GPKNews has learned that Garbage Pail Kids Brand Manager Jessica Kanzer is no longer with Topps. Sources say Jessica left Topps a couple weeks ago for an opportunity in another field. Jessica had been leading the retail releases for GPK. She took over for previous brand manager Colin Walton in mid-2018. She oversaw all the retail sets since 2018S2, including the recently released 35th Anniversary and Chrome OS 3 releases. In addition to GPK, Jessica worked on Topps’ entertainment properties like Wacky Packages, WWE, and Star Wars.
According to a Topps spokesperson, the Brand Manager team is working to cover Jessica’s former responsibilities until a replacement is hired. There is currently a listing for Brand Manager – Entertainment on Topps’ job website. The change in leadership is not expected to cause any delays with releases. Work was already completed on 2021S1 Food Fight before her resignation. While no future sets have been officially announced, work continues uninterrupted on 2021S2 by the GPK artists. The GPK brand is exploding in popularity, whomever takes over will have the chance to lead Topps’ entertainment properties through these times.
With the official release of 2021 Topps Series Baseball tomorrow, boxes are already being busted and cards have started appearing on eBay. As announced on the checklist last week, the History of Topps Insert Set within the series contains a Garbage Pail Kids card celebrating the launch of the brand in 1985. Thanks to collector Joshua for sending along pictures of the card. The card features the iconic Adam Bomb OS 1 card on the front. The card is numbered HOT-5. GPK collectors looking for the card should be aware the card comes in multiple parallels. In addition to the base card, there is also Blue, Black (/299), Platinum Anniversary (/70), Red (/10), and Gold (1/1). As you can see below from some of the early odds, the card will not be an easy pull, especially the parallels.
The flagship baseball card set for Topps is scheduled to feature a Garbage Pail Kids card. According to the checklist released today for 2021 Series 1 Topps Baseball, there will be a card commemorating the launch of the Garbage Pail Kids. The card will be part of the History of Topps insert set that helps celebrate the 70th anniversary of Topps making cards. There is no info on what artwork will be on the card. The checklist shows it will be card #HOT-5. Collectors will want to keep their eyes open on the secondary market. 2021 Topps Series 1 Baseball is set to be released 2/10/21.
COVID-19 wasn’t able to stop Topps news from coming out at the Philly Non-Sports card show. The show is being held virtually this weekend. Today’s first virtual card talk session featured Topps Ira Friedman and Jessica Kanzer. The call was hosted by show promoter Harris Tosar.
Topps VP of licensing Ira Friedman took the first half of the call to go over all the various licensing efforts Topps is working on for Garbage Pail Kids. Ira told collectors Topps is focused on making GPK a global brand. He first reviewed a number of products that are for the core GPK collector. USAopoly is planning to release two new puzzles in 2021, plus a new unannounced product. There will be 3 new Geekitikis in the second series coming in Nov. Funko will release new POPs in early 2021. Greenlight will have the already announced 3rd series of die-cast cars in 2021. Ira showed off the GPK playing card deck during the talk. He said they would be sold at both FYE and ToyNK. He also showed the recent playing card coins from GPKNation, and talked about their weekly limited releases. He also had the Super7 reaction figure of Adam Bomb, and said he hoped it would lead to more figures.
Next Ira spoke of products that were focused on a broader audience. He mentioned the continued FYE consumables they continue to come out with. The Wal-Mart GPK advent calendar was shown. Ira said the calendar will be sold in 900 stores nationwide. He then talked about trying to being GPKs to kids. Part of that will include two more announcements with toy companies coming in 2021, that will focus on products to bring kids into the hobby. Finally, in some big news, Ira said they are working on various video game initiatives, and there will be some announcements in 2021.
Ira then went on to talk about the various partnerships they are working on. He said there would be a new partnership announcement in Dec. for 2021. He then talked about the success of the RL Stine book, and being #7 on this weeks NY Times kids best seller list. He showed off the audio version of the book, featured on 6 CDs. He mentioned there will be more books on the way from RL Stine. Finally he said their stop motion partnership with Jam Roll Studios is continuing. There is an upcoming much longer 3 part videos series coming out soon from the company. The first part 3 1/2 min video will debut this December. Part 2 will come in the first quarter of 2021, with part 3 in the 2nd quarter.
Finally Ira talked about global expansion. He said various GPK products would be offered in other countries that have supported GPK. He also mentioned in 2021 they are working on new card sets for other countries featuring not only existing, but new artwork as well.
