Looking back at my elementary school sticker collection
Shawn over at Branded in the 80s has a great feature called Peel Here that showcases his amazing 80s sticker collection. I was cleaning up my garage a while ago and found my own sticker collection in one of the boxes. It was complete with even some extra pages full of stickers stuck inside, plus my collection of bumper stickers and tons of my old Garbage Pail Kids.
So, in the tradition of Shawn’s Peel Here I thought you’d like to take a look inside a mid-1980s elementary school sticker collection. It could be awesome, it could be totally embarrassing. Today I’ll look at the main sticker collection. Later I’ll take a look at my collection of bumper stickers and finally I’ll go through a bunch of the Garbage Pail Kids.
So, without further to do, let’s see the types of stickers I liked to collect in elementary school. You can click all these images to see them bigger in Flickr.
Here’s the cover of my sticker album. I honestly can’t remember where I got this sticker binder. It was probably a gift from my mom or my grandmother. I covered up it’s puffy, purple-ness with badass, macho Mr T stickers. The Mr T stickers are pretty awesome. They feature Mr T doing manly things like bending a steel pipe with his bare hands and lifting up a f**king semi over his head. But, for some reason, they are…puffy stickers. Puffy stickers were the girly cousin of regular stickers. Mr T puffy stickers are like painting a Corvette pink. WTF? If you ask me, the makers of those stickers are sending mixed messages to kids.
I don’t remember what the giant white ripped sticker on the cover was before I tore it off. I apparently changed my mind about liking that particular sticker. I was a fickle elementary school child. The faded white stickers with the green border under all that mess were for Mr B’s delicatessen. It was located in Independence, KS and owned by my aunt and uncle.
Let’s look inside this awesome tome of sticker archeology. First up is a separate page (front and back) of stickers I had shoved into the binder.
These are not a part of the actual sticker album. I think I acquired them separately in a trade. They mostly consist of “scratch and sniff” stickers. You can see candy apples in the right hand page and cinnamon rolls and bumble bees in the left hand page. Okay, these pages are slightly embarrassing. Not exactly the type of stickers I remember liking. “Scratch and sniff” stickers of cinnamon rolls and candy apples are about as manly as pink fluffy toilet seat covers. That is to say, not very.
The yellow “Cheap Thrills” sticker and the white Putt-Putt sticker in the right hand page are mine. Cheap Thrills was a “mom and pop” record store a friend of the family owned in Birmingham, AL. The sticker was a price sticker used on LPs. We had huge rolls of these stickers at home. I remember putting them on nearly every surface in the house. Lightswitch covers, walls, furniture, pets. They were EVERYWHERE.
The Putt-Putt in which I obtained the white sticker was located in Hoover just off Hwy-31. It turned into a Krispy Kreme a few years later, but I think even that is closed now. The sticker appears to be a 1 free game coupon. I must have got a hole-in-one. I wonder why I never used it.
Here’s the front and back of the first page in the sticker album. It’s actually not a page, but a clear plastic case that would hold the actual page. I don’t know what happened to the page. However, I needed the real estate so I started putting stickers all over it. My favorites of this group are probably all the McDonaldLand stickers. In the center and in the corners on the left as well as the corners on the right. You’ll see forgotten characters like The Professor, The Captain, The Fry Guys, and Officer Big Mac. As well as stalwarts The Hamburglar, Birdie the Early Bird and Grimace. If I’m not mistaken, the Reese’s Pieces sticker on the right page is from a group of ET stickers. I’m not too happy with the hearts behind them, though.
Okay, here are the actual first pages of the sticker album. We start off with some Michael Jackson puffy stickers. I loved MJ so you’ll see a bunch of those (and of course, these are puffy). There is also an Orko (puffy!) on the left and two Ghostbusters stickers under that. The red and white “Mi” sticker is from a company my dad worked for, Motion Industries. The black and gold Racing Team sticker is taken from a remote control Smokey and the Bandit Firebird. You can see the top and bottom stickers from the Rubik Missing Link puzzle. On the right you can see a bunch of generic 80s “exclamation” stickers. Good Show! Fantastic! Dynamite! Super! I have no idea where those came from. Or the giant ice cream cone (the hell?). The two rectangle stickers in the upper right came from the Cracked Monster Party magazine. The tennis ball stickers came from my parents. They were avid tennis players when I was growing up.
Here are the next two pages in the album. On the lower left we have two really awesome GI Joe stickers featuring artwork from the action figure package. I have no idea where they came from but they rock. The stickers are of Quick Kick (left) and Shipwreck (right). Quick Quick was one of my favorite Joes. You also see some Gremlins stickers. Luckily I kept the sticker outlines so I can see the Gremlins stickers came from a package of Crest toothpaste. On the right we see some more Ghostbusters stickers with a couple Stay Puft marshmallow men and some NFL stickers, and then the beginning of my ridiculous amount of MJ stickers. Is it sad that I know the sticker in the upper right comes from the Say, Say, Say video with Paul McCartney?
More of my MJ stickers. Not sure where all these came from. I don’t know if they all came in one package or I collected them over time. You can see some more NFL stickers and even a sticker I pulled off a banana (Chiquita, of course). And…is that Michael Jackson and a llama in the lower right?
Aaaaaaaaand more MJ stickers. Wow, stalk much? I’m what the Internet today would call…obsessed. The MJ + animals sticker theme continues with Bubbles the chimp and a Spuds Mackenzie looking dog. And another banana sticker. Plus some generic neon colored dinosaurs.
That’s it? Wow, my sticker collection is EPIC.
Yep, that’s it for the small stickers in the sticker album. Like I said earlier, I have a bunch of bumper stickers I also collected as well as a ton of Garbage Pail Kids. We’ll look at those another day.
Feel free to rib me about the MJ and “scratch and sniff” stickers.
UPDATE! – See part II of this article here. I take a closer look at the Mr T stickers and look at a ton of bumper stickers.