Philly Non-Sports Show to Focus Again on GPK/Wackys

Just like clockwork, the next Philly Non-Sports Card Show is coming up in just under six weeks. This will be the 70th show, and much like the 69th, the show will once again focus on Garbage Pail Kids and Wacky Packages. The show takes place in the Merchants Square mall in Allentown, PA twice a year. The spring show is scheduled for the weekend of May 4-5, 2019. The show is the largest non-sports card show in the US and features dealers selling a wide variety of non-sport products.

Once again, there is a stellar lineup of current and former GPK artists scheduled to attend. The group is led by original series artist Tom Bunk, and also includes previous attendees Fred Wheaton, Jeff Zapata, and Mark Pingitore. Three newcomers to Philly will also attend including original series artist James Warhola, Neil Camera, and Vincenzo “Chenduz” d’Ippolito. Chenduz will be making his first east coast appearance all the way from the Netherlands. There is a lot of history and knowledge from OS and ANS days. All the artists will be on hand selling original art, prints, sketches, cards, and more. Show goers will also receive a promo card from Magic Marker Inc. (Pingitore). Prior to the show opening on Sunday there will be an artist chat. Be sure to register with the show prior to the chat. This is a great opportunity for collectors on the east coast to meet and support their favorite artists.

As with all Philly shows, there will of course be promo cards. The theme from the previous show will carry over to this show as well. All show attendees will receive a card from Brent Engstrom. The card is a different version of the Toser the Destroyer card from the previous show. This card will have a slightly different background, be numbered 1b, and named Roxanne Recon. Show goers attending Saturday and Sunday will receive a different card from Neil Camera each day as well. The usual Saturday night dinner will take place at the Ratz room inside the show hotel the Hilton Garden Inn. All guests attending the dinner will receive the next two official Topps promo cards, #3 & #4, in the Philly Non-Sport set. These two cards, one GPK and one Wacky, were painted by Layron DeJarnette and Chenduz and feature a spring theme this time. Dinner attendees will also receive a special card painted by Tom Bunk. The cost of the dinner is $19.95. Tickets are almost sold out for the show dinner, so act fast to reserve your seat! To reserve your spot contact Roxanne Toser at roxannetoser@gmail.com.

The Philly Non-Sports show is a show geared not only for collectors but for families as well. The first 20 kids into the show will receive a package including an assortment of stickers and cards to get their collection started. Show organizers are also planning a box break of GPK and/or Wacky’s. Participants purchasing a spot in the break will be randomly assigned a number to to pick special cards from the break. Show tickets are available for $8 per day, or a two day pass for $14. The show will be open from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Saturday 5/4, and 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM Sunday 5/5. East coast collectors this is your change to chat with artists and fellow collectors in person. For more information on the show check out their website.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Trends International Launches GPK Stickers

Trends International looks to be a fairly new company to the Garbage Pail Kids license with Topps. They first launched posters found in Wal-Mart and on Amazon of OS 1 and OS 2 cards. Now comes word of two new sticker products from the company. The company specializes in licensed merchandise such as posters, calendars, stickers, etc. The first new product is called Pop-Up Stickers. Coming two sheets to a pack, these simple sticker sheets have numerous classic OS characters on them. Thanks to collector Johnny Nichols for first sharing these spotted in the wild. They were purchased from their local Five Below store. The Trends International website states the product is suppose to launch on 5/2/19, but it looks like some stores are putting them out early. The second product from Trends is the Sticker Flip Pack. The packaging on the website shows the pack will come with 6 unique sheets of stickers. This product just has a “coming soon” listed as the release date. Expect to see these pop up where licensed stationary products are sold in the coming months.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Collect WWE X GPK Cards Digitally in WWE Slam App

So you thought GPK the Game would be the first place you could collect GPK cards digitally? Topps WWE Slam mobile app beat them to the punch. Today Topps debuted WWE X GPK cards in their mobile WWE Slam app. The WWE Slam app allows collectors to collect all types of digital trading cards of WWE superstars. The app is one of a number of card collecting apps available for Topps products. Much like other apps, it is available on iPhone and Android phones in their respective app stores. The app is free to download, collectors get a number of free base card packs, with the option to purchase diamonds that allow you to buy additional card packs. Collectors can also trade with each other via the app.

