Wednesday, March 10, 2010

1979 Fleer Crazy Labels

After the run of 3 series of Crazy Magazine Covers in 1973 - 1974, Fleer returned in 1979 with a set of package parody stickers called Crazy Labels:


The artwork is much improved over the quality found in the Crazy Covers sets. Though not as well done as most Wacky Package artwork, these are still a significant upgrade over Fleer's earlier effort.

While there are 64 titles in the set, a full master set actually comprises 72 stickers due to some titles being replaced during a second print run, presumably due to cease and desist orders.

The cards feature a sticker on the front, and a picture of one of the other titles on the back, which makes for a very odd numbering system, as the numbers are not the same on both sides.

For example, sticker # 1 in the set


has a picture of # 32 on the back:


The sticker side has an outline of grey dots around the sticker, while the backs do not have the outline which is how you can quickly tell which side you are looking at. Why Fleer didn't just print the same title on both sides to keep the numbering consistent is a mystery. If they would have done that, you could have peeled the sticker and still had the same image on the back of the card to save for your collection.

At least they kept the same titles paired up, meaning that if sticker # 1 has # 32 on the back, sticker #32 has # 1 on its back.

Here is a look at the set, including the variations:

There are 2 different #6 stickers as Spitghetti was replaced by Mad-Itch.




There are 2 different # 27 stickers as Bananacin was replaced by Beaver Frozen Fur Dinner (and it just so happens that Bananacin had Spitghetti on the back, so the back was also changed to Mad-Itch for the revised Beaver sticker).

The reason #37 appears twice with the same sticker is due to the fact there are 2 different backs. The backs for the Maimed sticker feature sticker # 57 which changed .

Sticker # 44 has 2 different backs (due to 2 different # 53 stickers) and # 46 has 2 different backs due to 2 different #50 stickers (of which I'm still trying to find one of the back variations)

Sticker # 50 was originally U-8, but was changed to Pestea, while # 53 U.S. Fail was changed to Arash Spring.

The final variation involves sticker # 57 which changed from Dare Eat Those to Kooky Glue.

When the series was first released, there were 2 wrapper variations:


Since one of the deleted titles (Bananacin) was on one of the wrappers however, when the 2nd printing was done, that wrapper had to be changed (with Windys taking its place):


so there are actually 3 different wrappers.

The original box also featured 2 of the deleted titles:


which had to be replaced


so there are 2 different boxes as well.

The timing of this release is interesting as it was released the same year that Topps started a series of reissues of the original Wacky Packages. In 1979 Topps issued the first of what would turn out to be 4 series of reprints of titles from the original 16 series:



I'm not sure if one company knew what the other was up to, or whether one company followed the other after they released their set, but I find it interesting that both companies issued product parody stickers the same year after neither company had done so for a few years.

Was this a case of Fleer once again trying to capitalize on the popularity of Wacky Packages after Topps brought them back, or is the fact that Fleer's stickers were at least new original titles and Topps' offering was a set of reprints an indication that Topps was actually responding to Fleer this time around?

2 comments:

Ridhii said...

This is so awesome !!

KM said...

Are you still looking for the 46 card with a different backing? If so, I think I can help. Which backing? You can send private e-mail to:

kevinmarion at yahoo.com