m 99% sure) B.K. Taylor, an artist I’m becoming increasingly familiar with due to my explorations into the Scholastic newsletters and their publications like Maniac, Dynamite and Hot Dog.  Taylor did all sorts of artwork for Scholastic, from sticker sheets to comic strips, as well as illustrations for some of their books.  I believe he also did the artwork for the Zero Heroes sticker cards (based on his art style and relationship with Donruss doing their Odd Rods stickers in the late 60s and 70s.)

So check back next week for some of Baseballs’ Greatest Grossouts…

Wax Paper Pop Art #22, the girly romance edition!

So even though I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s day, it is just around the corner and I thought it would be a great opportunity to share a couple pieces of truly awesome Wax Paper Pop Art that I recently acquired.  They’re pink, girly, and just plain rad.  It doesn’t hurt that I had the biggest crushes on both Helen Slater and Cyndi Lauper growing up.  Between Supergirl, Secret of My Success, and the Legend of Billie Jean, Mrs. Slater just knocked me out, and who doesn’t love Cyndi Lauper?

First up is the wrapper for the 1984 Topps Supergirl sticker card set (which I’ve talked about here.)

Seeing this wrapper, and juxtaposing it against the extremely yellow borders of the sticker cards, it makes me wonder why the designers at Topps didn’t just go with a pink bordered theme…

Our second wrapper comes from the 1985 Topps Cyndi Lauper cards and stickers…

This is actually only one of two designs that were available for this set, but it’s the only one I’ve come across that was included in an affordable lot.  I’ve posted about the sticker portion of this set here

Wax Paper Pop Art #21, Where no Spock Mego figure has gone before…

A little while ago I agreed to take part in a fun project for Charles over at Eclectorama called Spockcation 2009.   The whole idea is that Charles would mail out one of his Spock Mego figures to various people in different states who would then take Spock around their area to get some fun photos as he traveled around the country.  Well, Spock has been on vacation for a couple years now and he’s finally beamed into Branded HQ.  Since the wife and I have been taking him around town, I thought it would be apropos to share some Spock-centric Wax Paper Pop Art this week…

This first wax wrapper is from the Topps Star Trek Series, circa 1976.

This second wrapper hails from the Topps Star Trek: The Motion Picture set, 1979.

Click on the banner below to visit Eclectorama and see all the places Spock has stopped so far…