Next to speak was Topps Entertainment Brand Manager Jessica Kanzer. Jessica started by giving an overview of the upcoming 35th anniversary set. Jessica showed a picture of the Garbage Can Tin that will be the box on the Collector boxes. She mentioned there are two versions, one will be limited. Next she talked about the Chrome OS 3 set. In addition to the OS 3 base cards, there are nine new pieces that were created for the set. She said Tom Bunk signed a number of cards for the set, but they were not able to get John Pound to sign autos this time. She mentioned she is also excited for the 2021S1 Food Fight release, and work is starting for the second half releases in 2021.
Jessica also talked about some upcoming releases for topps.com. The second series of Trashy Treasures will be coming in Nov. She showed off one of the figures, Nat Nerd. She said there will be a Halloween themed release on 10/22, with two additional holiday themed releases planned for the rest of the year. She also said the weekly GPK card sets would continue in 2021 with a different theme.
Topps doesn’t speak often on GPK so this was incredible insight being shared with collectors. Hats off to the Philly Non-Sport promoters for putting the talk together. The show has 6 more various non-sport related talks scheduled through the weekend.
According to an article published yesterday in ICV2.com, Topps is planning a huge push next year for Garbage Pail Kids and their 35th anniversary. Topps has big plans with both licensees and promotions.
New licensees will include USAopoly, they will produce a GPK themed Monopoly board game. Abrams book publisher will be back, this time with middle-school themed books. Previously announced companies Chalkline and Just Funky will join a new name, Surreal Entertainment, in producing licensed merchandise. The previous licensees; Geeki Tikis, Super 7, Ripple Junction, Mondo, FYE Consumables, Creepy Co., Fright Rags, are also mentioned as coming out with new items in 2020.
For the first time in years, Topps will actually put some marketing power behind the brand. According to the article Topps will be sending GPK characters to trade shows and comic conventions next year. The article also mentioned they will be showcasing the art and the artists at those shows. Also Topps is planning on launching dedicated social media channels, and a new website.
Finally mentioned in the article, and confirmed by Jam Studios, Topps has agreed to partner with Jam Studios to being a “whole batch” of new animated GPK shorts. Strangely, there was no mention os plans for the actual card sets in 2020. Buckle in, next year is going to be busy…
Back in Oct. 2017 Topps filed a lawsuit against former Garbage Pail Kids artist Luis Diaz alleging that Diaz infringed on Topps’ trademarks and trade dress with his Garbage Parody Kids and Gavage Parody Kids cards. A few months later Diaz countersued Topps alleging that Topps used rejected concepts submitted by Diaz and created cards based on those concepts without compensation. Paul Lesko, a lawyer who also covers card hobby related lawsuits for Cardboard Connection, had a great overview of the lawsuit back in 2018.
Yesterday, as first twitted out by Cardboard Connection, Topps announced in a press release that it has settled the lawsuit with Diaz. The release reads:
NEW YORK, May 23, 2019 – The Topps Company, Inc. is pleased to announce that it recently resolved the lawsuit it brought against Luis Diaz regarding Mr. Diaz’s promotion and sale of GARBAGE PARODY KIDS and GAVAGE PARODY KIDS trading cards, which Topps claimed infringed its intellectual property. Diaz will no longer be creating GARBAGE PARODY KIDS and GAVAGE PARODY KIDS cards. All claims in the lawsuit have been dismissed, and the parties have entered into a confidential settlement agreement that contains terms and protections to ensure against infringement of Topps’ intellectual property.
GPKNews reached out to Diaz for comment. Diaz confirmed that the lawsuit has been settled, but was unable to comment further due to the confidentiality agreement.
GPKNews spoke with Paul Lesko and asked his opinion on the case based on the information filed by the parties with the court. Lesko said, “The case would turn more on who developed the specific artwork first. Whether any of the art is substantially similar would be a jury call, so it all focuses on who created each specific art/card first. From the allegations, I thought both sides could win some claims against each other. So I would consider it to be a wash.”
What the future holds for Diaz and other artists that create GPK themed art appears murky. Should the case had gone to trial many questions around Topps trademarks would have been answered. According to the release Diaz won’t be creating his parody card lines any longer. As to what this settlement means to others Lesko said, “As it’s confidential we can’t determine who won/lost if anyone did. From the press release, I’d have to say it looks like the settlement was more in Topps’ favor simply because it appears Diaz is not making Gavage cards any more. If that’s the case, and taking into account the press release, I’d have to say this suit and resolution is likely a deterrent to others.”
