Yep. I snapped up a lot of these when Series 1 appeared in 1985.
I didn’t realize it then, but these were basically an update of the “Wacky Packages” cards and stickers that kids were collecting a decade prior. Both series were released by Topps. (Strangely enough, Wacky Packages was actually re-released at the same time that Garbage Pail Kids debuted — I certainly don’t remember that.)
Wasn’t there another series of cards or stickers in the 1970’s that depicted lampooned versions of cars? I swear I remember at least a couple of those. “Crazy Cars,” maybe? Or “Crazy Hotrods?” Around 1979 or so, I recall finding a card with an illustration of a “Roachmobile” — probably purchased once by my older brother — at the bottom of my toybox. I would have been in first or second grade at the time, and I remember finding it creepy.
I myself have never seen 1987’s universally hated “Garbage Pail Kids Movie.” (It has a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and it’s often named as one of the worst movies of all time.) I saw about 30 excruciating seconds of it on a pop-culture website just recently, and, believe me, that was enough.
I’ve read some confusing information about GPK’s still being produced, on occasion? I saw several lampooning Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump last year, but I thought it was just some independent artist’s mockup. Were those produced by Topps, though?
Take a look at the last “Garbage Pail Kid” pictured below — “Adam Bomb.” That actually was a nickname I came up with for my friend Jason’s younger brother, Adam. But I’d started calling him that years before the GPK’s arrived — it was just a tough-sounding nickname … like he would up and annihilate anyone who messed with him. I don’t know if this is a New York thing or not, but if you or your friend had a kid brother, you sometimes gave him a tough-sounding nickname as a joke. It was usually meant affectionately. My best friend Shawn, for example had a very young brother named Ryan — we referred to him as “Genghis Khan, Jr.” (another one I coined myself). But kids from blocks away called him “Balboa,” and they’d address him in their best Clubber Lang impression from 1982’s “Rocky III.”
If all of that sounds sweet for grade-school boys in New York, then rest assured — we had some pretty damned creative pejorative nicknames for various kid brothers as well. I can’t even write them here.
Man, this blog post today is just all over the place isn’t it?