So how to do you get the WWE X GPK cards in the app? Right now it appears there are three possible options to pulling the GPK cards in the app. Within the Featured section of the WWE Spam store there are options to purchase Ultra GPK, Super GPK, and GPK packs. Each pack costs a varying amount of diamonds or coins. With the pack you will primarily received WWE Slam 2019 base cards, along with some inserts. However, randomly inserted within the pack will be the WWE X GPK cards. It looks like you can get 2-3 GPK cards per Ultra pack, with the lesser packs providing harder pull rates. While not for every collector, if you already have the WWE Slam app and are into wrestling, be sure to collecting all the WWE X GPK digital cards.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Interview With GPK the Game Executive Producer & Jago Studios CEO Stuart Drexler

Stuart Drexler is the founder and CEO of Jago Studios. They are the gaming studio behind the upcoming mobile game, GPK the Game. Garbage Pail Kids collectors have been eagerly awaiting the game since it was first announced last year. In addition to running the company, Stuart is also the Executive Producer of the game. He attended this year’s Gross Card Con in Las Vegas. Stuart spoke briefly prior to the artist’s panel, and was busy the rest of the time talking to collectors and handing out some GPK the Game stickers. I was able to sit down with Stuart for an interview at the show. In the interview we discuss why Jago choose the GPK brand for its first game, how they are using and incorporating the original artwork in the game, some of what collectors can expect when the game launches, and finally a little bit about release dates.

GPKNews – Thanks for talking with us Stuart! You’re the founder of Jago Studios and GPK the Game is the studio’s first game. Why did you guys decide on GPK?

Stuart Drexler – So I grew up as a Wacky Packages kid. Mad Magazine, that really inspired me, and twisted my head a little bit as a kid. That was my entry into the world of satire. I was a little older when GPK came around, so I wasn’t one of the targets in that age range. I always knew how big it was, and it was phenomenal to see what it became.

GPKNews – How aware of GPK were you? Did you collect GPK when you were a kid?

SD – Again, I’m not going to say my age, but I was just older than the target audience would have been. I was a teenager when they came out, so it wasn’t for me. I looked at them and said, wow. I went into the kids industry. So when I started my career after college most of what I did, for however many years, was around kids brands; Barbie, Elmo, Sesame Street characters, Polly Pocket,  Action Man, Harry Potter, Club Penguin, Moshi Monsters, and so forth. I’ve had a great privilege to work with these great brands. Come to the point when I wanted to form my own company the inspiration really was if you were going to bring a new brand out today. Let me turn it around, there hasn’t been anything like this, since. We had Mad Magazine, Wacky Packages, and GPK. You look at the other card brands that have come out since, Pokemon, Yugioh, Magic the Gathering. Those are all in the card game genre, but they are all fantasy sci-fi, there’s no humor. Really for us it was this opportunity to bring together card, gaming, and humor. Jago Studios is committed to creating social mobile games with beloved humor brands. That’s what we are all about.

GPKNews – In a previous life you’ve been in charge of some major toy brands like Polly Pocket and some large online MMOs, like Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin. Those were new brands. With GPK you are taking on a brand from the past. Is that different in any way?

SD – Its always easier to take a brand, something brand new, because the gloves are off you can go in any direction. When you work with a brand that’s existed for some time there’s some inbuilt knowledge, history, legacy that you have to honor. I’ve had that privilege of working with some fantastic brands and refreshing them and bringing them onto new platforms. Whether it was taking Barbie into a board game, or Sesame Street characters into DVDs or other gaming experiences. I’m experienced at transitioning brands across different platforms. It’s a real treat to be able to work with a brand that has that much love and passion from its fans. As much as sometimes I know it will be difficult, and fans won’t love everything that we do, bring it on is my attitude. Its about being part of the community. Built into community is communication so I look forward to that conversation and wherever that takes us

GPKNews – How has being partners with Topps on the project been?

SD – They’ve been fantastic. I’ll be honest going in it was a little bit of a concern, corporate if you will, larger company. How are they going to be, or how tight are they going to be. Like it was said at the artist panel, they’ve really been fantastic partners. They are thrilled at having us involved in this. They’ve been great.

