Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Garbage Pail Kids Series 3

Believe it or not Topps has a long and storied history of causing recess ruckuses. Back in the 1960s they had a card of a dog getting zapped by an alien in the classic Mars Attacks! set. A decade ago (yes, it's been that long) kids were bringing their Pokemon to school and rather than work the battle points into a math lesson, teachers banned them from their classrooms. But the set that I remember most fondly as a child of the 80s was Garbage Pail Kids. With their origins as a spoof of the Cabbage Patch Kids, GPK was a school kid's dream of pee, puss, potties and other pre-pubescent grossness. GPK  were so big during the mid-1980s that they were able to churn out 15 series between 1986 and 1988. Today's pack hails from the early part of the run with Series 3 from 1986.

Before you rip in you can see Topps laughing in the face of Cold War propaganda. Adam Bomb is taunting ole' Gorbie to a game of chicken (or with that remote control, maybe it was Pong).


88a. DINAH saur
In case you're not familiar with GPK, they're cards with stickers on the front and a surprise on the back. Each image had an "A" version and a "B" version where the only thing that changed was the name.
Looks like there's going to be an Uncle Sam puzzle. Dinah's pretty tame for GPK standards.
 84a. JOE blow
It's nice to see there was a time when Topps Corporate knew not to take themselves too seriously. JOE is a polite send-up of Topps Gum mascot Bazooka Joe. No runny noses or missing body limbs but it still gets a solid. The wanted poster is a nice touch, although the gum stain is scaring me a little seeing as how there's still three cards to go after this. If I die from the toxic fumes produced by the 22-year-old gum, please tell my family I loved them and tell Topps that their gum is deadly.

 104a. silent SANDY
Where's the blood and guts? There's a little on the back but I want the grossness on my stickers. Bigger gum stain. It's now on the front too.

99a. beaky BECKY
We have blood! Bonus points for animal parts. 

115a. warmin' NORMAN
No blood, guts or bodily fluids for Norm. Just old-school stereotypes about how the West was won. On the back, that's what you can call a gum stain. Me - I'm going to frame it and put it on eBay as a piece of modern art.

Overall, this was not a good pack for the GPK. Although JOE blow is iconic, there's simply not enough ickiness. If I showed my mom this pack as an eight-year-old she would have pinched my cute little A-Team-loving cheeks and sent me to bed with a, "Gee, son. They're awfully cute."
The reaction I want with my GPK would be more along the lines of, "Those are horrid, vile, disgusting, something your shady friend would think of. We're going to march right back to the store where you bought these and I am going to demand a refund. Let's make a fire and burn these buggers before the neighbors see them."

One final note: avoid the GPK Movie from 1988 but enjoy the clip to keep you in the spirit.



dayf said...

I bought a bunch of these packs back in the day. Adam Bomb was by far my favorite.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I thought that was a great pack. Those early series of GPK were clever and smart. By the time the 4th or 5th series rolled around, they relied too much on the gross out factor.

My dad still brings up his favorite card, Mona Loser, a parody of Mona Lisa.

Motherscratcher said...

The furor that GPKs wrought in my middle school was unparalleled. I remember that you seriously could not find them anywhere. My mom, for some reason, was on a mission to get me some. I have no idea why. She some how brought me home a whole box of them. I think she had to kill a few other parents, hold the convenience store manager hostage, and escape in a helicoptor. I don't remember what series it was, I just remember that there was a "license" on the back instead to a "wanted" poster. I have no idea what became of those cards. I do remember feeling like I had won the lottery.

Thinking about it now, I have no idea why my mom went through so much to get them for me. I'll have to remember to give her an extra hug next time I see her.