oh gross!
September 28, 2008 3:24 PM   Subscribe

80's sillibiz, parody of the Cabbage Patch Kids. Garbage Pail Kids cards.The checklist. A few of the Garbage Pail Kids' artists: Luiz Diaz l John Pound l Tom Bunk.

Garbage Pail Kids around the world.

Branded in the 80's site on the Garbage Pail Kids.

Wikipedia entry on the GPKs.

Wikipedia re the Cabbage Patch Kids.

Find your name.

posted by nickyskye (37 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Hah! great post, nickyskye. Though I didn't pay any real attention to these when they were in circulation, I do recall them, from some dusty corner of my mind. What I didn't really remember, though, was that the grotesqueness meter was set so high!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:35 PM on September 28, 2008

Oh god, I collected these obsessively for about a year or so.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:38 PM on September 28, 2008

Were I any type of graphic artist, I'd have created a Failin' Palin card by now. Or perhaps a Mt. McCain card, with him as a volcano about to erupt. Linkbait for the liberal blogs.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 3:39 PM on September 28, 2008

I was too old for Garbage Pail Kids by the time they came out, but I appreciated that they existed. My thing was Wacky Packages!! Both seem to be planted firmly in the MAD school of commercial parody.
posted by not_on_display at 3:40 PM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

I think what I liked about collecting them was that it sort of gave me a window into the mindset of the kids at school who were into baseball cards but didn't require me to learn anything about baseball.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:43 PM on September 28, 2008

Unzipped Zach was always my favorite. Now they all look like roller derby names.
posted by Ugh at 3:44 PM on September 28, 2008

I was a little too young to know about these in their hayday, but some of my friends' older siblings had them, and, man, I thought they were hot shit.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 3:45 PM on September 28, 2008

not_on_display: Thanks! I've been trying to remember the names of those cards! I had all of them (unfortunately, I lost them all a few years ago :P )
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 3:46 PM on September 28, 2008

The 8th card down on the first link looks so much like SpongeBob Squarepants, who made his debut in 1993. I'm wondering if he didn't have this humble origin.
posted by nickyskye at 3:52 PM on September 28, 2008

The Garbage Pail Kids frightened and disturbed me as a child.

Damn you, Art Spiegelman. I will never forgive you, Maus notwithstanding.

Who, like the Wikipedia entry says, also came up with Wacky Packages, hence the heavy MAD vibe.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:56 PM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

I think it's possible that at least some of the images in the first link are recent paintings done up GPK-style, rather than originals. That would explain the anachronistic SpongeBob illustration.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:58 PM on September 28, 2008

Garbage Pail Kids Movie Trailer.
posted by cog_nate at 3:59 PM on September 28, 2008

Maybe the GPKs, MAD mag and Wacky Packages were all part of a kids' schadenfreude movement? A sort of kids' cynicism in retaliation to Madison Avenue advertising bs?
posted by nickyskye at 4:02 PM on September 28, 2008

We sell the Garbage Pail Kids cards where I work. Oddly enough (or maybe not), more adults than kids are buying them. My guess; they had them as kids ... want more.
posted by netbros at 4:10 PM on September 28, 2008

I don't remember any particular cards now, but I had a stack of them too big to fit in my hand. The gum was (in hindsight, not so surprising) pretty awful.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:14 PM on September 28, 2008

Pretty much, nickyskye; a lot of underground/counter culture cartoonists who emerged in the late sixties and early seventies were hugely influenced by reading MAD when they were growing up in the 1950s, most notably R. Crumb and Spiegelman, who says here: "The message Mad had in general is, 'The media is lying to you, and we are part of the media.' It was basically... 'Think for yourselves, kids.'"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:16 PM on September 28, 2008 [3 favorites]

Graffiti Petey rocks...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 4:35 PM on September 28, 2008

The 8th card down on the first link looks so much like SpongeBob Squarepants, who made his debut in 1993. I'm wondering if he didn't have this humble origin.

Nah, I think some of the ones in that link are just more recent, so that card is referencing Sponge Bob. For instance, one of them is pretty obviously a Matrix reference.
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:53 PM on September 28, 2008

What's your damage, Tangerine?!?!?

by which I mean

nickyskye, you really fell down on the job here. The Movie! The Movie! Good God this fabulous disgusting movie!!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:20 PM on September 28, 2008

Another 80's gross out toy, Mad Balls.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:25 PM on September 28, 2008

Oh god, AV. *Shudders*

That reminded me of this review of the movie, which also features some other fine GPK merchandise.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:28 PM on September 28, 2008

Whoa, the guy who did Maus is the same guy who did the Garage Pail Kids?! Connections like this are why I love MeFi. Thanks for mentioning it, Alvy.
posted by sunshinesky at 5:28 PM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

These things gave me nightmares as a little kid. I would dream that they were trying to get into the house, and would manage to come through the cracks no matter what I did.

posted by Windigo at 5:32 PM on September 28, 2008

I was born in 1981, and I remember buying these from a Dutch petrol station in the mid-to-late eighties.

I never quite understood it was a Cabbage Patch Kids parody until I read it on Metafilter in the mid-to-late two-thousand-naughts.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:50 PM on September 28, 2008

I still have all mine somewhere. You had to be just the right age, I think, to "get" these. I was in 4th grade and pretty much every girl would bring a Cabbage Patch Doll to school with them. It was mostly poking fun at that phenomenon. Also, trading cards in general were still pretty popular, I remember holographic ones that would change the picture as you tilted it were pretty big.

I also had a bunch of Mad Balls and wish I could find them. :(
posted by cj_ at 6:38 PM on September 28, 2008

When I was a kid, and didn't quite grasp the concept of parody, I just assumed that Garbage Pail Kids were to Cabbage Patch Kids as Gremlins were to Mogwai.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:39 PM on September 28, 2008 [4 favorites]

I found another one...Sarah Cuda.
posted by schyler523 at 7:07 PM on September 28, 2008

Mark Newgarden was one of the artists for the Garbage Pail Kids. I found his work recently and was delighted to find that someone could make art that I would think so much of as a 7 year old, and also art that I could appreciate now. He was the first (only?) non political cartoonist to do a repeating strip in the New York Times.

Love's Savage Fury is a classic of experimental comics. The previous link is the second or third page of the strip, IIRC. The full strip is included in his collection.

Two of his better strips can be conveyed in text:

Imagine a picture of Dennis the Menace
Imagine a sentence from Samuel Beckett.

Nothing Funny Today.

posted by idiopath at 7:26 PM on September 28, 2008 [2 favorites]

I had those! Probably courtesy of my older cousin, because who else gives a 3/4-year-old such grotesque things? Somewhere in my mom's attic there's a sticker book with Muppet Babies and heart stickers inside, and Garbage Pail Kids stickers on the back cover. To me they were just stickers. So what if the guy's falling off a skateboard or picking his nose?
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:11 PM on September 28, 2008

As a kid I had the whole set of these things, which (in mint condition, which mine wouldn't have been) was worth a fair bit of cash the last time I checked (ten years ago).

The fact that Art Spiegelman worked on both these and Wacky Packages (which I also had a lot of) is BLOWING. MY. FUCKING. MIND. I had no idea.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:34 PM on September 28, 2008

Somewhere in the back of my comics-addled mind, I knew about the Spiegelman link to GPK/Wacky Packs, but had forgotten about it. Thanks, MeFi, and as a token of my appreciation, I went out into the interwebs and brought you all back a link to the Wacky Packages 35th Anniversary Book, with foreword by Mr. Maus himself.

From the link: ...with artist Art Spiegelman, as a key creative force, the stickers were illustrated by such notable comics artists as Kim Deitch, Bill Griffith, Jay Lynch, and Norm Saunders.
posted by not_on_display at 11:57 PM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

We used to trade these on the playground when I was in 4th grade. (The boys did at least -- the girls were pretty much universally repulsed by things like Messy Tessy, which, of course, infinitely increased their appeal.)

I vividly remember having long, endless debates about Adam Bomb. One kid had asserted that it was the most difficult card to get -- and by far the most valuable. In a few years, he insisted, it would probably increase in value to "like a million dollars." We all nodded solemnly because of course these cards were valuable treasures. (And of course we had no idea what a million dollars was.) To fourth graders, it seemed like a perfectly fair price for a card that none of us had and all of us coveted.

I really hope that kid followed his destiny and became a broker or something, because he certainly managed to whip us all up into a frenzy about Adam Bomb. I'm glad I didn't have access to any money, because I'm sure I would have dropped a lot to get my hands on him. Instead I dropped a lot on packs of cards for one year, in the vain hope of having a Charlie-and-the-Chocolate-Factory-Golden-Ticket moment. But it never came.

And Adam Bomb is currently available on eBay for just $19.99.

(Great post as always, nickyskye!)
posted by Ljubljana at 2:32 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

I, uh...

I'm embarrassed about this, but I tried to get GPKs banned at school.

This made me the class pariah. Now I have other reasons to be ashamed.

::hangs head::
posted by pxe2000 at 3:38 AM on September 29, 2008

Alvy Ampersand, thanks for your interesting and informative contributions to this thread. Got my first good chuckle of the day reading the review you posted of the GPK's movie:

Quick tip: if you're making movies that are gonna be targeted towards little kids, you may wanna skip any scenes involving alligator monsters eating severed toes out of lunchboxes.

(as I'm writing this there is a noisy helicopter right above my neighborhood that's been there rattling away for half an hour. Aggravating. Wondering what's up, turn on the tv and there's just news of the Wachovia plummet, yikes)

ooh not_on_display, that blog has such good pics of the Wacky Packages book, rich colors and nicely done. Thanks to your Wikipedia link I just learned a bit about Art Spiegelman. wow. What an amazing, interestingly complex man. Never read Maus and now really want to.

Ljubljana (*waves in the direction of Slovenia. Kako si?), Apparently one can buy the original artwork of that card, signed by the artist of John McCain as a child, er Adam Bomb, for only $200. (which is 2 mill in 80's 4th grader currency).

pxe2000, aww, no head hanging, you know that ban attempt just increased their value.

Thanks all for the additional links and making this a juicy thread.
posted by nickyskye at 3:48 AM on September 29, 2008

PS, not_on_display, thanks to your Wikipedia link I just learned Art Spiegelman did that powerful cover of The New Yorker, black on black with the shadows of the Twin Towers.
posted by nickyskye at 3:52 AM on September 29, 2008

nickyskye, Here's a link to Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers, off which the NYer cover was based. Yeah, definitely read Maus; it's what opened my eyes to the world of possibilities that comix has to offer. Thanks again for the post!
posted by not_on_display at 5:21 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Rad. I had no idea my name existed in the annals of GPK lore. Faaaaantastic.
posted by bethechange at 1:07 PM on September 30, 2008

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