Author Topic: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics  (Read 4795 times)

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Offline Soremel

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Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« on: April 01, 2017, 07:47:36 AM »
A recent post in the "Gag Criticism and Variation" thread got me thinking that it would be nice to have a place to share new and old Wacky Package discoveries, as well as any speculation on some of the mysteries that have not been answered.

The particular title that got my attention in the above-mentioned thread was "Quake 'n' Ache". As a kid, I remember noticing the odd "patch" on the chicken silhouette's wing. Back then I speculated that the art was either revised, or the artist ran out of the same color red they had used on the rest of the graphic and tried their best to match it. Of course, the answer was revealed years later that this was a revision where text was removed, or painted over.

Even though some of the solved mysteries are common knowledge among the Wacky veterans on this forum, I would encourage everyone to share stories of the old discoveries to spread that wealth of information for those that may be new to the hobby.

I'll start with one that I had inquired about on a forum years ago. Again, as a kid, I noticed a patch of paint that didn't look right on the "Ruden's Cough Drops" art from the 10th series. Not long after after the discussion started, Jay Lynch chimed in and gave his recollection of this anomaly. He told us that he remembered the original gag having the character giving a raspberry with his toungue sticking out. For some reason, the tongue was painted over.



« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 01:19:22 PM by Soremel »

Offline RawGoo

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2017, 07:56:33 AM »
Excellent idea!  I was not aware of either of these.

Offline koduck

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2017, 08:40:04 AM »
Great thread George! Reminded me to dig up this thread from the 2012 Officially Unofficial National Wacky Packages Day:

For the past few years, it feels like I've drawn a gazillion wacky sketch cards and spent hours (and hours!) looking at old wacky titles that I thought I knew pretty well. But as it turns out, I found a bunch of anomalies that I somehow overlooked and thought I'd share some of my favorites with you:

1)  Series 1, Horrid Deodorant - There's a distinct "A" on the can in the character's hand. Is that an "A" for "Arid", the original product?!



2) Series 2, Fishbone Dressing - The small bottle in the character's hand shows the same character but as a skeleton!

3) Series 3, Sledge - The small can in the character's hand looks to be the original product motif, not the wacky parody!

4) Series 4, Wormy Packages - Norm Saunders initials appear on the toothpaste tube on the left hand side!


5) Series 4, Grazin Bran - Is that a 7up bottle cap in the horses bowl?!

6) Series 5, Sludge -The NBS Co on one of the bricks certainly stands for Norm Blane Saunders Company!

7) Series 7, DimWit Dots - The watch on the characters wrist is actually a bunged up compass!

8) Series 7, Boozo - The text on the original art differs from the printed sticker. Instead of "You'll Have to Be Drunk" it says, "You'ld Have to Be Drunk". Was Boozo to blame?!

9) Series 7, Mr Goodcents/Contrac - The cars on the two stickers look to be the same vehicle - one coming and one going!

10) Series 11, Stinkertoy - The skunk in the diagram actually has a raccoon tail!

And of course no wacky list would be complete without a few bonuses:

11) Series 14, Weakinson Blades - Norm was famous for using his likeness in many of his paintings. Take a look at the character in the background on the right side. Look familiar?!


12) Series 11, (from forum member Crust): Sleepy -  Is the issue number "7474" the date that the art was painted (July 4, 1974)?!

13) Series 11, (from forum member Bigtomi): 61 Magazine -  A parody of 16 Magazine, the date on the cover is Dec 2020. The difference between 61 and 16 is 45. If you add 45 to the year the sticker was released, you get 2020 (1975 + 45). Not coincidence, it was done to reflect when 16 year olds then would be 61.


There are lots of other anomalies to be found but these are a few of my favorites! If anyone has more to share, post 'em here!!!

HAPPY OFFICIALLY UNOFFICIAL NATIONAL WACKY PACKAGES DAY!!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 08:48:19 AM by koduck »

Online Brian Mc

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2017, 09:59:17 AM »
This will be interesting reading for me. I collected Wackys as a kid in the late 70's, and came back to them in the last 6-7 years. As such, I don't have 40 years of collecting experience... so, all of these will probably be "new" to me.
Brian Mc

Offline RawGoo

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2017, 10:27:44 AM »
This will be interesting reading for me. I collected Wackys as a kid in the late 70's, and came back to them in the last 6-7 years. As such, I don't have 40 years of collecting experience... so, all of these will probably be "new" to me.