Last night news started to come out that Garbage Pail Kids Brand Manager Colin Walton was no longer with Topps as of last Friday. A spokesperson from Topps confirmed with GPKNews today that Colin left for another company and is no longer working with Topps. According to information shared online, Colin left to join WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).
Colin started working on GPK products during the ANS 7 set. Eventually he became Art Director over the brand during the Flashback 3 set after Jeff Zapata left the company. Topps has released a number of retail sets under his leadership from BNS, Chrome, and the Yearly releases. Colin was also the Brand Manager and Art Director over Wacky Packages, Mars Attacks, and WWE cards.
Topps was not yet willing to share who the new Brand Manager is. Topps says the change will not result in any delays to any currently planned products.
This week’s New York Comic Con is set to have a big Garbage Pail Kids presence. The show is set to take place Oct. 5-8 at the Javits Center. Topps, Santa Cruz, 30 Years of Garbage, and Wish Factory will all have heavy GPK presence. Read on for what you can expect and where to find it!
As usual Topps will have a booth at NYCC this year. Topps skipped GPK at this past year’s San Diego Comic Con, but GPK is back for NYCC in a big way. Topps has big plans on Saturday for GPK. For the first time since 2014, Topps will be handing out a promo card for 2017S2 GPK Battle of the Bands. Topps will hand out the Katy Perry parody on Saturday to show goers, while supplies last. GPK artist Joe Simko will also be signing the promo cards on Saturday from 1:30 – 2:30 at the booth. Topps will also announced they will be busting GPK boxes on Saturday at the show. You can find Topps at booth #454.
Santa Cruz skateboard company will be selling their blind bag GPK themed skateboard decks at the show. Set to officially launch on 10/9, collectors can get their hands on these boards at Topps’ booth (#454). Santa Cruz artist Pitchgrim posted on Facebook that Santa Cruz will have 400 boards on hand to sell. As a special bonus only for the show, each board purchased will come with an exclusive Heaving Hand enamel pin.
The excellent GPK documentary 30 Years of Garbage will also be featured at the show. Directors Joe Simko and Jeff Zapata will be interviewed on the NYCC Livestage, booth #174, Sunday at 12:00.
Wish Factory will also be at this year’s New York Comic Con in booth #243 selling their Kawaii Cubes plushes. They will have both the small (2 inch) for $5 and medium (4 inch) for $10 GPK plushes available for sale at their booth.
Creepy Co., another Topps GPK licensee, will be sharing a booth at NYCC with Toy Tokyo (#588/688). They will not have any GPK merchandise at the show, instead focusing on their My Pet Monster line. But the company is offering discount cards to show goers. They also would love to hear from GPK collectors at the show, be sure to stop by and say hi.
If you are going to the show, keep your eyes open for all the GPK goodness!
The first Trumpocracy release of the week saw collectors stay away. Today Topps revealed the print run for Garbage Pail Kids Trumpocracy – The First 100 Days cards #142-#143, and GPK Network Spews #30. Neither Trumpocracy cards did well with the GPK and Wacky doing sales numbers on the low end for this release. The Network Spews Wacky card finished slightly better, breaking the 200 mark. Topps is all in this week with daily releases as we head quickly for day #100 in Trump’s presidency. Here are how the final numbered ended up.
#142 – Down & Out Devin – 141
#143 – Thank Donald Dump Ad (Wacky) – 194
Roxanne Toser announced today on Facebook that this Spring’s Philly Non-Sports Card Show will feature a GPK and Wacky Packages theme. The Toser’s have been involved in Non-Sports cards for decades. Famously running a mail order business, and publishing Non-Sports Magazine. Today they still promote one of the biggest and most important non-sports card shows in the country. The Philly Non-Sports card show takes place twice a year in the spring and fall.
In previous years, Topps has offered promo cards at the Philly Non-Sports shows, starting back in the ANS days and through the BNS sets. This time there is a twist. Roxanne announced there would be a licensed Topps set created by the artists for sale. There are no details yet on who is doing the artwork, number of cards in the set, or the price. Roxanne did say there were six artists attending the show; Smokin Joe McWilliams, Chad Scheres, Layton DeJarnette, Neal Camera, Joe Simko, and Jeff Zapata. It isn’t clear if the set will be available for sale before the show to people not attending. However, Roxanne did mention the set would go on sale soon, as the proceeds would be used to pay for the artists hotel rooms. This would appear to be a similar license deal that the Riot Fest music festival did last year.
The Philly Non-Sport show takes place April 22 & 23 at the Merchants Square Mall in Allentown, PA. Until more details are released you can check the show’s Facebook page or their Website. GPKnews will update once more details are available.