It was always thought that there was one set of 12 test patches, then a 13th appeared. It seems now that there were two or more sets of Prototype Patches put out by Topps before the regular run hit the stores.
If you look at the regular issue Wacky Patches Box, you will see that the models are actually wearing test patches, with the same 8 titles on each of their jackets. The regular box held 24 patches (two full sets of 12), so these identical boxes could have easily been used to sell three full sets of 8 test patches (24 total).
Here's my best guess as to the sets, and it's open to debate --
Regular Store Set
12 Sew-on Patches (Seen Here)
Ajerx, Crakola, Crust, Fang, Gadzooka, Grave Train, Jail-O,
Kook-Aid, Neveready, Poopsie, 6-up, Wormy Packages
Test Set 1
8 Sew-on Patches (Shown on Box)
Ajerx, Crust, Gadzooka, Glutton,
Grave Train, Kook-Aid, Neveready, 6-up
Test Set 2
6 Iron-on Patches (paper backing)
Gadzooka, Glutton, Grave Train,
Kook-Aid, Mrs. Klean, Neveready
Test Set 3
12 Sew-on Patches (cellophane wrapped)
Ajerx, Botch Tape, Glutton, Grave Train, Kook-Aid, Mrs. Klean,
Neveready, Paul Maul, Plastered, Sicken of the Sea, 6-up, Weakies
With that aside, what we'll do here is try and distinguish between test patches and regular patches. One dead give away is that some test patches had wax paper backing and some came in cellophane wrappers. Regular issues had neither of these.
Mrs. Klean, Glutton, Weakies, Botch Tape, Plastered, Sicken of the Sea, and Paul Maul were only issued in the test sets.
The 6up Test Patch Shown on the Box had a yellow border thread. This Test Patch appears to use light green thread. The regular 6up patch used black thread.
The outline of the Crust Test Patch follows the contour of the border. See the fins on the left? The regular issue was cut straight across.
I'm still having trouble with these two. The test patches of Ajerx and Gadzooka have tighter and more defined stitching than the regular issues, but I'd like to find some more examples and see if there isn't a better way of telling them apart.
Also the test Gadzookas all have rounded corners, but the regular issues came in both rounded and straight cut corners. Notice the jagged edges on the regular patch. The test patch is cut cleaner, since it had to conformed to it's wax paper backing.
The Kook-Aid test patch can be spotted by the thicker stitching in the title and by the small pupils in his eyes. The regular issue came with either rounded or straight corners, but so far the test patches only have straight corners.
Also the handle on the Test Patch is shaped like a question mark with a tail.
Neveready seems to have been in both test sets. The test patches are taller and have heavier stitching than the regulars. But both the test and regular patches come in either gray or blue.
The regular Neveready patches have red threads mixed in the white border on the right side. These are missing on the test versions.
The Grave Train Test Patch shows the heavier stitching again, and straight cut corners. But the best indicator is that it used three thread colors - Black, White, and Red.
The regular issue only used Black and White thread on the red background.
There's still one patch that I haven't figured out yet.
Click Here to See the Wacky Pack Mystery Patch
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Kooky Patches by N. G. Slater
1974 Daffy Patches by Three Fish Inc.