Wacky Packages

1974 Wacky Magazines, The Lost Series


Ever notice how the Wacky Packages 11th Series checklist looks out of place?  Aside from the obvious "Magazine Edition" art, why no art of a Topps parody?  After all, Planet of the Grapes is the puzzle on the other side.  They used the checklist art of "Grapes" later in the UK 2nd Series, but why not here?

Wacky Packages Featuring Special Magazine Edition!

 

And why use the wrapper logo rather than the usual checklist logo?   The titles are surrounded by a choppy border, and the puzzle phrase doesn't tell me to "Have Extra Fun".  Why do the puzzle phrase and the series title have a different text font than the other fifteen wacky series?  Why did Series 12 through 16 go back to the old checklist style?

Wacky Magazine Test Box, dated 6-7-74

Aside from carrying an old copyright not used since the 5th series, you can see that the top right reads 11 "Series Checklist" instead of  11th  Series Checklist.  Well, the reason is that this wasn't a Wacky Packages checklist at all.  It was made for an unpublished set called "Wacky Magazine Stickers".

They just covered up the Wacky Magazines logo on the checklist with a Wacky Packages logo, and added the number 11.   Similarly, they covered up 2/3 of the titles with a new block of text.   The new block has a border too, but it doesn't match the shadowed form of the original.

We're not sure why they mixed the magazine stickers in with wackys.  Maybe they thought wackys were a sure thing, as opposed to the uncertainty of a new set.  Or perhaps they were rushing to find more wacky pack titles to push out a new series.  But we do know of at least 25 titles, mostly from Series 11, 13, and 14.

 

You'll say that they're easy to spot, because they're the only magazine titles.  Well, yes, but that's not the only difference.  The Wacky Magazine stickers are actually smaller images than the regular titles.  Take a look at this 11th series sheet.

11th Series sheet

It's pretty easy to pick out the magazines by size alone.  The same is also true in series 13 and 14.  It seems that these titles had been prepped for printing and uniformly sized earlier for the Wacky Magazine set.  We don't know why they are smaller.  Perhaps they were going to have jokes or slogans or some other text beneath them.  But after the set was abandoned, the titles were slid into their various wacky pack series "as is".

Line-Art of the Wacky Magazine Box, probably drawn for a Sales Flyer

Maybe ToppsVault will auction off a magazine checklist someday.  We seem to be missing about 5 titles.  Remnants also exist in the 13th Series Checklist, where it appears they cut and pasted a block of 6 magazine titles on the right side.

Topps auctioned a "checklist art" version of Shorts Illustrated in 2004.  It's possible that Shorts and Nooseweek originally rested in the starburst next to Mud on the magazine checklist.  I wonder if Mud was the intended puzzle?  The line-art of the box suggests that full-size prototypes were probably made, though never distributed.

Below is a list of the 25 known titles from the Lost Magazine set, and the wacky series they ended up in.

 

11th Series (10 Titles) -- Easy Cuss Words,    Family Circuit,    Mud Magazine,   National Geografink,   Saturday Evening Ghost,   Seventon Magazine,   61 Magazine,   Sleepy,   TV Garbage,   Unpopular Mechanics

 

13th Series (7 Titles) -- Bum's Life,   Crocked Magazine,   Jerk in Jail,   National Spittoon,   Nooseweek,   Shorts Illustrated Umbrella

 

14th Series (6 Titles) -- Fanatical Sickly Fiction,   IOU Magazine,   Messquire,   Moldy Bride,   Playbug,   Snort

 

Dropped Titles (at least 3) -- Tomb Magazine,   Rotting Zone,    Schnozmopolitan (later published in 1982)

Going on the assumptions that all the magazines were painted and ready to go when they were bunched together for photographing, and that the series probably contained 30 titles.  It seems that we are missing about five Saunders paintings from this magazine set.

Possible Candidates for the Missing Titles:  Creep Magazine,   Eater's Digest,   Foodoplay,    Grumpy Dumpty,    HenHouse,   Madamgazelle,   Roman's Day,   Salami Street,   Song Hates,   True Confetti,   Zit Parader

* Note that 15th series "Famous Mobsters" does not appear to be part of this set, unless the size difference was noticed and corrected by Topps.

 


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