I never stopped collecting, but I didn't find the Wacky community until after ANS started, so there should be a lot new to me as well!!

Offline Soremel

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2017, 10:54:55 AM »
Neil!!!! You deserve an award! Thank you so much for posting those observations! I am embarrassed to admit that I've been collecting Wacky Packages since 1973 and only knew of 5 of the ones that you listed! Great stuff! Regarding "Fishbone Dressing", it bothered me way back in the '70's that the bottle that the guy is holding isn't the same shape as the dressing bottle on the sticker.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 12:21:47 PM by Soremel »

Offline koduck

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2017, 11:28:46 AM »
Thanks George, but Norm actually deserves the award for creating them!

Offline Baked Bears

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2017, 01:08:08 PM »
Like this thread a lot!  Great idea!  Thanks for sharing!

Speaking of anomalies, can anyone explain the significance of the small silver bell attached to the lower middle worm's "tail" in "Scare Deal Note Book?"  It's not an old-fashioned handheld teacher's bell or a schoolhouse belfry bell, but rather one of those little Christmas jingle bells.



Postscript:  Of the original Wackys, "Wormy Packages" is in my top 10 list - yet never once did I notice Saunder's initials on the tube.  Good eye, Neil!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 01:18:32 PM by Baked Bears »

Offline Soremel

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2017, 01:14:47 PM »
Like this thread a lot!  Great idea!  Thanks for sharing!

Speaking of anomalies, can anyone explain the significance of the small silver bell attached to the lower middle worm's "tail" in "Scare Deal Note Book?"  It's not an old-fashioned handheld teacher's bell or a schoolhouse belfry bell, but rather one of those little Christmas jingle bells.



I remember pondering the meaning of that bell back in '74 when I was opening packs in the back of my mother's '72 Volvo station wagon!

The best that I could come up with was that the worm wanted to be a rattle snake, but didn't have a baby rattle to tie to his tail, so he tied a bell to it... far fetched, but that's all I got! LOL!

Offline Soremel

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2017, 01:27:20 PM »
Here's a subtle blooper... the product name, on the box top, is spelled incorrectly with an extra "T"





Offline Baked Bears

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2017, 01:27:33 PM »
I remember pondering the meaning of that bell back in '74 when I was opening packs in the back of my mother's '72 Volvo station wagon!

The best that I could come up with was that the worm wanted to be a rattle snake, but didn't have a baby rattle to tie to his tail, so he tied a bell to it... far fetched, but that's all I got! LOL!

Not that far fetched and it does makes a certain amount of sense.  I have some vague, distant memory of seeing rattlesnakes holding baby rattles with their tails when I was younger, but I can't pinpoint exactly where.  Comics?  A cartoon?  Perhaps it was a universal running gag for a while back in the 70s or even before?

And what on earth is a Volvo station wagon?  Some recently unearthed fossil discovery?  (Just kidding.)

Offline Baked Bears

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2017, 01:30:49 PM »
Here's a subtle blooper... the product name, on the box top, is spelled incorrectly with an extra "T"





Damn!  Never noticed that one, either!  Good eye!

Offline Soremel

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2017, 01:35:51 PM »
While not a mistake, I always enjoyed the leather shoe soles on the polar bear's feet in the 4th series title "Polarbearoid"... so random, but so right (for Wacky Packages, that is!)




Offline Baked Bears

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2017, 01:49:47 PM »
While not a mistake, I always enjoyed the leather shoe soles on the polar bear's feet in the 4th series title "Polarbearoid"... so random, but so right (for Wacky Packages, that is!)




Man, your powers of observation are just too good!  I'm beginning to feel either blind or just completely oblivious!  Yes, and you're right.  It fits perfectly into the WP world.

Offline Baked Bears

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2017, 01:54:13 PM »
Small typo.  "Mama's" and "Papa's" should be plural, rather than possessive.



Offline Soremel

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2017, 01:59:49 PM »
Small typo.  "Mama's" and "Papa's" should be plural, rather than possessive.



