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Wacky Packages New New New (Topps) Hardcover – April 1, 2010
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About the Author
Jay Lynch has written for MAD, Cracked, Sick, Playboy, and Time magazines. He has been freelancing for Topps for over forty years, and helped create some of their most popular humor products, including Wacky Packages and Garbage Pail Kids.
Top customer reviews
Not one, but two hard-bound volumes of the classic Wacky Packages organized (by series) to satisfy a specific nostalgic itch. Each Wacky is blown-up and given its own page in a simple, no-clutter format that allows you to clearly see even the most subtle satirical artwork that appeared on each sticker. While the focus is the sticker collection itself, each book contains a brief, but informative, introduction (including one from the most prolific Wacky Package artist, Art Spiegelman) for perspective purposes. The books are presented more as a Wacky Package experience than simply a picture book of trading cards/stickers. This experience includes the iconic image of a powdered stick of stale gum on the hardcover, a sample pack of Wacky Packages attached to the inside back-cover and a true-to-form wax paper slip cover that replicates the original packaging of the cards.
Although this review is assigned to the second volume ("Wacky Packages New New New"), I feel it represents the first volume as well, because one would not be complete without the other.
Many attempts have been made to tap into the lore of decades past, but few publications have succeeded in presenting nostalgia is such an effective manner ... both volumes are worth every cent in my opinion. Two volumes, sitting side-by-side on my bookshelf vs. a stack of stickers stuffed into a box that can't be found. Adding more value to the books is that the content is relevant as younger generations will easily recognize most of the products parodied by the Wacky Packages. I often thought Wacky Packages were destined to be nothing more than faded memories of childhood that I'd keep to myself. With these books, however, I now have a piece of my childhood that can be shared with my kids ... they sit on a bookshelf next to several of those glorious 1970s Sears Christmas Wishbooks.
When I heard that Topps was going to be releasing a Commemorative Wacky Packages book....well, I couldn't wait to get a copy. As great as Wacky Packages are, the format is really not large enough to able to fully appreciate the artwork. This artwork really deserved a larger format, one that would really let people appreciate the art that made the cards so special. I am a big art print collector and have always hoped that Topps would release limited edition prints for a lot of this artwork. That for me would be the optimum way to really view this artwork in all its glory. Of course, art books are also a perfectly viable option. While I would have preferred art prints, going the art book route is a perfectly suitable option, one that makes this artwork available to a much larger number of people as books are FAR more popular than art prints will ever be. Ultimately, releasing Wacky Packages art books was just a brilliant idea, one that should have been produced years ago.
All that being said, I was really disappointed when I got my hands on the first edition. In the art world, bigger is better and as nice as the book turned out to be, it could have been so much better had they gone with a larger size book. The book wound up being 6" x 7" so its basically the size of a regular hard cover novel. You normally don't see art books produced in sizes that small. Most art books are 10" x 12" or larger and again, as nice as the first edition wound up being, it would have been so much nicer had they gone with a larger format. Don't get me wrong, I still loved everything about the book, right down to the slip cover, which was produced with the same wax coated paper that they used for Wacky Packages packs back in the day. Again, it just would have been even better had they gone with a larger size format.
When I learned there were producing a 2nd edition....well, it took all of 2 seconds before I decided that I was going to order it. I knew going in that it was going to be the same exact size as the first edition, which is still a disappointment. I actually sent multiple emails to both Topps and the publisher begging them to release these books in a larger format. I have no problem with them producing a smaller version, as long as they produce a larger version as well. There is no reason why they couldn't have produced 2 different editions for these books. Oh well, I guess some things just aren't meant to be. Even with the size issue, the 2nd edition is still an outstanding book. Just like the 1st edition, the design is clean, the paper is nice, the artwork is crisp and clean, and the dust jacket is again made from the same wax coated paper that Wacky Packages used to come wrapped in. I actually think I enjoyed the 2nd edition a bit more as it had more of my favorite Wacky Packages than the 1st volume had. One of my favorite aspects to these books is the overall design. Its about as simple of a design as one can get and it allows the artwork to speak for itself. Each page is dedicated to a single piece of Wacky Packages artwork. A lot of art books on the market go with designs where some of the pages have multiple pieces of artwork. You get none of that here. Again, each page is dedicated to a single piece of art, which is exactly how it should be.
If you have ever collected Wacky Packages or have any appreciation for this kind of art than I cant possibly give these Wacky Packages books a higher recommendation. Even tho it had been well over 25 years since I stopped collecting Wacky Packages, I immediately recognized many of the images and for a little while at least, it made me feel like a kid again. All in all, these books were long overdue and Topps and Abrams did a great job bringing them to market.
Bottom line - While the format is too small imo, this is still a must buy book for all Wacky Packages fans, young and old alike and if you buy one volume, you simply have to buy the other. I am still hoping that Topps will release a larger format book for this artwork, but until that day comes, these books will do just fine. Again, they are simply a must buy for all Wacky Packages fans. Topps has actually released some other books in this format including Garbage Pail Kids, Mars Attacks, and Bazooka Joe. I was never a big Garbage Pail Kids fan, but I did buy the Mars Attacks book and its a great addition to this collection of books. If your interested in these books, you should give those books a look as well! As much as I wanted to give both Vol.1 and Vol.2 five star ratings, the small size format prevented me from doing that. They are basically five star books in a 4 star format.