Boys and girls who were fed and watered on MAD magazine and Warhol exhibitions couldn't settle for something so tame as a baby doll or Radio Flyer wagon. Instead, the counter culture caught them early with Topps' Wacky Packages stickers. Parodying the surplus of household brands like Wheaties and the Jolly Green Giant, these stickers were to 70s kids what Pokemon cards were to the 90s. Incredibly, not only are these audacious Wacky Packs stickers still around, they're worth way more than any playground lunch-money shakedown could ever produce.
1967 Jolly Mean Giant Die Cut
The first Wacky Packages sticker set debuted in 1967. They were a series of die-cut cards you could peel off, lick the back of, and stick to your notebooks, mirrors, and car bumpers. Of these, the mythical Jolly Mean Giant is one of the most valuable cards in a perfect mint condition. Undoubtedly, this green man would absolutely KO the Jolly Green Giant in one hit.
According to PSA, the most amount of money anyone has ever paid for a Jolly Mean is $20,000. Yet, you're much more likely to find them selling for about $150-$500 each.
1967 Ratz Die Cut
The New York City subway's rats would cozy up to the hilarious poster child of the Wacky Packs' version of Ritz Crackers. Labeled as "moldy crackers," Ratz cards can sell for tens of thousands when they're in their best condition. According to PSA's statistics, the most expensive gem mint die cut sold for $40,000.
But, if you've got a well-preserved card, you can confidently look to make about $1,000-$5,000. In just 2021, a near mint Ratz card sold for $3,900 on eBay.
1967 Cracked Animals Die Cut
The last really valuable die cut Wacky Packs card from 1967 is Cracked Animals. Behind the bars of this caravan aren't the familiar lion and elephant, but rather a cast of characters you'd cross the street to avoid after sunset. There's the laughing hyena, the dead alligator bag, the hippy hippo, and the crazy zookeeper.
This card does incredibly well at auction, and in great condition will sell for at least a few thousand dollars. For example, one card in an average condition sold at a Goldin Auction for $3,300. Another sold at a Robert Edward Auctions auction for $1,200.
1967 Slum-Maid Raisins Die Cut
The Sun Raisins' mascot is to the Slum-Maid Raisins as Cinderella is to the ugly step-sisters. Marketing a box full of seedy raisins, this card bearing witness to an overworked young woman in the service industry (a special exhaustion too many of us know well) sells well. Recently, a near mint card sold on eBay for $826.76. While not every Slum-Maid Raisin card will bring in nearly $1,000, they shouldn't do less than $500 in a good condition.
1967 Weakies Die Cut
Another notable die cut from the original lineup is the parody box of Weakies. They're perfect for those late-night turned into early-mornings where you need much more than a cup of coffee to get you through the day. Most recently, a near mint Weakies sold for $119.99 on eBay. Though Weakies won't bring in more than a few hundred dollars at auction, it's worth much more than the spit kids used to paste their Wacky Packs all over their rooms.
1974 Hipton Tea Bags Production Art
While you're keeping your eyes peeled for these irreverent stickers, be on the lookout for unique full-sized prints as well. Of course, fans of the stickers were too young to care about how they were designed. Much like magazine covers from prior decades, famous artists designed larger artworks that were copied and condensed into sticker size.
A Wacky Packs regular was Norman Saunders, and his art pieces are worth quite a bit. Take this 1974 Hipton Tea Bags original art that sold for $19,120 in 2016, for example. Topps even put one of his Band-Aid parodies for sale for a minimum price of $1 million (though there's no confirmation that it actually sold for such a steep fee).
1977 Copperbone Lotion Sticker
Don't discount the Wacky Pack stickers from the late 70s. The shift to adhesive stickers happened in 1973, and though popularity waned in the coming years, Topps still churned out hilarious card after hilarious card. One quippy card from 1977 is the Copperbone Lotion, marketed to skeletons. According to the bottle, "It'll sizzle your skull."
So many of these later cards were manufactured that they're not as special and collectible as that first series. However, in almost perfect condition, they can bring in upwards of $500 a pop. For example, one Copperbone Lotion card sold for $526.66 on eBay in 2023.
Which Vintage Wacky Packs Stickers Are Worth Money?
You can still buy Wacky Pack stickers today, but the only ones that are really worth collecting are those from the 1960s and 1970s. This early period was when they were their most popular (even more than baseball cards at one point), and so collectors are the most nostalgic for them specifically.
Additionally, cards sell well in unopened packs. So, if you find boxes of a whole series, you can sell the whole thing for a few hundred dollars.
Live Life on the Wacky Side
While parents aren't lacking in hot topics to get upset about *cough* Tide pods*cough* we're long overdue for a toy sensation to upset the nation. From the baby-carrying Barbie to the tickle me Elmo, kids' products today don't hit like they used to, and Wacky Packages might have been the ones that started it all. So, embrace that childhood rebellion and pick up any vintage Wacky Packs stickers you find.