Posts Tagged ‘wacky players’

Sunkist Wacky Players Trading Cards – Basketball (1991)


Here’s another post from the last iteration of the Jimmy Jone blog about those old Sunkist Fruit Snacks Trading Cards (originally posted May 14, 2011). I meant to post this on Tuesday, but hey, it’s Tuesday somewhere, right?  Anyway, this is the last of these Sunkist posts.  And check it! By sheer coincidence, there’s a joke in here about September 11! Actually, I can’t pin this on coincidence.  I could wait to post this, or I could choose not to.  Never forget–I am a thoroughly awful person.  See you later, when maybe I’ll actually write something new instead of posting old mess.


Alright, let’s get this one in before basketball season is over.

Okay, here’s the last set of Wacky Players cards. The Basketball set was included in boxes of Sunkist Fun Fruits Wacky Players in 1991. The basketball set had special fruit snack pieces in the shape of half of a whistle. You had to put them together, and voila, your own whistle! Be the coach! Lead the team to victory! I was so sure that if I lined them up just right, and didn’t smush them, or get too much spit on them, they’d work. But nope.

There were (by all accounts) nine cards total, with characters illustrated by Jack Davis. Let’s look at ’em, shall we?


I had this one as a kid. I remember asking kids at school whether they thought this was Michael Jordan or Lanky Frankie. I would cover up the name with my thumb–that way they would guess Michael Jordan. Because–ahaha, you see, I had an ace up my sleeve!–I knew of Lanky Frankie, and they did not! I could make them appear as fools when I removed my thumb!

I was a lame kid.


In the end, the other guys on the team regretted that they gave Joey that stupid nickname. It started with Joey making stupid one-liners on the court like “looks like you’re up against a wall!” and “balls to the wall!” The spray-painted brick design was sort of clever, but then Joey started stuffing real vines down his shoes. Half of the Silly Teammates team got poison ivy from him during the playoffs that year.


Ralph…are you… are you enjoying the other team ripping off your outfit? Is this a porno? The basketball goal in obvious disrepair says yes. I’m going to leave before the stompin’ and rompin’ starts.


I’ll admit: I’ve never watched a basketball game. Do all basketball players hold the ball tight against their crotch whenever they can? Also: yes, ha-ha, look how tiny Bry is, but what about the giant guy dunking him whose hand is almost as big as the hoop? Why doesn’t he get a card? I bet he’s not a pervert like Bry and Ralph.


What a dick.


I think in the original artwork, he was hanging himself, and they cropped out the rope. (I’m just kidding, kids, basketball-related suicide is never funny.)


What the hell kind of trajectory is that? I was with you until the loop. “Nothin’ but” is accurate, excluding even physical limitations of the human body. Or maybe this is only apparent retrograde motion, seen only because of the relative orbits of the earth and Nothin’ But Net Nick.


Ah, let’s see, making fun of Dave, um… “I’m Dave! My head is disproportionate to my body! I have a bunch of burst capillaries in my nose because I’m alcoholic!” Also: were wrist bands mandatory in the NBA in the early 90s? Also: screw you, Dave, that’s not dribblin’.


September 11 would have gone down a lot differently if these guys had been around. The guy on the left would have caught the plane before it crashed, saving thousands of innocent lives. I wouldn’t have trusted the guy on the right, though. He looks like he’d just stone cold swat a plane out of the sky.

Sunkist Wacky Players Trading Cards – Football (1990/1991)


Here’s another old post from 2010 (November 7, 2010, to be exact) where I talk about old trading cards. Again, I’m keeping myself from editing these, no matter how hard I want to improve the joke about the psychiatric ward with a callback to the water fountain. Enjoy!


Dammit, I went and broke one of my own cardinal rules for communicating intent on the Internet. I went and promised that I’d do these football cards in September, which all but guaranteed that it would not happen then. Take a tip from me, kids–


Okay, now on to this week’s feature. This is a continuation of an earlier post about a series of cards included in the Sunkist Fun Fruits “Wacky Players” line. These cards were illustrated by Jack Davis, also of Mad Magazine fame.

Even though Benjamin’s Sport Americana Guide to Non-Sport Cards says that the football series came third, I’m going to disagree. For one, some of the cards say 1990, and some say 1991. Secondly, I can remember the order they came out in. I can remember being really bummed each time a new sport came out, because it meant I’d never get all the cards from the last one. I WAS THERE, MAN.

I still have my original cards, all bent to hell, and something like 5 duplicates of one card. But I did manage to buy a set of 9 of these on Ebay a couple years back. According to the aforementioned BSAGtN-SC, there were 10 cards in the football set (D’oh!), so I am still looking. If I don’t find that last card, I will put explicit instructions in my will that my descendants do so (or be cursed). Luckily for you, I did find an image of the illustration on the last card. So, without further ado, here are the Sunkist Fun Fruits Wacky Players, football series.


Did you… enjoy whatever happened to you, Pete? All those teeth were a burden anyway.


From the water fountain, we can safely determine that Krazy Kärl is in the other team’s locker room.


Sometimes he just stays up there, for days.


