Author Topic: Preserving Our Past!  (Read 1296 times)

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Offline roughwriter

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Preserving Our Past!
« on: March 12, 2024, 08:46:52 AM »
   
    As I've mentioned in other threads, I think it is important to capture all the fascinating stories of Wackys Early Days before they fade away. We have about 60 active members on this Forum. If each of us finds one really good story to share, we'd have quite the compilation! Some of you may have many more than one to share! Others may be good at tracking down obscure documents. We may even have some already squirreled away on the Forum site in some dark, forgotten corners. If we can gather enough up, we could put a book together! That would be an awesome way to celebrate our favorite hobby's longevity! Who wants to go first?

Offline Soremel

  • Posts: 566
Re: Preserving Our Past!
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2024, 09:55:51 AM »
I've shared this story MANY times over the years, starting back in the "Delphi Days". I'm too lazy to locate one of the times I shared it on this forum, so I'll just type it out again!

My "re-introduction" to Wacky Packages took place in August of '73. Earlier that same year, in May, I had seen Wackys for the first time in my 6th grade homeroom. At that time, I was intrigued, but had no further interaction/exposure with them until August of that year. It was a week, or two, before the start of school. I was at my friend's house, who lived up the street from me, and he told me about a guy in a blue van that drove through the neighborhood, and sold candy out of the back of his van. He also went on to tell me that this guy sold funny stickers and cards, that came with a slab of gum, but he couldn't remember what they were called. A few hours later, a blue van slowly crept down the road, and pulled into his parent's driveway. "That's him!" he exclaimed. The old man who got out of the truck smiled at both of us, we exchanged greetings, and he proceeded to open the back doors to his van, and slide open two large wooden drawers that were stocked with every popular candy known at the time! My friend instantly spotted a purple box on the top shelf and pointed it out to me saying "That's them, those stickers I was telling you about!" He grabbed a fistful of the shiny, red packs, and I grabbed a couple, as I only had a dime on me at the time. After the guy made his sales and drove off, we hurried into my friend's house and ripped open our newly bought treasures. As soon as I saw the first sticker (Fishbone Dressing) I instantly flashed back to that morning in homeroom. "I know what these are!" I said, but I was confused... the puzzle wasn't the same one making fun of Bazooka gum, and I didn't recognize any of the spoofs. Soon after this, I saw the "2nd Series" text at the top of the checklist. One thing I knew, at that moment, I was hooked! I was raised on MAD magazine, so this was a natural "next step"! My mother didn't share my initial enthusiasm, though. When I returned home, I excitedly showed her my measly collection of 4 stickers & 2 puzzle pieces. "Where'd you get these?" she asked. "From a a guy selling candy out of the back of his van!" Needless to say, her expression was that of any parent who's child just told them they got something from a stranger driving around the neighborhood in a van! well, her terror was short-lived when I revealed who the driver of the van was. It turned out that it was a friend of ours from the church that we attended. Mr. Martin was an old man who sang in our church's choir, and had retired about 20 years prior. To make some extra money, and keep active, he had a side business as a bread & candy salesman. He was the last of a fading breed of salesman that were popular back in the 50's and 60's. He, and his wife Olive, were two of the kindest, gentlest people I had ever met. Over the next couple of years, after our first introduction, I had become a regular customer. Mr. Martin, or "The Candy Man" as we called him, had become my regular supplier of Wacky Packages. Once I landed a summer job, and could afford to buy full boxes of Wacky Packages, he would always keep a fresh, straight from the case, box of the current series aside for me. The last box that I bought from him, before he was forced to fully retire due to his wife's failing health, was the 13th series. A few weeks after buying my first two 2nd series packs, I was on the school bus, heading to my first day of 7th grade. When I got on the bus, I noticed that there was a group of my neighborhood friends tightly huddled around my friend who introduced me to the Candy Man. As I got next to his seat, I saw that he had a full, blue box of the new 3rd series that his mother bought for him the night before. This was when the fever hit, and a wave of desperation came over me as I realized that this craze could continue for a while, and I needed to get the 1st & 2nd series ASAP!

