Author Topic: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?  (Read 4015 times)

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Offline ToadallyDude

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So, I just noticed that Topps seems to have totally buried the presence of Wacky Packages on their site, only linking to specialized pages on the On-Demand section now.  Wackypackages.com doesn't seem to be active anymore either (I wonder if any of the collectors could grab it up again).  Sad to see, as WPs were such an important set for Topps in their history.  Does it really cost much to keep up a presence on the website???  I'm sure this has been the case for a while now, but I hadn't been very active on here for many years.  So, I just noticed.  Anyone still doing art there have any insight onto this?  Reminds me of Disney buying up "Bear in the Big Blue House" and then obliterating all existence of that series on their websites.  It's like it never existed.  (...Too bad someone can't do the same for for Star Wars 8 and the prequels.)

Offline ToadallyDude

  • Posts: 267
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2019, 05:40:58 PM »
Hello... hello... hello...  Echo... echo... echo...


Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2019, 07:25:15 AM »
So, I just noticed that Topps seems to have totally buried the presence of Wacky Packages on their site,
topps completely revamped their website not long ago - and it absolutely sucks for just about every property, even their baseball cards.

Wacky Packages are still there - need to go to the Cards&Collectibles drop down menu, then the Boxes&Packs drop down menu.
And then under THAT, you'll see a list titled 'Shop by Entertainment', and finally you'll see WP's listed in that menu.

of course, you can take a chance with SEARCH, which sucks even worse than the above process

knowing that the recent releases have all be "On Demand", you can go to that selection instead (Cards&Collectibles drop down menu, then On Demand), or search for 'Old School', which mostly works, but will give a ton of baseball card items as well.

wackypackages.com has been kaput for years and years now. topps gave up on that a long time ago and started to run a facebook page instead. but that's been extremely spotty, although there have been updates for Old School 8 in the past couple days.

Offline Rabanv

  • Posts: 56
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2019, 05:29:28 PM »
I tend to think that a lot of good privileges we had are  slowly fading out.Whoever thought that Topps would be  slowly ending  wacky Packages.Very pitiful.

Offline slamjim

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Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2019, 05:39:25 PM »
I tend to think that a lot of good privileges we had are  slowly fading out.Whoever thought that Topps would be  slowly ending  wacky Packages.Very pitiful.

Topps is not trying to end Wacky Packages. There are way too few fans to support the retail side and the collector side is far smaller than the GPK side. The money is super tight. If people want Wackys they have to support the sets that come out. If they do there will be more sets per year. We do plan on doing more sets this year than the last two years.

Instagram:
Wacky Packages - roughly 5000 posts
GPK - roughly roughly 111,000 posts

GPK has far greater licensing potential, younger fans and gets promoted weekly on The Goldbergs even. Retail sets sell very well. of course it's going to get more of an interest to Topps than Wackys. So the thing here is to work on making sets the rabid fan will buy and that they can afford while still making Topps some money and attracting some old casual fans and nostalgia buffs. I think getting new kids fans is almost impossible right now.

Offline Zenergizer

  • Posts: 857
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2019, 05:53:17 PM »
I agree, and I'm very happy to see a new set come out, especially another great Old School set!
It shows how much hard work and love you have for the hobby went into this one, as with the others!

Yes, the sale price is a bit costly, but we all have to understand that we're a smaller "niche" than
the GPK crowd.  I always loved seeing Wackys for sale in the retail stores, but that's likely not going to
happen for a while, if not ever.  At least with Online sales, the advertising is cheaper and Topps can
cut costs such as distribution, paper products (box, wrappers, etc.).

I'd even propose separate costs for the subset levels, almost like an "a la carte" release:
1.  Base set only costs X dollars
2.  so much extra for a full set of each back variation
3.  if you buy a complete set, variations and all, a certain number of sketch cards are included.
     Or each level of purchase entitles you to one sketch?

Just random thinking.... Many of us still propose small sets based on holidays, as we had before,
but nothing as of yet. 

And with the election coming up soon, and all the political craziness on both sides,
I think another (but smaller) "Trumpocracy 2020" set should be developed.  There have
been so many potential ideas these past few months:

Elizabeth Warren DNA kit
"AOC" garbage disposal
Melania "I don't care" clothing line
Joe Biden memory pills

Anything like that, some of those in the last set were great!  Others were "stretching" the ideas too much
and looked forced, but there is so much going on that I think the potential is still there!

