The Kool-Aid "Wacky Warehouse" was the stuff of legends and filled with the stuff of legends -- a mythical place where the Kool-Aid Man and all his friends threw parties and stored away the many toys, trinkets, novelties and clothing intended exclusively for little boys and girls who drank nothing but Kool-Aid. Kool-Aid "points" are on the back of each package (in every size and shape), and when you collect enough of them, you're privy to take home grand prizes. You had to pay for shipping, and the "shipping" charges sometimes seemed more proportioned to what the items were worth than how much they weighed, but teccccchnically, it was free stuff for all!

This system also provided Kraft a tremendous avenue to sell new and unproven or just downright undesired flavors. Sometimes they'd beef up a particular flavor or brand's on-package point value to persuade bigger sales, other times they'd offer point bonuses if you sent in little cutout pieces of paper from all the different kinds of Kool-Aid -- drinks, ice pops and so forth. The stuff they were giving away was mostly crap, but like I've said before, kids consider nothing as crap if they get it by mail. It's sort of like how my grandmother's blood tastes so much sweeter in a chalice.

The Adventures of Kool-Aid Man comics were, in the days before Internetting, the premiere way to gain access to the Warehouse's full supply of Kool-Aid junk. They'd even theme the offerings to the comic's motif, which is especially glorious when the comic is all about Sharkleberry Fin. Look at that stuff! Sharkleberry Fin T-shirts! Sharkleberry Fin boxer shorts! Sharkleberry Fin boxer shorts that say "SHARK ATTACK!" all over them! I can convey my love for Sharkleberry Fin boxer shorts in two ways:

1) If I found a pair three sizes too small with earthy stains inside at a yard sale, I'd still pay the fifty cents and wear them everyday.


Good luck finding any of these long lost relics of Sharkleberry Findom nowadays, though I have come across some of the other items in this ad on several occasions -- the cassette player and "Wacky Roadster" were nigh-perennials that remained fully stocked at the Warehouse for a several year stretch, so they're not exactly rare. The "Berry Blue" mugs came in other flavor colors, and since they were also sold in more conventional places than Kool-Aid Man comic books, they're easily tracked down as well. That said, I'd rip your fucking heart out for the "Hot Hoops" set.

Check out the additional promotions at the top of the order page. I definitely remember getting a free bowling game by way of Kool-Aid points -- that particular Saturday afternoon was an EVENT. The neighbor kids and I couldn't wait to do the first thing resembling a cash transaction in our whole lives, and when the depressed worker boy handed over the filthy shoes and threw our Kool-Aid points in the rubber waste basket, my friends and I high-fived each other, none of us willing to shout out the obvious "Oh yeah!" in such a hip public setting. I probably bowled a 14. I sucked. I envied all of those other lanes, the ones graced by overheard monitors blinking graphics of turkeys three times. Ten to one, I drowned my sorrows with Sharkleberry Fin.

I wish I took more of an interest in all of Kay-Bee's Kool-Aid promotions back then. The toy chain teamed up with the Kool-Aid Man several times, and the idea of carrying a bag of Kool-Aid points into a toy store for any other reason than just wanting to be unique thrills me even now.

Now it's time for an old fashioned mental challenge. Suppose you had 650 Kool-Aid points. Check out the order form and decide what you'd spend 'em on. I've gotta take the boxers, so already I'm down to 450. Think I'd tack on the Berry Blue mugs just because they're cheap, knocking me down to 435. Still a fair amount left, so I'd probably leap into the technological age with the 300-point cassette player, leaving me with a more pitiable 135 Kool-Aid points. It's getting tougher, but since I have exactly enough left for the "Wacky Canteen" and one of the 15-point Kay-Bee mystery prizes, I guess that's my order. I drank 5,000 glasses of Kool-Aid for that?

Why didn't I just get the radio control car? Everyone else is going to. :/

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