Ever heard of wax packs?
Packs of trading cards wrapped up in waxy paper that usually also included a stick of the hardest gum you will ever chew. There was a time in my life that you could walk into a store and find cards for any property that was even remotely popular. You can bet any movie targeted towards kids or teenagers was made into cards.
One series, Fright Flicks, didn’t just focus one one movie but included several popular films. The full set featured 15 movies ranging from Alien to Ghostbusters to Fright Night and everything in between. The cards had images from the movies and always included a funny one liner to go with it. One of my favorites is the Alien card with the Face-hugger recommending the shrimp tempura, but they are all pretty entertaining.
There are great scenes from Predator, Poltergeist, and The Fly (a great Jeff Goldblum film). The cards may have been aimed at kids, but Topps didn’t hold back on the gore. There’s some really nasty pictures like the one from Poltergeist 2 with a great line at the bottom of the card, “I should have passed on that last egg cream!” That is perfect 80’s comedy gore.
It was pretty typical for Topps to include a sticker in their wax packs and Fright Flicks goes along with this trend. There are 11 different sticker cards with a puzzle piece on the back to put together. I never got a full puzzle of cards from any series put together as a kid. Maybe I should open all my packs of Fright Flicks and see if I can finally cross that one off my bucket list.
Finally, not to be outdone by baseball cards, most wax packs included a hard stick of bubble gum. That is not an exaggeration as the gum in these cards was made from the hardest gum ingredients ever known to man. That’s not to say I never chewed the stuff. I ALWAYS chewed the gum, that was just part of the experience. Even now I am fighting to resist the urge to chew this piece of gum that was hard as steel even back in 1988. I’d bet it would be teeth shattering all these years later.
[All photos below were taken by Travis Giles]