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SMOKE UP, JUNIOR! A look at Wacky Package Cigarette Cards
liquorhead - 07/19/00


As you've seen in an earlier X-E article, Topps delighted the nation's youth with several Wacky Packages devoted to the many wonders of alcohol (always a personal favorite of mine). But the glamorization of vice on kid sticker cards didn't stop there. Through the 70s, Topps produced 29 different cigarette parodies.

Though many of the stickers appear to project an anti-smoking message with phrases like "Take a Lucky Stride Away From These Cigarettes", or "Wicked and Evil Tobacco", you also get ones like "Cigarettes for Kids Who Cut Classes", and "Leaves Your Breath Smelling Like Roses." Regardless of the effect, it's easy to see why many parents (non-smoking of course) would be offended by such stuff.

It's obvious none of the cigarette companies were upset, because the consistent exposure to these stickers made it pretty damn easy to recognize your favorite brand by logo and color when you were old enough to buy them (or steal 'em from "Pa").

Some of the cards contain rather forced puns, or are just plain unfunny, CAMAL and SAIL-EM, for example. But TOTARILLO featuring a smoking baby long before Roger Rabbit, and VIRGINIA SLUMS are hilarious.

Perhaps the most disturbing of all is the ROBOT BURNS card, which has a rather erect subliminal image. Give it a look, and see what I mean.

Well, gotta go light up a smoke.

DAMN YOU, TOPPS!

-liquorhead