Hansen's Dairy to see if we'll discover the treasure.....
SUCCESS!!! We've both snagged the elusive Wacky Packages stickers once again!
And such was the routine during the Summer of '80. Perhaps I should've commiserated with Jen before writing this post; I believe I've amalgamated my memories of this summer. I can't remember whether this was a daily, weekly, or monthly occurrence. But the soundtrack of this memory always includes Gary Numan's "Cars".
I also don't know if this was just a Green Bay/Ashwaubenon thing, a Wisconsin thing, a regional thing or if this was a nationwide craze that summer. All I know is that the good people at Hansen's Dairy were geniuses for selling these packages. It didn't hurt that they had amazing ice cream, too! (Sadly, all of the original Hansen's stores are now gone; the last one closed last year when the owner filed for bankruptcy. There's a reincarnation but as they say, "You can't go home again.")
For those of you uninitiated into the world of Wacky Packages, it's a great concept: take iconic brand names, spoof them, add R. Crumb-esque illustrations, and package them for kids and advertising aficionados. Collect 'em All! Incidentally, my collection here was part of my "buy back my childhood" phase; these are from Ebay. There is only one of my original stickers in existence and it's stuck on an avocado green storage compartment box in my basement. :D I know it was Wacky Packages that fueled my love affair with print advertising; I've always loved advertising in all forms (first with TV, of course) but I would pore over these stickers, marveling at every little nuance (even the weights and trademarks are spoofed! That's high art to an 11 year-old).