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  Original Series 1973-1976
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  Dopey GuysFrom 1973 to 1976, Topps released 16 series of Wacky Packages known as the Original Series. These peel-off adhesive-backed stickers became a huge seller for Topps. There were about 30 stickers in each series issued. The stickers came in 3 different varieties: Whiteback, Tanback, and Ludlow. The Ludlows have a drawing of a camel on the back (either in red or black). Some early stickers were even made of a Cloth material. The 1st and 2nd series stickers are generally harder to find then the 3rd thru 13th series, but the 14th thru 16th series stickers are even more difficult to find since they were sold in smaller quantities. Each series came with checklists that, when put together, form a puzzle picture. For reference, I have included a list by series and alphabetical list of every sticker. You can also download my Original Series Spreadsheet to keep track of your collection. The stickers shown below are the hardest to find in each series.

(Click image to view entire series)

 

Click to view series

SERIES 1
Year issued: 1973
Number of stickers: 30
Checklist Puzzle: Gadzooka Gum
Sticker backs: Whiteback, Tanback (rare), or Ludlow (rare)
Harder to find: Band-Ache, Lavirus, Mutt's & Paul Maul
Summary: This was the first of the original 16 series Topps released in 1973. Band-Ache, Lavirus, Mutt's and Paul Maul were short prints, making them more difficult to find. Band-Ache is rumored to have been removed from production making it the hardest to find.
  Click to view series SERIES 2
Year issued: 1973
Number of stickers: 32 (+1)
Checklist Puzzle: Sugarmess Bubble Gum
Sticker backs: Whiteback, Tanback, or Ludlow (rare)
Harder to find: Run Tony Shells
Summary: Early in the series, Run Tony Shells was removed from production because it was viewed by some as an attack on Italian Americans, making it hard to find.
  Click to view series SERIES 3
Year issued: 1973
Number of stickers: 30 (+1)
Checklist Puzzle: Beanball Bubble Gum
Sticker backs: Whiteback (rare) or Tanback
Harder to find: Spit and Spill Variation and Dr. Ono
Summary: A mistake was made on early Spit and Spill stickers leaving "Spic and Span" on top and side of the box (see picture). These early Spit and Spill stickers are harder to find. Dr. Ono has always been one of my favorite wackys and since it was short-printed it is slightly harder to find.
  Click to view series SERIES 4
Year issued: 1973
Number of stickers: 30 (+2)
Checklist Puzzle: Wormy Packages
Sticker backs: Tanback only
Harder to find: Choke Wagon, Bum Chex, Mess Clairoil & Windhex
Summary: Two of the stickers in this series, Choke Wagon and Bum Chex, were pulled from production early on (due to cease and desist letters) and were replaced by Windhex and Mess Clairoil making all 4 of them harder to find, but especially the original two.
  Click to view series SERIES 5
Year issued: 1974
Number of stickers: 32
Checklist Puzzle: Big Baddy
Sticker backs: Tanback only
Harder to find: None
Summary: There is a blank spot on 5th series checklists which indicates there was a sticker removed before its release. A recent discovery of diecut variations in Cram stickers prove it was the never-released title Nastee Crush.
  Click to view series SERIES 6
Year issued: 1974
Number of stickers: 33
Checklist Puzzle: Mold Rush
Sticker backs: Tanback only
Harder to find: Run-A-Way Vitamins & Truant Cigarettes
Summary: There are 2 different checklists in the 6th series. One has two of the stickers named wrong: Spills Bad and Goodman's Looney Noodles. The other has the correct names: Spills Bros. and Goonman's Looney Noodles. Run-A-Way Vitamins and Truant Cigarettes are slightly more difficult to find since they were short printed.
  Click to view series SERIES 7
Year issued: 1974
Number of stickers: 33 (+1)
Checklist Puzzle: Boozo Gum
Sticker backs: Tanback only
Harder to find: Grime (heavy chunks version)
Summary: There were 2 versions of the sticker Grime Dog Chow. The common version says Grime - Dusty-Greasy Chunks, while the hard to find version says Grime - Heavy Chunks. A debate continues as to which one came first.
  Click to view series SERIES 8
Year issued: 1974
Number of stickers: 30
Checklist Puzzle: Kong Fu Bubble Gum
Sticker backs: Tanback only
Harder to find: None
Summary: Kentucky Fried Fingers has been a favorite among wacky fans. This series came out during the peak of wacky package popularity.
  Click to view series SERIES 9
Year issued: 1974
Number of stickers: 29
Checklist Puzzle: Hookey Bubble Gum
Sticker backs: Tanback only
Harder to find: None
Summary: There is a blank spot on 9th series checklists (like in the 5th series) that indicates a sticker was removed at some point.
  Click to view series SERIES 10
Year issued: 1974
Number of stickers: 30
Checklist Puzzle: Badzooka Gum
Sticker backs: Tanback only
Harder to find: Pupsi Cola
Summary: The Pupsi Cola sticker was removed in later printings making it hard to find. There are two sets of checklists: one with Pupsi Cola and one without (blank spot on checklist).
  Click to view series SERIES 11
Year issued: 1974
Number of stickers: 30
Checklist Puzzle: Planet of the Grapes
Sticker backs: Tanback only
Harder to find: None
Summary: Topps added magazine covers to their list of products to spoof. I wonder if the competition, Fleer Crazy Covers, had something to do with this?
  Click to view series SERIES 12
Year issued: 1975
Number of stickers: 27
Checklist Puzzle: Sootball Bubble Gum
Sticker backs: Tanback only
Harder to find: None
Summary: These later series stickers are harder to find since they sold in smaller quantities. By this time in 1975 many stores had stopped selling wacky packages.
  Click to view series SERIES 13
Year issued: 1975
Number of stickers: 30
Checklist Puzzle: Beastball Bubble Gum
Sticker backs: Tanback only
Harder to find: None
Summary: Some 13th series whiteback stickers have recently been discovered, but not enough to indicate any large production. It is still considered a tan-back only series.
  Click to view series SERIES 14
Year issued: 1975
Number of stickers: 30
Checklist Puzzle: Rosta Root Candy
Sticker backs: Tanback or Whiteback
Harder to find: None
Summary: This series was printed in both tanbacks and whitebacks. The tanbacks are harder to find. Interestingly, Sugarmess Gum was reprinted from the 2nd series and the only way to tell the difference is by the 1975 copyright.
  Click to view series SERIES 15
Year issued: 1975
Number of stickers: 30
Checklist Puzzle: Iron Ons
Sticker backs: Whiteback only
Harder to find: None
Summary: This series was printed on whitebacks. There was a rumor that 2 stickers (Fang and Pounds) could be found with tanbacks, however this rumor has recently been proven false.
  Click to view series SERIES 16
Year issued: 1977
Number of stickers: 30 (+1)
Checklist Puzzle: Real Garbage Candy
Sticker backs: Whiteback only
Harder to find: Scoot (no copyright)
Summary: This was the last set of the Original Series. 1 out of every 4 Scoot stickers were printed without a copyright, which makes them harder to find. The stickers say 1976, but this set wasn't actually released until mid 1977. Due to it's late release, different wrapper, and higher price, many boxes were never sold and were either sent back to Topps or purchased by dealers. Most wacky collectors never knew this set even existed until recently. The jury is still out on it's scarcity. The prices indicate they are tougher to find then series 15, but dealers continue to bring unopened boxes of them to market.