Yikes! You're right! I don't believe that's ever been pointed out before! Awesome sleuthing!

Offline bigtomi

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2017, 02:58:12 PM »
Neat thread, George! When I saw Ruden's, I thought you were going to mention the other thing about this one that's not really so subtle: they should have picked the parody name consistently. The box top vs. the front. Is it "coarse" or "cough"? Personally, I think the box front is wrong....



Offline Baked Bears

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2017, 03:05:50 PM »
Awesome sleuthing!

Thanks for the compliment, but I think that might be an exaggeration.

Upon closer examination, I'm now finding so many things that I never noticed before.  Not necessarily typos or hidden messages and the like, but rather just details that I've never picked up on before (and am almost ashamed to admit that they have escaped me all of this time.)  Still, this is fun though.  Kind of like looking at something familiar for the very first time again.

For example, the fireworks mixed in with the bubbles in  "Burpsi- Cola."



In "The Saturday Evening Ghost," the ghost is actually coming out of a bottle lying on the floor beside the chair.  Moreover, the man in the chair and the dog are literally airborne, for the man's legs and butt and the dog itself are actually casting shadows.  (I had always taken it for granted that the man was seated and the dog was standing on the floor alongside the chair.)



In "Family Circuit," the boy is actually plugging in the cat.  (I always just paid attention to the people stuck to each other by the electrical force.)



In "Planet of the Grapes," the ape/grape's hands are actually smaller grapes.  (I have always just assumed the ape/grape was wearing gloves.)



Offline Baked Bears

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2017, 03:10:55 PM »
Neat thread, George! When I saw Ruden's, I thought you were going to mention the other thing about this one that's not really so subtle: they should have picked the parody name consistently. The box top vs. the front. Is it "coarse" or "cough"? Personally, I think the box front is wrong....



Good one, Bigtomi!

I wonder if the wording was also changed at some point. On the front of the box, "Cough Drops" is not centered in relationship to the text above it.  If the word "Coarse" - with its sixth letter - was substituted, however, the centering would be perfect.  Perhaps they changed "Coarse" to "Cough" at some point, but neglected to make the change on the top of the box as well?

As to why Topps would change the tongue and possibly the wording, who knows?  (I prefer the tongue and "coarse.")  If the tongue actually extended past the arm to the point where the paint over ends, it would have been a rather long tongue. (Perhaps even obscene???)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 05:11:57 PM by Baked Bears »

Offline Baked Bears

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2017, 08:09:14 PM »
I'm somewhat sketchy on this, but I believe I read somewhere that Jay Lynch (?) stated that he worked little codes into some of the WP titles.  Numbers representing letters, perhaps, or something similar?

Does anyone know if this is true?  And, if so, does anyone know of any instances (titles) in which this happened?
« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 08:21:19 PM by Baked Bears »

Offline Soremel

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2017, 08:45:17 PM »
Neat thread, George! When I saw Ruden's, I thought you were going to mention the other thing about this one that's not really so subtle: they should have picked the parody name consistently. The box top vs. the front. Is it "coarse" or "cough"? Personally, I think the box front is wrong....



Nice call! I never noticed the "course" & "cough" text difference!

Offline Baked Bears

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2017, 07:11:22 AM »
"Brawl Park Franks" Illusion - ANS3

The third hot dog from the left is holding a bottle of Heinz ketchup.

The mystery, however, is how many hot dogs are actually in the package 4 or 8?

At first glance, it appears that there are 4 franks battling it out inside the package.  If you look at the left hand side of the package, though, you will see 8 hot dog ends pressed tightly against the plastic.



Offline sco(o)t

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2017, 07:47:52 AM »
"Brawl Park Franks" Illusion - ANS3

The third hot dog from the left is holding a bottle of Heinz ketchup.

The mystery, however, is how many hot dogs are actually in the package 4 or 8?

At first glance, it appears that there are 4 franks battling it out inside the package.  If you look at the left hand side of the package, though, you will see 8 hot dog ends pressed tightly against the plastic.




