There used to be this wonderful thing called “The Wacky Warehouse.” It was before the Internet. It was a wonderful, magical place where kids could purchase all sorts of great, colorful items to enhance their 80’s wardrobe.
The Wacky Warehouse didn’t accept money (although it was needed to pay for shipping and handling). Things were purchased with points you collected from drinking sugary drinks.
It was GENIUS!
I LOVED it!
The Wacky Warehouse was a marketing campaign run by Kool-Aid. As a child, I only drank Kool-Aid or pop. So, needless to say, I really racked up the points. I even had sugar-free Kool-Aid lemonade I sat next to my bed at night in case I got thirsty, so that it would not rot out my teeth.
I ordered so much stuff from The Wacky Warehouse, they sent me a printed sheet of card stock that could be folded into a bank to collect all your Kool-Aid points in, which looked like a little warehouse. They sent me membership cards. They even sent me bonus points!
It was easy to collect the points once I was in the habit of cutting them off of the packaging. The amount of points varied by what type of product it was on. A single packet that didn’t contain sugar was 1 point. Those took too long to earn anything good. The mix packets with sugar already included were 2 points. The mother-load was on the big plastic mix container–5 points!
I would save them up for a year at a time. (Even at a young age I was organized.) Usually a big display with tear-off sheets for the new items from The Wacky Warehouse would appear at the grocery store at the beginning of summer. I had to be quick and tear one off before all the other kids who probably were not even going to place an order anyway got them first. I always worried that while the order form said the offers were good until 12/31/[enter year here], they also said in fine print “While Supplies Last”. I never wanted to experience the heartbreak of being told that my item was sold out, so I always placed my order by September or October.
It is hot in the summer and I always drank more–a great last chance to stock up on additional points!
I ordered everything from The Wacky Warehouse. Some of it still resides in my house to this day. I ordered sunglasses, friendship bracelets, a T-shirt, and a Hot Wheel that changed from green to yellow in cold water. I ordered a Kool-Aid Man yo-yo, a set of 2 plastic mugs, and a kite. (That was the best flying kite that I ever owned!)
I never had enough for the Kool-Aid Man pitcher, which was a shame. One of the last times I ordered, I did get a plush Kool-Aid Man wearing an Hawaiian shirt, which is really kind of awesome.
I think about the same time I stopped drinking Kool-Aid must have been when they stopped the program. I wonder if they were pressured to stop it because it was targeted to kids? Coke is a drink that is loaded with sugar and they still run a rewards program linked to the purchase of their product. Maybe if the marketing program is focused toward adults, that is alright. I would totally still order T-shirts as an adult with Kool-Aid points if they still had a program for it.
Ahhh. The good old, sugar-coated days of my youth. Oh yeah!