Sam Gambino’s Svengoolie Wacky Packages Card!


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Last October, national MeTV horror host, Svengoolie, unveiled a fan-made work of art during his mail segment that really got my attention! While I’m constantly amazed at the creative items talented viewers are always sending him, this one brought along a wave of nostalgia regarding another one of my childhood loves, Wacky Packages! Best of all, it was just created by a random fan but one of the artists responsible for creating the real ones, Sam Gambino.

I’d written about my love of Wacky Packages both in the early days of this site as well as in Monster Memories 2012 (and you purchase that issue and part Monster Memories by going HERE). Since the late ‘60s, these trading card/stickers inspired laughs courtesy of their madcap parodies of popular consumer products of the day. Since I’d never been a fan of sports they’d prove hilarious alternatives to baseball cards and I couldn’t get enough of them. Wacky Packs weren’t just funny but often featured monsters or a horror theme which made them even more appealing. I’m proud to say that this tradition lives on!

Sam Gambino "Snack Hells"

Sam Gambino "Chia Pest"

In 2004, an all-new series of Wacky Packages made its way to the shelves and has proven successful. This is no short thanks to the return of their original artist, Jay Lynch, as well as some fresh new talents such as Stephon Taylor, Fred Wheaton, Brent Engstrom, Joe McWilliams, and the creator of “Sweet Sven Rubber Chicken Broth,” himself, Sam Gambino.

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Gambino, having grown up with television horror hosts including “Son of Svengoolie” (who’s also the current Svengoolie having since dropped the “Son of” moniker), was no stranger to the ghoulish nor the goofy. Using the host in one of his works was inevitable. “Wacky Packages and Svengoolie were both rites of passage for me as a kid growing up outside of Detroit in the ’70’s and early ’80’s,” said Gambino. “He went along perfectly with Count Chocula, Frankenberry, and old Munster reruns. For that reason, I HAD to honor Svengoolie with my own version of a Wacky Package design.  How could I live with myself if I hadn’t???”

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A full interview with Gambino will be featured in the upcoming Monster Memories 2017 coming soon! Not only does he delve further into his love of horror hosts but also shares insights on the creative process of Wacky Packages cards. Be sure to monitor the Scary Monsters Magazine Facebook Page and Scary Monsters Website so you don’t miss out! Remember, you can also purchase past issues of Monster Memories, Scary Monsters, and other creepy merchandise by visiting HERE!

Dave Fuentes

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