Okay, now I seriously want stadiums to give out football field maps at all the games.


We’ll see how pretty your face looks if you play the whole game without a helmet. Then you’ll have to go by “Compton”, or “Oakland”.


My favorite part of this one is the frowny sun on the right-most player’s helmet. Is this an empathic logo (ala Wade the Duck’s innertube), or is that the other team’s logo all the time? I like to imagine that it’s the latter. I then like to go on to envision a whole mythology for these cards, where both teams are from the psychiatric ward of a local hospital. The blue team are all the suicidal patients, and the Wacky Players team are the rest: sociopaths, catatonics, actual football players, etc.


Looking pretty goddam smug there, Sly. I’m going to laugh so hard when you fumble that.


Spike, that doesn’t work when you run in off the sideline. This is the kind of shit that Coach benched you for in the first place.


And now I just want a jacket with those awesome designs on it. I’ll walk down the street, and heads will turn. “That’s a Coach original!” they’d all say. I would get laid every night. In my jacket.


Here’s an interesting football rules question for you–when #49 crosses into the end zone, would this be considered a touchdown or a touchback? Discuss.

Lastly, when these fruit snacks were in stores, Will Vinton studios (of California Raisins fame) made a commercial for them. Apparently Fruit Snacks were a big enough deal to rate claymation at the time! Sadly, I cannot find a video of the commercial, but this link has a few photographs by a guy who worked on it:

Wacky Players Commercial

Okay, until next week next month next time, this is Casey, signing off.

Sunkist Wacky Players Trading Cards – Baseball (1990)


It’s funny how things come back around to you sometimes.  I used to have a different blog attached to Jimmy Jone, and I was thinking about how I should start moving some old posts over here if I want to preserve them.  So I thought I’d start with my Sunkist “Wacky Players” trading cards.  Lo and behold, the first post I made about those was August 22, 2010.  (It’s August 21, 2015, as I write this, but I like to schedule posts.)  I present to you, unedited, that post from yesteryear (okay, I did take out some dead links and replace where I could, but, you know, whatever).  Marvel at my now-dated references! (P.S. 5 years ago, I made a joke about osteoporosis; now I have it! Kinda makes you think.)

It seems that when I was younger, kids’ foods were far less connected with the popular kids’ media of the day. Not every product was tied to some highly recognizable pop culture character. Sure, it happened on a fairly regular basis back then–Batman breakfast cereal, Ninja Turtles pudding pies, and Mickey Mouse freezer pops, to name a few. But there seems to be much less room, or effort, these days for food companies to try out new characters for their kids’ products. Instead, they’ll go for the more recognizable characters from television and movies–Incredible Hulk green-colored Hershey’s chocolate syrup, Spongebob Cheez-it crackers, Shrek…shoot, Shrek everything, it seems.

One of the smaller side effects is that there’s a growing attrition rate among existing food characters. Wendell, of Cinnamon Toast Crunch fame, lost his pals Bob and Quello/Quienno over a decade ago; BJ of Kids’ Cuisine hasn’t seen his polar bear pal The Chef for quite some time now; the Cookie Crook and Officer Crumb abandoned the Chip the Cookie Hound, who later gave up being a dog and turned into a wolf; Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy have gone the way of the dinosaur; and when’s the last time you saw Rolluppo, the Fruit Roll-Ups Wizard? And don’t get me started with the Squeezits characters.

A larger effect is that there are very few successful attempts at new and original characters for kids’ food products. Okay, there was that weird Crazy Craving rat-thing for Honeycomb, but that’s all I can think of at the moment (what was that thing, anyway?). My point is, I find myself longing for the days of the Sunkist Wacky Players fruit snacks, days when wholly new and unheard-of characters got their own trading cards, one per box. This was in 1990.

There were three versions of the Sunkist Wacky Players: baseball, football, and basketball. Each featured shaped fruit snacks of a number of zany characters. The baseball cards were drawn by MAD magazine artist Mort Drucker. A representative for Mort Drucker emailed me and told me that I had to say that the images are copyright Mort Drucker. I believe I’ll have to disagree: The cards themselves say Copyright 1990 Sunkist Growers Inc. I’m going to go with that.


Lumpy the Ump is in bad need of glasses. That runner is obviously safe on base. Why are you calling him out, Lumpy? Oh, wait, now that I look at it closely, Lumpy appears to be having a heart attack. His mind is on other things.


Homerun Harold has just learned that he has been cuckolded by Batboy Billy, and has chosen a larger phallic object to exact his revenge.


You have to wonder how effective your facemask is when your eyeballs stick out of it by about 5 inches.


The mustache should give it away: Wally has been playing baseball since the National League started in 1876. His hunched-over stance is the result of unchecked osteoporosis.


Sneaky Pete, you can’t fool me. You’re Joey Gladstone! Put down those packages of cocaine and go home. Michelle needs to be tucked in.


Micky Megaphone just had a stroke. Hey, maybe you can share a hospital room with Lumpy!


I’m not entirely sure how that arm connects to that body.


Burying those you have killed under your pitcher’s mound is the baseball equivalent of a throne made of skulls. I’m scared of Fireball Phil.