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GARBAGE PAIL KIDS
Garbage Pail Kids is a series of trading cards produced by the Topps Company, originally released in 1985 and designed to parody the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls created by Xavier Roberts, which were immensely popular at the time. Each sticker card featured a Garbage Pail Kid character, with some comical abnormality or suffering some terrible fate, and a humorous, word play-rich character name. Two (and occasionally three) versions of each card were produced, with variations featuring the same artwork but different character names. Fifteen regular series were released in the United States, with various sets released in other countries. Two large format card editions were also released, as well as a set of posters.
HistoryThe series was the brainchild of Topps consultant and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman, who came up with the product idea after the success of his earlier creations, Garbage Candy and Wacky Packages. The concept originally began as an unreleased Wacky Packages title, but the management at Topps thought that it would be a good idea for a separate spin-off series. Spiegelman and Mark Newgarden worked together as the editors and art directors of the project, Len Brown was the manager, and the first run of the cards was drawn exclusively by artist John Pound. Following the initial success of the cards, several additional artists and writers were brought in to contribute to the series, including Jay Lynch, Tom Bunk and James Warhola, among others.
Commercial successThe commercial success of the trading cards led to the production of a live-action movie, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, in 1987; however, the film was both a critical and commercial failure. An animated television series was also created, but never broadcast in the US due to parental complaints (although it was briefly aired in Europe). Oddly enough the complaints weren't because of the content but because parents felt the series was merely a commercial for the cards. The movie was released on DVD by MGM Home Entertainment on July 12, 2005 (the VHS had been distributed by Paramount), and the cartoon series was later also released on DVD by Paramount Home Entertainment on April 4, 2006.
Trademark infringement lawsuitDuring the height of the Garbage Pail Kids' popularity, Topps was sued by the makers of Cabbage Patch Kids, Coleco, for trademark infringement. As part of the out-of-court settlement, Topps agreed to modify the appearance of the Garbage Pail Kids to remove the resemblance between the characters. Production of the cards themselves continued; however, by 1988, sales had dwindled and a planned 16th series never saw production.
All new seriesIn 2003, Topps reintroduced Garbage Pail Kids with all-new cards, dubbed the All New Series (ANS). The second series of new cards featured unique ID numbers on the back of first silver- and later gold-foil insert cards that can be redeemed online at the official Garbage Pail Kids website, where visitors can build and 'gross out' their own Garbage Pail Kids; the more unique ID numbers applied to the characters, the more gross they can become.
The All New Series of cards differs from the original series in a number of ways, the most obvious being the upgraded quality of the cardstock used, and a more glossy surface to the stickers. The ANS also changed the format with which the cards are numbered. The original series of cards used a continuous numbering pattern, so that each new set would pick up where the last set ended (e.g. series 1 ended at 41a and 41b, and series 2 picked up at 42a and 42b); the ANS resets the numbering back to 1 with each subsequent series. The ANS also featured special card inserts like foil cards featuring characters from the original series (modified due to the lawsuit), Scratch 'n Stink cards, collectable card game cards, temporary tattoos, Pop-up cards, Alphabet cards, activity cards and magnets, along with featured special bonus cards available on at participating retailers in either 11-pack Bonus Boxes or multi-pack rack-packs; these bonus stickers were the first GPK cards not to have twin cards.
AnniversaryIn 2005, Topps celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Garbage Pail Kids franchise with special 'Sketch Card' original art inserts in its ANS 4 set. These were limited to one inserted randomly per every hobby box (sold to specialty retailers), and featured original art by series regulars John Pound, Tom Bunk, and Jay Lynch, as well as Strephon Taylor, John Czop, Don Perlin, and Justin Green.
As of 2007, Topps has released six All New Series.
ANS7 Is planned for release in November 2007 which is rumoured will have 55 characters in the base set instead of the usual 40
Latest page update: made by SIXXCHICK69
, Oct 10 2007, 2:43 PM EDT
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