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Garbage Pail Kids


Garbage Pail KidsGarbage Pail Kids

Garbage Pail Kids were a series of parody trading cards produced by Topps in 1985. The cards were designed to make fun of the incredibly popular "Cabbage Patch Kids" at the time.

Each sticker card featured a Garbage Pail Kid character with a clever "word-play" name and a comically grotesque kid suffering from abnormalities, disgusting behaviors, or some other awful fate.

People particularly love to collect the cards associated with their personal name. For example, Billy Ache, Blasted Billy, or Hill Billy. See the complete list below.

The cards ran from 1985 to 1988 with a whopping fifteen series of cards in the United States. (Various sets were released in other countries). Two, sometimes three, versions of each card were produced - these variations featured the same artwork but with different character names. Funny facts were on the back of the cards.

A set of Garbage Pall Kids posters and two large-format card editions were released. Topps also made a set of Garbage Pail Kids buttons, an animated television series and a movie too.

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The Story of the Garbage Pail Kids

Garbage Pail Kids came about as the logical successor to Topps cartoonist Art Spiegelman's two previous successes, Garbage Candy and Wacky Packages. The Garbage Pail Kids started off life as an actual Wacky Packages card, but that card was put on hold in order to launch Garbage Pail Kids as a separate series. Spiegelman was a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist but the style for his Garbage Pail Kids cards is the ultimate in kid's gross-out humor - and boy is it popular! Parents were outraged over the base humor of the cards, kids were prohibited from bringing them to school - making them even more popular. The first run of cards was drawn by John Pound. After the tremendous success of the Garbage Pail Kids, other artists were drawn in, including James Warhola, Jay Lynch and Tom Bunk.

The Garbage Pail Kids Movie

The Garbage Pail Kids MovieAfter the tremendous success of the Garbage Pail Kids trading cards, Topps thought the time was right in 1987 to make a live-action Garbage Pail Kids movie. However, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie was simply too much, too late - the film was a commercial and critical flop. Although the film has achieved cult status on DVD, Topps had simply over-saturated the market with Garbage Pail Kids in 1987 (they stopped producing the cards in 1988). At least the Garbage Pail Kids Movie lives on in DVD!

The Garbage Pail Kids TV Show

The Garbage Pail Kids on TV? Sounds like every kid's dream and every parent's nightmare. Yes indeed they did make an animated Garbage Pail Kids TV show, right around the time of the movie, but time was running out for the Garbage Pail Kids. Parents finally had enough of the Kids - they thought the show was simply an advertisement for the cards... so the cartoon was never broadcast on US television (although it did air for a small time in Europe). The Garbage Pail Kids TV show was simply not to be.

The Lawsuit

Topps' Garbage Pail Kids, of course, owe a debt of thanks and gratitude to Coleco and the Cabbage Patch Kids, without whom they would have never existed. The problem is that the Garbage Pail Kids never asked for permission to make their homage. Coleco, the rights holders of the Cabbage Patch Kids license, were not pleased at all - they wanted the Garbage Pail Kids to either Cease and Desist or pay up. In 1988, Coleco sued Topps for trademark infringement. The case never made it to court - Topps made a settlement and agreed to change the Garbage Pail Kids' appearance so as to not infringe upon Coleco's products.

New Garbage Pail Kids Cards:

People have been clamoring and reminiscing about the Kids for a long time - and now they're back! The Garbage Pail Kids went back into production as regular series cards in 2003! In 2005, the GPK celebrated their 20th anniversary with special cards inserted in the 2005 series sets. As of 2008 seven of these post-millennial series have been released - and the future looks bright!

The Garbage Pail Kids Cards - Around the World:

  • Australia and New Zealand - The Garbage Gang
  • Belgium - Garbage Pail Kids
  • Brazil - Gang do Lixo
  • Chile - Basuritas
  • Germany - Die Total Kaputten Kids and Garbage Pail Kids
  • Holland - Garbage Pail Kids
  • United Kingdom - Garbage Pail Kids and The Garbage Gang
  • United States - Garbage Pail Kids

The Garbage Pail Kids Cards Checklist:

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