GPKNews – Topps has a number of mobile apps/games where collecting digital cards is the main focus. With this game it’s a card collecting/battling RPG, which I think surprised a lot of collectors when it was announced. Why did you choose these game mechanics for a GPK mobile game?

SD – The cards are already being collected, the physical market, there’s a huge audience. Its got 30 years of backstory. We didn’t want to replicate that. We wanted to add something new to the universe. There are, how many thousands of, ardent collectors over the years who are still involved and passionate about this. But there are millions of people who grew up with GPK as kids, may even still have their cards. In fact, I’ve talked to quite a few of them, “My 6th grade girlfriend took some of my cards.” Other ones, “My mom has them.” I’ve had two of my closer friends give me their cards. They said I want you to have these, I hope they inspire you. The point of all that is, there are millions of fans of the brand that may not even realize they can have a chance to get involved with GPK again. We really want the game to be accessible, wether or not you’re a collector. So there’s a lighter collection aspect within the game, we’re not going have thousands of cards in the game. Start with tens and ultimately grow into hundreds. Its of the more traditional model of a roll playing game where you get a few characters to being with, you level them up, you unlock new characters, you choose which characters you want to go after, and chase cards that will be great at building your strongest teams. There’s a lot of strategy involved in figuring out which characters go well together and make the best teams against other teams of characters.

GPKNews – During development how hard has it been to incorporate GPK characters into the game?

SD – This has been one of the most gratifying elements frankly. We explored early on reimagining the characters into 3D. Its been done with a number of other brands, I won’t name names. Sometimes more successfully than others. It just came across to us that was going to be a challenge to do, and do really, really well. The inbuilt love and instant recognizability of the actual 2d artwork, that those artists have done, is really the biggest equity in the brand. So we stopped running away from that, and really leaned in and embraced it. We used animation tools that has allowed us to take the actual card artwork and bring it to life. The characters in the game animate from the characters everyone instantly recognizes.

GPKNews – Who do you see as the target audience for GPK the Game? Kids? Adults? GPK collectors? Everyone?

SD – Well I can say everyone, and untimely we hope it’s everyone. Our initial target audience is those people that know the brand from their childhood. So its 35 years old and up. We are seeing in our early marketing its 25+, and the majority of the people signing up on our Facebook lists are 30 and older. Not surprising whatsoever, that’s also where the roll playing game audience is. That said, there is a lot of hand me down that happens. Those folks now have kids of their own, so there’s going to be a lot of hand me down that way. We hope that other people will discover the brand for the first time, and say what the heck is this crazy thing and fall in love with it.

GPKNews – You guys are animating these characters. It will be the first time collectors see their favorites animated, even if the animations are short. Again how are you striving to stay true to the original artwork, while making entertaining animations?

SD – We’ve done our best to stay true to the character and bring out the essence of what each character would have and would draw upon. We are actually right now working on bringing some voiceover and enhancing the sound effects in the game to bring that to the next level. We haven’t had a lot of feedback specifically about what we’ve done so far. But the general feedback we gotten from individuals we’ve spoken to, from people that have played the game, is they love seeing the characters brought to life. That’s one of the most magical and charming moments in the game and they want to see more of that.

GPKNews – I know a lot of the details haven’t been released about the game yet, but let’s give these questions a shot anyway. Once the game is released will there be ongoing support, game updates, new characters, etc?

SD – We will launch with an initial set of characters that we’ve already built. We know what our next 6 or so characters that we will build and add to the game. Once we are live and launched globally then we will be adding new characters on a regular basis. The cadence of that has yet to be determined. Monthly there will be new content in the game. I don’t want to say too much yet about the other elements that will be part of our live operation plan. What I will say at a high level is, the beauty of this brand is that it is satire, it’s a spoof. That’s one of the things that drew me to the brand, even though I didn’t grow up as a GPK kid. It fits right into that Wacky Packs, Mad Magazine sarcasm. I grew up with Monty Python, Benny Hill, wit, sarcasm, irony and the fact that you watch over time what Topps has done on a regular basis. Lampooning whether its pop stars, or sports figures, or political figures. The opportunity to keep this topical and to bring the brand to almost a weekly relevance. We have the opportunity to, not just with the cards, but other content that can surface in the game experience that gives you a laugh. That makes you hold the phone up to someone and say holy you know what, you’ve got to check this out, look what they’ve done. In the same way that when you open those card packs that you say, oh my God that’s crazy. That only happens with printed sets so many times a year. We see this as an opportunity to be doing it on a much more regular basis with fans of the brand. And again expand the market, the appeal, the potential for GPK that isn’t just physical cards.