Paul

Offline Joe G.

  • Posts: 1413
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2019, 10:51:03 PM »
Paul,
Hear!  Hear!  Total agreement!  All great points and I hope Topps is listening.  Itís true that Wacky Packages doesnít have GPKís following but SideKick Labs is producing much better sets (in terms of printing) with much cooler packaging (wax packs and boxes) at a much lower cost to the consumer than Topps POD material.  I say give the Wacky license to them and letís get some real Old School feeling sets out there (in terms of printing and packaging of course)!

Offline drono

  • Posts: 444
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2019, 04:51:25 AM »
Instagram:
Wacky Packages - roughly 5000 posts
GPK - roughly roughly 111,000 posts

I think this is misleading.  We're older and probably don't use Instagram - I know I don't.  The GPK crowd is much younger, so even if the numbers of collectors were even, I would expect these types of numbers for IG posts.

Offline g.u.e.s.t.

  • Posts: 170
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2019, 05:35:20 AM »
I think this is misleading.  We're older and probably don't use Instagram - I know I don't.  The GPK crowd is much younger, so even if the numbers of collectors were even, I would expect these types of numbers for IG posts.

I'm in agreement with this too. I don't use social media at all. Ever. I know a lot of people who feel the same way.

Offline RawGoo

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Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2019, 05:45:51 AM »
I'm in agreement with this too. I don't use social media at all. Ever. I know a lot of people who feel the same way.

I have never used Twitter or Instagram and don't plan to.  I have a Facebook account, but I pretty much only use it to see pictures my friends post - I could not get the hang of it (I tried after the last Mars Attacks set was issued), and, quite frankly, don't trust it. 

Offline mikecho

  • Posts: 1447
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2019, 05:50:37 AM »
I have a question.

The last three Wacky series that were sold retail all deviated from the norm as mostly established in 2004. They were, of course:

*MLB Wacky Packages (2016)
*Wacky Packages 50th Anniversary (2017)
*Wacky Packages Go to the Movies (2018).

My question is: did these three series sell well or not, in comparison to, say, the other 16 series from 2004-2015 (I'm including the two Flashback series and the Chrome series, but not the various print-on-demand series) which mostly stayed within the norm?

In other words, just when did the bottom fall out of the barrel, retail-wise?
« Last Edit: November 09, 2019, 05:55:14 AM by mikecho »

Offline Baked Bears

  • Posts: 1339
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2019, 06:17:57 AM »
I have a Facebook account ... and, quite frankly, don't trust it.

Here! Here!

Offline vahsurfer

  • Posts: 1004
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2019, 08:19:23 AM »
I agree with Rawgoo - Facebook - No Instagram or Twitter and never will, no desire or need

Richard
#StayWacky

Offline g.u.e.s.t.

  • Posts: 170
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2019, 09:14:48 AM »
Here! Here!

Agreed. Two reasons I don't participate with social media of any kind; they can't be trusted for anything and I'm busy enough as it it without adding another time monopolizer.

Offline Baked Bears

  • Posts: 1339
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2019, 09:32:42 AM »
I have a question.

The last three Wacky series that were sold retail all deviated from the norm as mostly established in 2004. They were, of course:

*MLB Wacky Packages (2016)
*Wacky Packages 50th Anniversary (2017)
*Wacky Packages Go to the Movies (2018).

My question is: did these three series sell well or not, in comparison to, say, the other 16 series from 2004-2015 (I'm including the two Flashback series and the Chrome series, but not the various print-on-demand series) which mostly stayed within the norm?

In other words, just when did the bottom fall out of the barrel, retail-wise?

Interesting point, Mike.

In my opinion, Wackys were steadily going downhill before MLB, and that series, as well as the subsequent two series, were Topps' (misguided) attempt to hold on to a market that was already slipping away due to a string of collective mistakes made along the way.  The more ANS progressed, the more things seemed to spiral out of control. 