Offline JailOJohn

  • Posts: 753
  • Sticking Wackys on Furniture since 1973...
Re: Preserving Our Past!
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2024, 07:56:55 PM »
I had gotten a taste for Wackys when i was in grade school…4th series through 9th…Didnt see any more in stores until 1979-80 reissues. I was in 8th and 9th grade by then. I didnt have enough lawn mowing customers to afford many 25-cent packs, so my best friend and I would ride our bikes to the rural golf course about 5 miles away, and retrieve lost balls from the pond (his job) and cornfield (my job.) we would sneak onto the course, use their ball washer, and then pop out of the cornfield when golfers went by, and sell them their own or friends balls. I cannot recall if we charged 4 for $1 or 3 for $1. We were playing with house money, and eventually the course superintendent ran us off. By then we had $20-$30 each (mowing a lawn paid $5) and I spent ALL of mine on reprint Wackys, which my friend thought was kind of dumb. I never bought a full box as one was never available, but years later, my partial re-issue sets got thrown out in a move. To this day, I love opening packs of reprints, it takes me back to those two summers before bills and wars and all things adult….

Offline drono

  • Posts: 1443
Re: Preserving Our Past!
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2024, 08:23:07 PM »
I was at my friend's house, who lived up the street from me, and he told me about a guy in a blue van that drove through the neighborhood, and sold candy out of the back of his van.

This sounds like the beginning of a Criminal Minds episode.

Offline Soremel

  • Posts: 566
Re: Preserving Our Past!
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2024, 08:35:11 PM »
This sounds like the beginning of a Criminal Minds episode.

It does have  a certain "dark vibe" about it!  8)

Offline freetoes

  • Posts: 252
Re: Preserving Our Past!
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2024, 08:45:40 PM »
I wonder if that's all he was selling. It reminds me of that anti-drug PSA that began "The man with the goodies is here."

Offline koduck

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Re: Preserving Our Past!
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2024, 05:34:41 AM »
Halloween 1969 - got Lavirus diecut in a treat bag!

Offline Joe G.

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Re: Preserving Our Past!
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2024, 01:04:19 PM »
Neil too fun!  That has to be one of the most unique introductions to Wackies I have ever heard!  Little did that household realize what they started when they innocently slipped that card into that treat bag!


Halloween 1969 - got Lavirus diecut in a treat bag!
« Last Edit: March 13, 2024, 01:09:26 PM by Joe G. »

Offline drono

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Re: Preserving Our Past!
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2024, 02:48:46 PM »
Halloween 1969 - got Lavirus diecut in a treat bag!

Very cool!

I remember my mother buying fun packs with Wacky Packages to hand out for Halloween around 1984ish.  I wish I'd kept them in the bags instead of handing them out, but I thought Wackys were long dead around that time.  Other than vahsurfer, I don't know anyone else in my area who collects them, so I don't think it started any collectors here.

Offline Plastered Peanut

  • Posts: 751
Re: Preserving Our Past!
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2024, 03:34:11 PM »
Halloween 1969 - got Lavirus diecut in a treat bag!

A house on my block was giving out 4th series packs for Halloween October 1973.   We visited it more than a couple of times.   ;)
Send me your borderless wackys!

Offline JailOJohn

  • Posts: 753
  • Sticking Wackys on Furniture since 1973...
Re: Preserving Our Past!
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2024, 08:20:52 PM »
Since packs now run $1-2, i gave out individual ANS stickers and minis at Halloween the last few years. The minis went over okay….the stickers not so much…

Offline roughwriter

  • Rough Writer
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Re: Preserving Our Past!
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2024, 02:42:04 PM »
Hi everyone,
      I'm sure we all have our own personal experiences with Wackys when we were kids, but I was looking for something else. Some of you have had close contact with the artists, and have learned "behind the scenes" stories that the rest of us have never heard. Those are the sorts of items I'm looking to collect. Does anyone have any of those they can share?

Offline vahsurfer

  • Posts: 1559
Re: Preserving Our Past!
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2024, 10:51:23 AM »
We were are my dad's business partner's house for a summer swim day and his son had them in his room, sticker-ed all over the place!

It was true love after that!!!

Richard
#StayWacky

 

anything