GPKNews – How will Jago pick and choose what characters appear in the future? Are all GPKs fair game from OS, ANS, all the way to today’s sets? Do you have any plans for original characters to appear in the game first?

SD – We’ve gone back to series 1 and 2 because, as I’ve said earlier, we’re appealing not just to the core card collectors but to a much larger fan base. They’re the most recognizable. That said, we’ve peppered in cards that are much more recent, some with pop references, and others we just love the look of and they’re going to be really fun and would be a great card to battle within the game. There are some functional considerations we have. There are thousands of characters, and we’ve gone through quite a few of them to come up with the list we have. There are times when something won’t visually work as well in a game situation, so we’ve steered clear of those. Others where the scale difference, some cards are torso up, some are just the face, others are full head to toe, others are where there’s a whole scene of multiple characters in a card so that becomes a little more problematic. A lot of factors that come in to play. Simple answer is, Topps has given us carte blanche to all of the content they’ve created. They’ve also said, as and where appropriate, we can create new characters for the game. That could launch just in the game, and if they like it well enough and it fits into some of their plans then it could become a physical card. There are things afoot there that I can’t really talk about.

GPKNews – Will GPK the Game be a Freemimum game at launch?

SD – Yeah, it’s a standard free play game, free to download no charge for that. You can play the game forever for free. There’s no requirement to purchase anything in the game. There’s no hard wall, I know some games have had a lot of flack for having a hard wall where you can’t progress if you don’t spend real money in the game. We’re not going to have that. There are opportunities to buy cards within the game as well as coins, and our funny money, toxic gems which speed your progress through the experience.

GPKNews – When first announced, the release time frame you guys were shooting for was Q4 2018, and the latest info you announced was Q2 2019. Why the reason for the delay? How confident are you that you will hit that Q2 time frame?

SD – When you’re creating a mobile game or any game, a game is a lot more complicated than just creating a piece of artwork for a card. I appreciate to the fans to give us the time to really get it right. We want to make the best possible game. We love this brand. We’re making this for the fans, and for everyone who grew up with the brand. We’ve done both quantitative and qualitative testing. We’ve got some fans in playing it. We are iterating all the time, taking feedback in, making some tweaks, making some changes, making improvements. In terms of timing, my marketing lead has sworn me that you never specify the release date until you are right there and 100% ready to release the game. I’m not going to specify a specific date. It will be later this year, we are shooting for summer. We are doing our best to hit those dates. At the end of the day if there’s something we feel we can tweak and improve, that’s really going to make a difference, that when we launch live people are thrilled and excited and understand why we spent that time and put all that love an energy in, then that’s what we are going to do.

GPKNews – Do you have any additional plans for doing anymore public beta testing?

SD – We are always beta testing with folks who are in the company and close to the company. We are thinking about it, we may do some more beta testing with fans, so stay tuned.

GPKNews – Can you give us any tidbits from the game that haven’t been released? Anything you want to reveal to GPK collectors?

SD – Right now one of the things we are working on is, I know this might sound trivial, but card borders. Originally, when we first designed we had reimagined the card borders for the benefits of what you can do in Unity and gaming interfaces, more bling and interesting. But that’s not what the fans wanted. That’s one the things we got back from fans was, this doesn’t look like my set of cards. It’s really interesting, we’re going back to old school with this. Returning to your traditional, starting with white, but you progress to different colors as you advance through the game. So you immediently know you have more powerful cards or you’re are up against a team that is more powerful through the color borders of cards.

GPKNews – Finally, what’s your favorite GPK character?

