Though I’ve largely retired it as a semi-regular column, I recently had reason to bring back Wacky Wednesdays – at least for today’s post on the 1974 parody sticker classic, Smith Sisters!
I’ve spoken in the past about my love of Topps’ Wacky Packages parody stickers, both the 1970’s classics as well as the modern iterations. For those that don’t know, Wacky Packages were (primarily) peel-away sticker parodies of the packaging of well-known consumer products. As a kid, these stickers captured my imagination – which might be part of the reason I have found such fascination as an adult with packaging at large and candy in specific.
Needless to say, one of the things I’ve had fun doing is trying to track down the exact version of packaging that has been parodied in the original Wacky Packages series. It’s a fun offshoot of my hobby but I also feel it is important for historical perspective and understanding of Wacky Packages themselves. Without a clear image of the target of their parody, without that context, it may eventually become difficult if not impossible to understand their humor. And in most cases tracking down those original packages can be very tough to do.
Such was the case with the original product featured with the Wacky sticker, Smith Sisters, a parody of Smith Brothers cough drops.
[Edit: Smith Brothers being a cough drops product might force it out of my preferred category of confection, but I feel that it’s okay. In my own youth, I often consumed Smith Brothers cherry cough drops as if they WERE candy, and I hope I’m not alone in that.]
I’ve been searching for the style of Smith Brothers cough drops box parodied in this original series Wacky for the better part of ten years. Surprisingly, this specific version of a Smith Brothers box never surfaced until recently, and I say surprisingly because it seemed as though the significantly different 1960’s (or earlier) style box showed up every week. But not this one.
I would finally acquire the box in question when I saw it in the collection of a European candy box collector late last year. I flipped out when I spotted it on his Instagram, contacted him regarding it, and we soon worked out a trade. Here it is:
As I have a couple of times in the past, I assembled a side-by-side look at the sticker and the original box, framing the original in the Wacky Packages sticker frame:
And so ends one of my collector quests. I can finally put my “Smith Brothers” saved eBay search to rest once and for all.
That’s everything for this special Wacky Wednesdays – see you next time!