Pretty sure I’ve addressed this a million times on this site, but one of the aspects that makes me so hungry for revisiting my childhood is the simple fact that so much of what I had as a kid lives in the various landfills in Florida, Georgia, and New Hampshire (or wherever those states ended up exporting their trash.) My parents were fairly ruthless during our many moves over the years and each time we uprooted they made sure that “boxes were lost on the moving truck” to pare down the amount of stuff I was dragging with me from home to home. They were experts at this and to be honest, at the time I never seemed to notice. It didn’t help matters that I wasn’t a very organized kid either. My room was always a disaster area that looked more like a hoarder’s den than a messy bedroom. So I basically lost everything I owned as a kid and it makes me yearn to have those things back.
When it comes to the specific interest in stickers that I have, and my desire to reconnect with my childhood collection, there’s an extra added layer of difficulty because my memories of the collection are hazy at best. There are some very specific stickers I absolutely remember owning, and over the years I’ve managed to pick up a number of these treasures. Pieces like the 1986 Burger King Silverhawks kid’s meal premium, the 1983 Hallmark sheet of Marvel Comics stickers, or a handful of the 1983 Donruss Zero Heroes stickers.
I also know of a lot of other general stickers that I had, like a handful of the Trend Stinky Stickers, some G.I. Joe Hallmark stickers, some Moody stickers, or some various grocery store specific bakery stickers (the Goodings bakery employees in my neighborhood as a kid would hand out these store stickers to anyone under the age of 15 when they ordered individual cookies from the counter.) These are a grey area because I remember the branding, but not the exact stickers, so these are hard to procure. For instance, there are at least three different sheets of G.I. Joe Hallmark stickers and I’m not positive which ones I had as a kid because a lot of them utilize the iconic packaging artwork and it all just looks so familiar. So it becomes a challenge to reacquire the “correct ones.”
There are also some stickers that didn’t have specific pop culture branding that make them even more difficult to track down. I spent the last month hunting down two sets of stickers that I could vividly picture in my mind, but a hell of a time trying to articulate into accurate search terms. Persistence paid off though and I just added these 1979 Dennison and 1985 Kellogg’s Sticker Mania sets to my collection…
With the 1979 Dennison sticker sheet, I could vividly remember the grumpy vampire “Have a Nice Day” sticker, and the overall style of these illustrations, but just try searching “Have a Nice Day Vampire” in google or eBay and good luck. The Kellogg’s stickers were really tricky because the aspect that I remembered from this set was just the alphabet letters. I knew they were some kind of cereal premium, but nothing more specific than that. Even when I did find these, there were like 10 different sets and it was next to impossible to nail down which one I had as I mainly remember these specific alphabet letters.
On top of just trying to figure out what stickers I had as a kid, I’ve also been wrestling with how I want to house this collection. For over a decade I’ve had a box that I pile vintage sticker sheets in, but it’s not the best way to appreciate them for sure. I can’t really frame many of these either as I don’t have the wall space and it might look weird to have a collage of sticker sheets in a shadowbox or frame. For some reason the most obvious answer didn’t dawn on me at first, but after sifting through my collection of stickers recently I came upon a vintage Trend sticker book that my buddy HooveR sent me years ago. The book was neat in an of itself with a lot of fun interior illustrations in the early Trend style, but there were also a handful of vintage stickers throughout the book. Nothing so mind-blowing that I ever felt the need to scan the book though, and there was a lot of empty space. As I was flipping through the book I kind of realized that the answer to my conundrum was right here in my hands. Why not just stick a bunch of my childhood and favorite vintage stickers in this book?! As a kid I had one of those cheap photo albums for my stickers; you know the type with the semi-sticker pages and cellophane wrappers on each page. I kind of hate those and didn’t want to recreate that aesthetic, but this mini Trend sticker book is perfect.
This might seem crazy to some, but I thought, what the hell, peeling these vintage stickers off their original backing and sticking them to this book seems like a great idea!
Some of these needed a little help in the “sticking” department, but it was nothing that a little bit of glue stick couldn’t fix…
I even have my complete set of 80s era Trend Stinky Stickers in the book now, so worst case scenario, I can probably sell this for a couple hundred bucks…
I’ve been keeping this on my desk so when ever I need a hit of inspirations, or a blast of scented sticker fun, it’s right at arm’s length.
This isn’t the entire book, but you get the picture. I think this is one of the best ideas I’ve had, collecting-wise, in awhile.
I even bought a second copy of this exact same 1981 Trend sticker album because I’m running out of room in the current one and I have a lot of vintage sticker wrecking to do!