SD – Oh my God I don’t even know. I want to say Adam Bomb because its so iconic. Or the one named after me, I have to say, so we have not Savage Stuart, but the Mad Mike version in the game. I specifically didn’t want the card named after me, but we got the character in there, and he’s just damn lovable in the way we’ve brought him to life animated, its a lot of fun.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Topps Launches WWE X GPK Online Set

Fresh off the announcement by WWE this morning of shirts being available at wwe.com and Spencer’s gifts, Topps decided to launch their wrestling themed GPK set a day early. Today Topps launched WWE X GPK 13  sticker online set. The set features 13 cards of past and present WWE superstars turned into GPK characters. Joe Simko and Brent did all the artwork on the cards. The cards have numbers and the “peel here” arrow on the fronts. Unlike a traditional GPK set each character only has one card. The WWE announcement from today said the cards would launch on Mar. 12, but it looks like Topps decided to get the ball rolling a day early. The set is available for $24.99.  Shipping is free in the US, while international shipping varies. It will be available for 29 days at topps.com. Topps will reveal the print run at the end of the sale. Here is the checklist and pictures from Topps & WWE of the cards.

1. Gigantic ANDRE (Simko)
2. Breakin’ BECKY (Simko)
3. C-Thru CENA (Engstrom)
4. Savage RANDY (Simko)
5. Mixed-Up MICK (Engstrom)
6. Mouthy MIZ & Maryse (Simko)
7. Slick RICK (Engstrom)
8. Rowdy RONDA (Engstrom)
9. Brawlin’ ROLLINS (Engstrom)
10. Seething STEVE (Engstrom)
11. Chipped ROCK (Simko)
12. Unravelled WARRIOR (Simko)
13. Undead TAKER (Engstrom)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

WWE Launches Official Garbage Pail Kids Shirts/Cards Coming

Update: It looks like there will be additional shirts sold at Spencer’s gifts, and a card set coming Mar. 12 to Topps.com. Here is a release WWE released today:

New WWE collaboration with the Garbage Pail Kids

WWE is teaming with ’80s icons, the Garbage Pail Kids, to give a new look to your favorite WWE Superstars and Legends. Superstars like Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey will get a GPK-style makeover for a new line of T-shirts and hats on WWEShop.com and Spencer’s.

WWE Shop will offer T-shirts for Becky Lynch, Ronda Rousey, John Cena, Seth Rollins and The Miz as “GPKs.”

WWE x GPK tees with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Randy Savage, Ric Flair, The Undertaker, The Ultimate Warrior and Andre the Giant will be available at Spencer’s starting March 21.

Collectible trading card packs will also be available for ordering on Topps.com, starting March 12.

Get your hands on “Breakin’ Becky,” “Brawlin’ Rollins” and more, available now!

Here are preview pictures of cards and some of the shirts from WWE.

Topps is expanding their licenses with WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) and Garbage Pail Kids. Today the WWE launched officially licensed Garbage Pail Kids shirts. The five new shirts feature artwork done by Joe Simko and Brent Engstrom. The shirts parody some of the biggest names in wrestling, Becky Lynch, John Cena, Seth Rollins, Rhonda Rousey, and the Miz. Each shirt is available for $27.99 and comes in sizes S-2XL. The shirts can be purchased on wweshop.com. No word yet if the shirts will be available at merchandise stands at shows.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Collectors & Artists Enjoy Another Gross Card Con

The third annual Las Vegas Gross Card Con was held last weekend at the Westgate Casino in Las Vegas. Collectors and artists from around the world ascended on Vegas to reacquaint with buddies, meet new friends, and get all the Garbage Pail Kids they can handle. This years show was the biggest yet with a staggering 18 current and former GPK artists in attendance. There were also plenty of GPK focused activities for collectors and artists alike. Perhaps the highlight for most in attendance was just being able to hang out with their fellow collectors and artists they chat with on a daily and/or weekly basis online.

This years Las Vegas ToyCon was held in the event center of the Westgate Casino. This was the best setup, by far, of the three Las Vegas shows. The entire show was held in one room. This made things a lot better for everyone involved and allowed the general ToyCon guest to easily find the GCC area. The 12 regular artists who attend GCC were located in their own section of the show, complete with an archway banner letting everyone know they were entering GCC. The new sketch artists who were attending for the first time were in artist’s ally in the adjoining isles. Clint Coleman’s GPK & Wacky Warehouse booth was right outside the entrance to GCC.

