Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Sticker Album

I received this sticker album for my birthday when I was maybe 5 or 6. It is easily one of the best gifts I've ever received, despite being an obvious dollar store knock-off. (The fake Woody Woodpecker and Holly Hobbie images are a dead giveaway.)

If you aren't familiar with sticker albums, they are books that have sheets of glossy paper, sometimes printed with some kind of theme, that you can stick stickers to. The idea is that the glossiness of the paper will make the stickers removable (and thus reusable), but that doesn't usually pan out. They may also have pockets for holding unstuck stickers.

My family was never very rich, and the budget for buying me stickers was basically nonexistent. Despite this, I quickly became very obsessed with collecting as many stickers as possible. If I recall correctly, this book also came with a smattering of random stickers (or it's entirely possible the person who gave it to me also gave me a few stickers to start off my collection. I can't really remember; I was 6), but the bulk of my stash came in the form of $1 sticker sheets filled with hilarious puns from the Scholastic Book Fair, the dentist (some kid's dentists had treasure boxes, ours had rolls of big, round stickers), and, as you will see very soon, food packages.

Read on for scans of the entire Sticker Album! Click on any of the pages to enlarge them in a new window.

As you can see, I used the front cover to keep track of how many stickers I had. Apparently I never topped 500, which seems ludicrous now considering I currently own enough stickers to completely wallpaper my house. Highlights on this page include a creepy ladybug and bee with fuzzy faces. God, I love fuzzy stickers.

The first page is for "Funny Stickers". And damn, are these hilarious. A picture of a pig that says "Pig Out"? Genius! Okay, the Garfield ones are actually pretty great, as are the Halloween ones lining the left side of the page. But what's with all the cows? Did people really say "Cowabunga" that much in the 90s?

This spread is for "My Favorite Stickers", and let's face it: these are all amazing. Iridescent flamingos, neon "Geek Alert" sign, Lisa Frank kitten hugging a moon made of rainbows, and a poodle wearing sunglasses and an 80s power suit? This is sticker gold. I am fairly certain the "Wild" stickers are from Taco Bell. I am not sure why not one but two of these ended up on the "My Favorite Stickers" page. I can't imagine loving "Wild" tacos that much, but there they are.

I think this spread is for "Animal Stickers". I suspect I covered up the sign due to some irrational hatred for the theme, despite the fact that the pages are in fact covered in animal stickers. I'd scrape off the stickers that are covering the title, but that would risk ruining those outstanding "CRAB" and "ARF ARF" stickers.

Birthday Bear is the clear winner on these pages, but the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sticker card and puffy Iguanodon are close runner-ups.

These pages are for "Rare Stickers", whatever that means. I was never 100% clear on what constitutes a rare sticker, especially since it was rare for me to get my hands on any stickers that didn't advertise cheese.

Anyway, these are pretty great, and yeah, I'd say most of these are fairly rare. The Gremlins one especially. Oh, and the pair of Ghostwriter stickers. Yeaaah, remember Ghostwriter? It was quite possibly the best show about a semicolon helping a multi-ethnic group of kids solve mysteries ever.

This is where the book starts to suck a bit. The page for "Tasty Sweets 'n fruit" is cute enough by itself (I especially like the happy strawberries and banana), but I had it in my head that I was going to reserve this page for scratch-n-sniff stickers only. As you can see, there are a grand total of four scratch-n-sniff stickers (the "Cherry Good" juice pitcher and the 3 small caramel apples.) Once scratch-n-sniff fell out of fashion, I realised I probably wasn't going to get any more, so I filled the rest of the pages with any food themed sticker, including those taken off of apples and food packaging.

I did eventually get a scratch-n-sniff sticker set based on the Poky Little Puppy (one of my favorite books as a kid), and that's where the "Barky Bits" and random flower stickers came from. Apparently I felt that simply by nature of being scented they fit the theme of this page, even though neither dog food nor daffodils fall under the category of "Tasty Sweets 'n fruit".

Now onto "Holiday Fun". I kept up with the theme of this page fairly well (except there are more of those damn Poky Little Puppy stickers...I think I was just trying to get rid of them.) The bunnies are pretty great, and the Halloween witches and kitty with pumpkin are awesome. Not sure why there's a random fairy, Eeyore, Pom Pom Purin, and Ultraman. I guess they're hanging out to celebrate the holidays with Valentine's Day Bear and Pipe-Smoking Irish Guy.

I also apparently voted.

Here we have the "Wiggle Eyes" page. This page tormented the hell out of me as a kid. As you can see, I had a grand total of two wiggle eyes stickers. Granted, they are easily the most epic wiggle eye stickers on the planet: a beaten-up cat holding a dead mouse and a dancing skeleton wearing sneakers, but most of the page was barren. I held out for a long time, praying I would one day come into possession of more wiggle eyes stickers, but it never happened. Eventually when I was 16 I decided to fill it up with bootleg glitter Sailor Moon stickers.

Another fairly crappy page: "Road Signs / Military Insignia". I still don't quite get that. Where the hell is a kid supposed to come across a single "military insignia" sticker, let alone the many that would justify dedicating an entire page to them?

As you can see, this page mostly contains stickers that depict signs of some sort, and official Burger King Kid's Club badges which, according to the signature, actually belonged to my sister Jessica. Not sure if I stole them or if we were "sharing" the sticker book for a brief period of time, but whatever. This page is a disgrace to the rest of the album.

Finally, the last page. What amazing theme would they save for the final chapter of this sticker opus? Holographic stickers? Fuzzy stickers? Dinosaur stickers? I mean, it has Moody Moodpecker on it, it's going to be great, right?

Okay, there is no theme. Not unless "Hi" is code for some sticker theme I was not aware of. I considered this the "free" page, not bound by the rules of the former pages. I could stick whatever I wanted here!

Apparently "whatever I wanted" was more of those cheap bad pun stickers, an Energizer Bunny, a buck-toothed smiley face, and labels from cassette tapes I bought when I was 12 (including a "Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics" label.) I work better in a structured environment. At least Winnie the Pooh is there, and a pretty cool orange owl.

The back cover illustrates my rebellious nature: it clearly stated that I was not to place stickers on that page but I did anyway. (Don't be too impressed; pretty sure I lived in fear of getting a sticker anywhere near that page for at least the first eight years I had this.)

Nothing too special here, just some random Looney Toons and another Energizer Bunny. The taped-on mermaid was from a friend's sticker maker. I always wanted one of those, but it obviously didn't work very well considering I had to tape it on.

I still collect stickers, but I don't currently put them in a sticker album. Maybe I should get one; I could finally fill a page with wiggle eyes or scratch-n-sniff stickers, seeing as how I have access to the internet and can find and purchase any sticker sheet that I desire. But where's the fun in that?

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