The market, which was originally targeted at children nationwide, became more of a collectors' market for a small handful of adults.  Online sales - postcards and OS, for example - featured alcohol and tobacco parodies.  (Mind, I am not disparaging these, but simply mentioning that they cater to adults, not children, and have done so for years.)  Additionally, online sales were more accessible to adults with credit cards, not children.  Lastly, when I first began collecting ANS, I could find them at Walmart, Target, Toys 'R Us, Five Below, Party City, Dollar Tree, and even supermarket vending machines.  Toward the end of ANS, one was lucky if one could even find Wackys at Target.  Again, so much for the kids' market.

At one point, the number of ANS parallels became overwhelmingly ridiculous to the point of becoming a bad joke.  Conversely, some of the parallels were so limited that it became nearly impossible to assemble some sets, even for the most dedicated of collectors (hence "rainbow" sets which were the best one could do.)

Additionally, as Jason Liebig and others have pointed out in other threads, the introduction of sketch cards created a false market and demand for Wackys that just wasn't there - which left Topps precariously perched on a large pile of overstock.

As the years went on, products that were parodied before were spoofed yet again and again and again, 3, 4, even 10 times or more, thereby losing their novelty. (Again, there is another thread on this.)

Also, in the later ANS, Wackys suffered a decline in quality, particularly in regard to artwork.  Some of these were just absolutely piss poor and probably should have never seen the light of day.  Up until this point, the abundance of parallels annoyed me, however the inferior artwork was the icing on the cake.

I believe the writing was on the wall before MLB, and I believe Topps saw the decline as well, hence their reaction, that is, the release of MLB, etc..  Rather than tinkering and messing about with things, Topps should have just stuck with basic sets instead of running in a score of diverse directions.  Things became too messy, and the bigger the mess, the harder it is to clean up.  I believe Topps should once again issue a basic modest Wacky Packages set - maybe promote it as cereal box prizes - and make it accessible so children can readily and easily purchase the cards and collect them all.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2019, 11:18:58 AM by Baked Bears »

Offline mikecho

  • Posts: 1447
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2019, 11:56:57 AM »
Couldn't have said it better myself, Rob!

Boy, I'm sure glad that I stopped with ANS8 and only got Chrome after that.

In fact, as I've said before here somewhere, the only way that I would've gotten ANS9 - and thus finished the single-digit series - is if all 20 Awful Apps had been put in it instead of them being divided in half between it and ANS10. That way, I could've had what I called the "Wacky World Wide Web" - 55 Wacky Websites and 20 Awful Apps. Indeed, that's what I would've done if I had been in charge of the project - but I'm not (unfortunately) and they didn't do it (obviously).

You know, it's a good thing that I knew when to stop doing things like this, or else I'd be out on the streets and flat broke. I'm really glad that I've got two parents that really love me, otherwise I don't know what I would've done.

Sometimes I really think that wondering why people like this do the things that they do is more trouble than it's worth.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2019, 02:41:25 PM by mikecho »

Offline mikecho

  • Posts: 1447
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2019, 10:44:06 AM »
One question, Rob.

Just when do you think the downhill trend started? What series do you think actually pushed Wackys over the edge?

I'd say probably ANS10, when everything started getting too extensive and expensive (e.g., the various boxes, border variations, card backs, etc.).
« Last Edit: November 11, 2019, 10:54:11 AM by mikecho »

Offline MadMike

  • Posts: 120
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2019, 03:14:18 PM »
I think the colored borders started the problem. I remember people talking about whether to collect each color of border and how expensive it was. I was amazed at how much people were willing to spend collecting gold border cards when they first came out. For the serious collectors it posed a real dilemma since it was too expensive to collect an entire set. Things eventually just seemed to get worse from there. The whole thing is out of control when it comes to pricing. Letís not forget that this was supposed to be something for kids to enjoy, but they canít afford it or even find it in the stores now. Sad!!

Offline mikecho

  • Posts: 1447
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2019, 03:18:16 PM »
I think the colored borders started the problem. I remember people talking about whether to collect each color of border and how expensive it was. I was amazed at how much people were willing to spend collecting gold border cards when they first came out. For the serious collectors it posed a real dilemma since it was too expensive to collect an entire set. Things eventually just seemed to get worse from there. The whole thing is out of control when it comes to pricing. Letís not forget that this was supposed to be something for kids to enjoy, but they canít afford it or even find it in the stores now. Sad!!
Yeah, and the colored borders started with the Flashbacks. So maybe that's where it all began.

Offline CaseyRob

  • Posts: 52
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2019, 03:57:35 PM »
Yeah, and the colored borders started with the Flashbacks. So maybe that's where it all began.

I remember when Garbage Pail Kids started doing the colored borders, I felt it was downright greedy. GPK were already an exercise in making you purchase the same artwork twice. But four times? Eight? Sixteen? Come on.

Offline ToadallyDude

  • Posts: 267
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2019, 10:59:16 AM »
I think the colored borders started the problem. I remember people talking about whether to collect each color of border and how expensive it was. I was amazed at how much people were willing to spend collecting gold border cards when they first came out. For the serious collectors it posed a real dilemma since it was too expensive to collect an entire set. Things eventually just seemed to get worse from there. The whole thing is out of control when it comes to pricing. Letís not forget that this was supposed to be something for kids to enjoy, but they canít afford it or even find it in the stores now. Sad!!

Here here.  But for me it started long before the colored borders.  It was the numbering of the re-issues, then the art-backs of later series that started to detract from the coolness of the main focus of Wackys... the art & gag of each individual piece.  The idea of premeditated, manufactured, "chase cards" of any kind ruins the fun of the 'chase', too.  That wasn't a Wacky thing, though... all card sets started doing that at some point in history, and it was obviously just for the $.  But the reality is that someone at the factory could easily be cranking out 1000 extra rare chase cards & hoarding them for years only to send all the 10's to PSA and pop them on eBay one by one later when they get really valuable.  The collectors have no way of knowing what the actual print run is on rare variations.  What made TRUE rare variations rare in 60's/70's Wackys was physically pulling them from production unexpectedly.  THAT's where the fun part of "rare" comes in.  A preconceived "chase card" is no more RARE than a limited edition "giclee" print of a photograph or piece of art.  It's limited because the creator/manufacturer says it has that rarity or value (like the dollar since 1973... hmmm... the year Wacky stickers came out... do you think Nixon secretly switched the backing of the dollar from gold to Wackys that year?).

Anyway... RARITY is something that shouldn't need to be manufactured is my point.  And any collectable, artwork, or card/sticker should be cool because the business-end of the product (the image on the front) has its own intrinsic quality.  If the art is good, or the gag is good, or hopefully both... then it's done it's job.  Putting a PINK boarder (especially pink) just makes it ugly.  Printing it on shiny foil just makes it harder to read and appreciate.  Numbering it just makes it too easy to assemble in a set without taking the time to actually LOOK at the image and appreciate it... get to know it... find it on the checklist... wonder what the hell set it belongs to when you can't find it on the checklist.  What would have been cool in addition to collectors working as artists there would be collectors working as PRINTERS there... "ooops, I just printed 3 sheets of ANS 12 with white backs instead of coupons", or "ooops, how did this copyright get left off this title?", or "ooops, I thought they decided not to put the word McDonalds on top of this burger package... guess I'll use the approved sheet, but might as well keep these in the mix so we don't waste all that paper".  wink-wink...

That said, I do have to hand it to Topps (and the cool collectors-turned-artists working for them) for taking a risk on producing the Old School sets, hoping they'd sell with blank backs & limited chase swill.  You don't see many other card sets or products in general returning to their higher-quality, clean, simple roots like that.  I've actually started letting my kid have a lot of my uncompleted or extra ANS stuff & stick it everywhere since it doesn't hold my interest and I have no desire to collect all the variations or chase cards.  Going through the notebooks and stacks of random ANS stuff I have no clue where it goes... I had no attachment to it all, or excitement to collate it all.  But give me a stack of 10 original Wackys in crappy condition and it's like seeing shiny flakes in a gold pan!

This ridiculously-too-long pontification was brought to you by recently inactive Mag-7 member with too much time between tasks today.   (PINK tone added by Topps)
« Last Edit: November 15, 2019, 11:01:38 AM by ToadallyDude »

Offline mikecho

  • Posts: 1447
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2019, 02:23:55 PM »
By "the numbering of the re-issues" and "the art-backs of later series", I take it that you mean the four Rerun series and the 1991 series, respectively, which started both such things. Am I right?

Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2019, 03:09:26 PM »
By "the numbering of the re-issues" and "the art-backs of later series", I take it that you mean the four Rerun series and the 1991 series, respectively, which started both such things. Am I right?
the re-issues had art backs, so one in the same complaint really, but if you mean the first 'new' series, then you're talking about the often overlooked 1985 set.

Offline mikecho

  • Posts: 1447
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2019, 06:25:06 PM »
the re-issues had art backs, so one in the same complaint really, but if you mean the first 'new' series, then you're talking about the often overlooked 1985 set.
I know the 1991 series had stickers that had numbers on the front and "crazy coupons" on the back, but did the 1985 series have them too? I didn't know that.

I also didn't know that the four Rerun series had card backs, too, in addition to having numbers on the front.  I'll have to check out both of them.

UPDATE: I checked out all of them and you were right - the card backs did start with the Reruns. So it goes back further than even I thought it did.

The coupons, however, did start with the 1991 series and the colored borders with the Flashbacks - and after the latter, I think it just snowballed beyond anyone's control or ability to stop it until, once again, it seems that, as far as retail stores are concerned, the gimmick seems to have both run its course completely and been run into the ground entirely.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 05:30:30 PM by mikecho »

Offline ToadallyDude

  • Posts: 267
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2019, 03:36:04 PM »
Yes to all.  The reissues being numbered and puzzles & checklists being on the back was great for dealers, but that was when Wackys first lost their appeal.  I probably would have been excited for the 1985 series if I'd been paying attention at that point, but I had 'aged-out' and had to re-discover the 80s/90s stuff in 1997 when I got into "The Hobby" (as it's called with disdain sometimes) and found out all the history I'd missed.

It's funny because I'm a big fan of the Wacky Ads, but for some reason the coupon-backs don't have the same appeal.  It's probably because I actually had some Wacky Ads as a kid, even though I started collecting around Series 7/8.  I think I experienced Wackys in a... well, wacky way compared to the others.  Started with 7 & 8 and the Wonderbreads, then got lucky when our IceCream vendor started bringing around older boxes, especially series 2 and 5 and 6.  And I voraciously collected and completed all my sets all the way to 15, but actually got about 2/3 of the 16th series from the IceCream dude (which apparently was a rare sighting).  Had all the rare posters as a kid, too, but got rid of them for some reason.  What sucks is that I didn't discover the warehouse the IceCream vendor used until more like 1978, when I started buying StarWars cards by the full box there and making sets.  A few years earlier and I could have been picking up full cases of Wackys wholesale

Offline drono

  • Posts: 444
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2019, 01:44:30 PM »
You have to remember that news in the world moved at a snail's pace back then too.  We never knew when the next series of Wacky Packages were going to be released in the '70's -- much less if there was even going to be a new one.  I was a hard-core collector from series 1-10 and then they started to disappear in my area.  Series 12 and 13 were being sold at the concession stand where I played baseball but nowhere else.  After that, I never saw them again until I was in college and discovered there were four reprint sets in 79-80 and a set in 82.  I next discovered them in 1991 at a convenience store in Lynchburg, VA. 

While I agree that the numbers on the stickers made them no longer nostalgic, that wasn't what killed the hobby for me.  It was the not knowing if and when they would show up again.  By the time I was in college, I had put away such childish things, but fortunately my parents bought me all the Original Series sets I was missing along with the reprints and 82 set that Christmas.  I doubt they paid $150 for everything (Ads with Good 'n Empty, 44 Common Die Cuts, 1st Series, reprints, etc.)

Today with the Internet and social media, we know months in advance when new things are being released.  It's easy to stay hungry when you know that the next set is on the horizon.

Offline ToadallyDude

  • Posts: 267
Re: What's up with Topps & disappearing Wacky Packages presence on the site?
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2019, 02:03:58 PM »
Quote
...but fortunately my parents bought me all the Original Series sets I was missing along with the reprints and 82 set that Christmas.  I doubt they paid $150 for everything (Ads with Good 'n Empty, 44 Common Die Cuts, 1st Series, reprints, etc.)

I would like to vote your parents as the coolest parents in the world.  Most people have the opposite story of their parents throwing out all their old vintage toys, cards, and comic books.  I thought mine were cool for letting me keep my series 1-16 in a shoebox in their safe while I lived out my teen years.  But finding and buying all the ones you were missing!???  Freaking rad.

 

anything