As usual the biggest highlight of the show for collectors is seeing all the artists. OS artist Tom Bunk was once again the headlining artist at the show. He was offering his new GPK dollhouse print for sale at the show, and it proved to be a big hit. The Gross Card Con sketch shirts being offered by Joe Simko and Jeff Zapata were also a popular item for collectors. Sales of the shirts with sketches kept both artists busy the entire show sketching at their booth. In fact a majority of the artists spent a lot of time working on commissions at the show. Another highlight from the show was David Gross’ third GPK Rejects book. Each book comes with a sketch and is filled with pages of great gags that were not used by Topps. Jon Gregory’s black canvas paintings were suburb to look at in person. It wasn’t just GPK merchandise that was selling well either. Both Michael Barnard and Chad Scheres were busy at their booths selling a number of their own original creations. Mark Pingitore also had all the Magic Marker Art items, including new magnets and promos cards for upcoming sets. In addition all sic of the first time artists attending seemed to really enjoy themselves, not only meeting collectors, but also meeting their fellow artists.

Another large part of this year’s show was Topps finally acknowledging the show existed. While Topps didn’t attend in person, they did allow one of David Gross’ unused 90’s gags to be created as promo cards. There were a number of ways to obtain both promo cards at the show, and they were a popular item for collectors. In addition Topps promoted GCC on both their GPK Facebook page, and the Topps Twitter account on Friday. This acknowledgment is a huge advancement for Topps, and shows collectors that there may be some change afoot with the brand.

There were also plenty of special GPK themed events for collectors during the show. All three days of the show featured a Scavenger Hunt. Clint Coleman would hide some exclusive ToyCon cards, sketch cards, and other goodies around the hotel for collectors to find. Saturday morning was the VIP breakfast with the artists. Many of the artists attneded with collectors who were SuperVIPs or purchased the breakfast. This setting allowed collectors a chance to talk with artists through a meal. Attendees to the breakfast also received a set of Topps Promo cards, and a special Adam Bomb decorated cookie from Joe Simko. Later that morning brought on the usual card chat with the artists. This year’s chat started off with Jago Studios CEO Stuart Drexler. He gave a quick 10 min. presentation on GPK the Game. He shared some of the game mechanics, what items they were focusing on, and general developments on the dame. He also handed out an exclusive GPK the Game sticker to collectors on Friday and Saturday at the show. That left only a minimal amount of time with the artists. While there wasn’t a lot of new information to share, the artists did mention they were working on some projects that they thought would really push the brand forward. Unfortunately, they were unable to share any additional information about unannounced products. GPKNews was in attendance, you can find video of the card chat here.

This year’s Vegas Gross Card Con ended up being a solid show for all involved. This was the best and cleanest hotel that show has been in to date. As mentioned above the show layout, while not perfect, was also the best its been. Next time not closing off the GCC area would lead to more general ToyCon foot traffic for the artists. In speaking with the artists at this years, show the vibe was it was a good show. Most artists made money, with a couple saying they had their best show day ever on Friday. The show ended up being a positive experience for almost all the artists. Every collector I spoke with really enjoyed the show. I think every collector will tell you the same thing. While it’s great to see all the cool items available, the highlight of the show is hanging out with friends you talk to throughout the year. This show brings a couple of hundred of your closest hobby friends together. If you haven’t attended a Vegas GCC show before, start planning now for next year, you will not be disappointed.

Check out a bunch of pictures from the show. Thanks to collector Jason Bryant for sharing some of his pictures as well!

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Topps Europe Launches Garbage Gang Slime Buckets

Much like the recent Sgorbions Slime release in Italy, Topps Europe has launched The Garbage Gang Slime Buckets. Thanks to UK collector Stephen Emery for finding this picture first. There aren’t a lot of details yet on the product. The slim buckets look to be the same, old Minikins inserted into Slime. There is no mention on the box of an activity book like Sgorbions had.  Topps Europe had confirmed with GPKNews a few weeks back that the Slime product would be launching in the UK, at the time they didn’t have a release date. Those of you in the UK keep your eyes peeled for this latest product.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail