Sunday, June 19, 2011

REVIEW: Wacky Packages Erasers - Chimps Ahoy, Geek Giant & Slacker Jack

Produced by Topps | Released April 2011

Wacky Packages are a line of collectable cards, first issued by Topps back in the late 60s. Featuring Mad Magazine-style parodies of various products and their packaging, the line has proven to be a continual success for the company, with new versions and revisions appearing every few years. The latest incarnation of the Wacky Package concept is the Wacky Packages Eraser line, which we're taking a look at today.

Packaging Shots

It may not be clear from the above image but the rear of the pack features the following disclaimer:

This product is not authorized or endorsed by any of the companies who are the subject of parody. The products we are spoofing - including our own - are all good ones. No kidding.

Wacky Packages Erasers
Within each pack are three, blind-bagged erasers. The erasers are wrapped in a glossy paper printed sheet, each themed around a product/packaging parody.

The parodies are fairly good. Rather than simply being a spoof of the product's name, the writers at Topps went one stage further with the joke to parody the entire product. So for example, the above ''Slacker Jack'' spoof is described as ''Unpopped Caramel Corn & Whatever'' and there's the price aston proclaims ''99c Get A Job!'' Of course, humour is completely subjective and one man's Community is another man's King of Queens but I personally found myself getting a couple of chuckles from the spoofs.

There's not a massive amount to say about the ''sculpting'' here, but the erasers are nicely shaped and do resemble the packaging they're spoofing. I'd assume Topps reuse a lot of their ''sculpts'' but I liked the mix of different sizes and shapes and they do a good job of conveying what each is. You can clearly see that the Geek Giant Dorky Pee Wees is a can, for example.

Paint - or rather, the print - is very clearly produced and the product spoofing colours are spot-on. Obviously wording and artwork is changed for each parody but the use of typefaces and art-styles are accurate and it's clear which products are being spoofed.

Each packaged eraser comes with a corresponding sticker. The stickers are nicely printed and produced and are a cool little addition.

There's also a Checklist featuring images of all 24 Wacky Packages Erasers. This I feel is a bit of a misstep. Part of the fun of the parodies is seeing them for yourself ''in the flesh'' as it were, so having a visual checklist that gives away all the gags is a little like watching a movie preview that reveals the twist. 

Final Thoughts
Wacky Packages Erasers aren't high-end collectables. They're not art pieces. They're not even poseable action figures. But if you're a fan of blind-bagged toys or you just enjoy collecting ''stuff'' then the Wacky Packages Erasers are, I'm sure, something you'll enjoy. The humour is pretty good and works most of the time and they're well-produced, with interesting ''sculpts'' and clear printing.

At the end of the day, I think they'll be something you'll look at and immediately ''get'' or just find pointless. And that's fine. Humour is a personal thing and if you don't see the fun then that's no reflection on you or the product. But if you like silly little blind-bagged things and want a laugh then you could do worse than buy a pack of Wacky Packages Erasers. They're a cheap, fun and good quality novelty. And if all else fails, you could always use them as, I dunno, erasers...

Production QualityB+
Final ScoreB

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