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Garbage Pail Kids Trading Cards

As a parody of other popular doll brands at the time, the Garbage Pail Kids stickers and trading cards became known for their comedic gross-out factor, wacky puns, and creepy artistic design. While the Garage Pail Kids pictured on the face were die-cut stickers that could be peeled from the cardstock, the backs of the cards were often pieces of a puzzle, comic, or other printed media.

How many series of Garbage Pail Kids cards are there?
  • Original Series 1-15: Started by the Topps Company in 1985, 15 card sets were published during their Original Series run, which ended in 1988. A 16 set was planned for production but never released.
  • All New cards: In 2003, renewed interest in the unique trading cards and stickers brought back new characters and former ones that had not made it in the original 1980s prints. In addition, these cards included codes that could be used online for bonus features.
  • Flashback cards: After the All New sets, Flashback cards were largely reprints of original characters with updated artwork on glossier, sturdier cardstock. Other characters from the original series who were unpublished were also included in this set.
  • Brand New cards: In the 2012 reboot, the Brand New cards featured 55 Garbage Pail Kid characters that had been designed specifically for this release. Certain features like folded cardstock and details that glowed in the dark were added to the set.
  • Chrome cards: Re-releases of the original characters and other new creations were printed as a metallic chromium set, which is thicker than other cardstock used for previous sets. Unlike the standard die-cut sticker printing of former releases, these are not sticker characters.
  • Yearly and themed cards: Certain anniversary sets and themed releases that parody other pop culture interests have re-imagined classic characters or added entirely new ones to the Garbage Pail Kids canon.
Which Garbage Pail Kids can be collected?

Because of shifting popularity and preferences, all of the merchandise is collectible. However, fans of Garbage Pail Kids look to the Original sets most often for rare and collectible finds. Aside from the cards themselves, larger-format editions and posters are also items of interest for collectors of Garbage Pail Kids merchandise.

  • From the first series: Since it appeared in the first five sets as the face on every wrapper, the Adam Bomb card may be the most recognizable collectable. Like most, Adam Bomb had a second name, Blasted Billy, that was used on other variations.
  • Other individual cards: Hollow Wayne, also known as Jacqueline Lantern, was released in the 2003 All New set. It is a fan favorite for its display of classic artwork and absurd imagery. Many other individual cards from the 15 Original sets, like Snooty Sam or Missing Marcia, have been singled out as collectibles by fans, too.
  • Errors and variations: For some collectors, errors in printing or other variations are popular purchases because of their one-of-a-kind status or unique points of interest. Because each Garbage Pail Kid card had a primary and secondary name, certain naming variations might be more popular than others.
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