I figured that although the package is see through, allowing the view of the 8 hotdogs, there is a picture front panel showing the product in use.
aka Scot Leibacher (no trademark)

Offline Baked Bears

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2017, 08:00:19 AM »
Sco(o)t,

I believe you are right.  The black label alongside the heavy black title border (especially on the right hand side) led me to believe that the front of the package was see through.  When I look at the actual package, though, I can see that it is not.  Thanks!



Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2017, 08:09:54 AM »
the one that I was always curious about, is where is the dog that put its paw prints on the cereal bowl?


Offline Baked Bears

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2017, 08:42:46 AM »
Ah, now that's a good one!  "The Case of the Phantom Puppy"  The prints couldn't have been left by the pup just above them, for they are upside down in relationship to the pup.  And if a pup had leapt out of the bowl onto the table and then returned, I doubt it would have had enough milk left on its paws to leave any distinctive prints.  And why would it have returned to the bowl so soon, having been recently startled out of the bowl by the poured milk in the first place?  Lastly, if it had returned to the bowl and jumped back in (because its weird and likes having milk poured on it,) the pup would have had to gone for the rim of the bowl, leaving prints there (assuming it did have enough milk on its paws to leave prints,) not the side of the bowl.  In addition, we would still see it leaping back in, for the prints are maybe only a second old.  This is a good mystery!

(This is one of my favorites from the ANS, and again, I never picked up on this.  And I was just studying this yesterday, looking to see if there were any extra tails, etc..  It's curious how our minds see what they want to see, automatically projecting logic upon something so it will make sense.)

Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2017, 08:46:08 AM »
there may be an 'extra' tail behind the bowl, though, so maybe the pup just ran around to the backside?

Offline Baked Bears

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #27 on: April 02, 2017, 09:09:02 AM »
You know, at first I thought you were joking - and maybe you are - but maybe you are also right!

If you can zoom in on the picture and cut out a section (I would, but don't know how to,) go for the pup on the right with its tongue hanging out.  In particular, go for the two tails by Sonny the Cuckoo's belly.

1)  The lower tail (which I assume belongs to the pup on the lower right) is very far away from the pup.  If you look at the relationship between the other pups and their tails, their tails are much, much closer.  Perhaps this tail belongs to the pup with its tongue hanging out and not the pup below it?

2)  Look at the upper tail - particularly its relationship to the pink rim of the cereal bowl, as well as the milk just inside the rim.  If the tail was inside of the bowl, it would logically be obscuring the pink rim and milk - yet it is not.  So perhaps this is our phantom?

Offline koduck

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2017, 09:35:49 AM »
Everyone knows what lousy spellers we artists are, but now I don't feel so bad.

See exhibits a, b and c:





Offline Baked Bears

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2017, 09:57:35 AM »
See exhibits a, b and c:

You must have a very powerful magnifying glass!

On exhibit "C," are you referring to the spelling of "whisky?"  If you check it out, there are two different spellings, and Canadian Club spells it "whisky" as opposed to "whiskey."  Or is there something else that I (once again) am oblivious to?

Offline sco(o)t

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2017, 10:11:10 AM »
I just enjoy the fact that we are a collection of presumably mature adults, friendly debating the minutia of comedy cards marketed to adolecents about 45 years after the fact. And in a bipartisan spirit.  :P
aka Scot Leibacher (no trademark)

Offline DrSushi

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2017, 10:25:54 AM »

On exhibit "C," are you referring to the spelling of "whisky?"  If you check it out, there are two different spellings, and Canadian Club spells it "whisky" as opposed to "whiskey."  Or is there something else that I (once again) am oblivious to?

I've been told that countries that have an "e" in their name spell it "whiskey" (like Ireland and America) and those without an "e" use "whisky" (Canada, Japan).

Offline koduck

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #32 on: April 02, 2017, 10:47:47 AM »
Just goes to show I'll never be an English teacher...

Offline bigtomi

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #33 on: April 02, 2017, 11:16:41 AM »
Just goes to show I'll never be an English teacher...
I think we all prefer you remain an artist, anyway...  :)

Offline RawGoo

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Re: Wacky Package Sleuthing & Forensics
« Reply #34 on: April 02, 2017, 11:31:08 AM »
I think we all prefer you remain an artist, anyway...  :)

 :great: :great: :great: