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Like every good stick-it-to-the-adults product, Garbage Pail Kids cards were an immediate hit with kids when they debuted in 1985 … and an immediate thorn in the side for parents, teachers, clergymen, and no-fun-nicks.
Made to parody the wildly popular Cabbage Patch Kids dolls of the day, the Garbage Pail Kids actually showed up on stickers albeit with stiff cardboard backs and checking in at a regulation-baseball-card-size 2 1/2″ X 3 1/2″.
Featuring cartoon versions of the same types of familiar dimply visages that graced Cabbage Patch Kids dolls, Garbage Pail Kids then perverted each tableau through a series of pun-derful disfigurements and naughty moments that included the likes of …
Adam Bomb, with an exploding head
Nasty Nick, a vampire-thing on the verge of (apparently) defiling a Barbie doll in some fashion
Thin Lynn, a skeletonized redhead whose diet went a bit too far
Stinky Stan, a garbage-can-dwelling baby-thing who appears to be naked
… and many other awful, terrible, delightful, irresistible beasties.
In all, there were 41 different tykes, issued across 82 different cards — basically, two series (“A” and “B”) each featuring the same artwork but with different clever(ish) child names.
While kids of the era ate these things up, there was, of course, backlash from adults, and maybe even a conspiracy or two as the cards sank into obscurity and eventually ended up mostly in commons bins or — gasp! — discarded entirely.
But those kids grew up, and when we did, we remembered how much fun it was to make fun of those pudgy, little-kid Cabbage Patch things … and realized how much we really wanted to stick it to the man, just like our stickers did way back then.
And, so, what did we do?
Yeah, we sought out our Garbage Pail Kids.
When we did? Well, we found out they weren’t quite as easy to come by as we might have imagined. Demand rose, supply didn’t, and prices climbed.
Eventually, these silly little baubles entered the realm of real collectibles, so much so that we started getting graded, just like our Mickey Mantle and Pete Rose and Pete LaCock baseball cards.
Today, you need look no further than the list of most-watched Garbage Pail Kids cards on eBay right now (see below) to realize that these little troublemakers will never truly go out of style. And check back often, because this GPK list is updated all the time.