How Many 2023S2 GPK InterGoolatic Mayhem Were Produced? Part 1

This is Part 1 of a 2 part series on the production of 2023 Series 2 Garbage Pail Kids InterGoolatic Mayhem. Part 2 will be posting soon.

The second retail set of 2023 saw Topps eliminate all retail packs types, like Blaster and Retail Display. Collectors are deprived of impulse buying at their local Target and Walmart stores. That just leaves Collector and Hobby as the only two pack types. While it means less choice for collectors, it means figuring out production is very easy! Compared to some resent sets, this was a breeze. For the most part it even seems Topps got the odds right once again! That’s three sets in a row. By eliminating retail packs, that should mean production is down. Retail normally makes up 75% of the print run. But just how much lower was production this time around? Let’s take a look!

First my disclaimer! Production numbers are never an exact science, and Topps makes it tough on us. In order to attempt to solve this riddle we need to look very closely at sell sheets, odds, and real world breaks. Some things to keep in mind for this post. 1) Topps doesn’t want the public to know exactly how much of each card was made. Why? No idea really, I think it’s dumb, but historically Topps only provides enough information to get close. 2) We need to make some assumptions. Those assumptions will be based on the clues we have, but still some guessing has to happen. 3) The odds never quite seem to come out completely equal. However, we can round and get pretty close to how much was produced. 4) Keep in mind Topps historically holds back up to 5% of the print run to cover missing hits, damaged cards, and their No Purchase Necessary program. These numbers would include that 5%. With all that in mind let’s get started…(Warning lots of math coming up. If you don’t want to read about the process, skip to the bottom for the answer sheet!)

We always start by figuring out the total print run. For the first time in quite a while Topps made things easy on us. In order to do this we need a numbered card that has the same odds in all pack types. We get two with this set, Gold and Gray borders! By the way, by all appearances the odds, for the most part, seem to be accurate. The only glaring thing wrong are the Green and Black parallels listed as 1:2 packs, when both are 1:1. Let’s start with looking at Gold and Gray numbers.

  • Gold borders – 200 cards in set * 50 made per card = 10,000 total Gold borders * 91 odds = 910,000 total packs made
  • Gray borders – 200 cards in set * 199 made per card = 39,800 total total Gray borders * 23 odds = 915,490 total packs made

First thoughts? Those numbers are very close! And wow, under 1 Million packs! Production does appear to be down, significantly! Now that we have a general idea of total production, let’s break it down by pack type. Once again, Topps making it easy on us. We just need to look at numbered card types that are exclusive to a pack type. Collector boxes have Red borders and Patches, while Hobby boxes have Blue borders.

  • Blue borders – 200 cards in set * 99 made per card = 19,800 total Blue borders * 22 odds = 435,600 Hobby packs made
  • Red borders – 200 cards in set * 75 made per card = 15,000 total Red borders * 31 odds = 465,000 Collector packs made
  • Patches – 10 cards in set * 199 make per card = 1,990 total Patches * 235 odds = 467,650 Collector packs made

These numbers reveal a lot actually. First, while production is down overall significantly, production is up big time on Collector and Hobby (FKA Retail Display) packs. This makes total sense. Historically, retail pack types made up about 75% of the production run. It only makes sense that the remaining packs types would increase to make up for no retail. Also, if you add up the total packs on Blues and Reds, you get 900,600 total packs. That number is really close to the total pack numbers we got from Gold and Gray. On the odds, real world case break examples are showing the odds to be accurate. For the most part each Hobby case yields 8 Blues, while a Collector case is right around 6 Reds per case. All this leads me to believe we are right on the production numbers. I’m going to go with the Blue and Red border numbers for each pack type, as well as their sum being the total production number.

Here’s what I believe the total production numbers to be for GPK InterGoolatic Mayhem:

  • Total Production – 900,600 Total Packs
  • Collector – 465,000 Collector Packs or about 19,375 Collector Boxes or about 2,422 Collector Cases
  • Hobby – 435,600 Hobby Packs or about 18,150 Hobby Boxes or about 2,268 Hobby Cases

Again, I’m surprised by just how little the set was produced compared to recent releases. Under 1 million packs hasn’t happened in years for a GPK set. At the same time, it’s not surprising. This is what happens when you eliminate retail pack types from a product. Let’s see how this release stacks up to recent releases.

  • Total Pack Production
    • 35th Anniversary – 1,113,000
    • Food Fight – 1,790,000
    • Book Worms – 3,635,000
    • Vacation – 1,737,000
    • InterGoolatic Mayhem – 900,600 (48.1% decrease in production vs. Vacation)
  • Collector Pack Production
    • 35th Anniversary – 130,000
    • Food Fight – 225,000
    • Book Worms – 405,000
    • Vacation – 180,000
    • InterGoolatic Mayhem – 465,000 (158.3% increase in production vs. Vacation)
  • Retail Display (Hobby) Pack Production
    • 35th Anniversary – 237,600
    • Food Fight – 356,000
    • Book Worms – 564,000
    • Vacation – 297,000
    • InterGoolatic Mayhem – 435,600 (31.8% increase in production vs. Vacation)

These numbers really need to be looked at in two parts. First overall production. You have to go back to 2020S1 GPK Late to School to find a set that had less than 1 million total packs. Looking at the latest production compared with the previous two releases is shocking. When looking at each pack type however, there is a different story. This release had the most Collector Packs ever produced, even more than Book Worms! Hobby packs were very high, but actually less than Book Worms. Collectors are going to see some of the rarer inserts that are exclusive to Collector boxes, will be easier than ever to get. While those unnumbered inserts and parallels that used to be retail only, will have lower print runs than normal. It’s a whole new world for collectors to have a product that has no retail packs. Is demand no longer there for GPK products? Maybe Topps just learned their lesson from overproducing sets the last couple of years. But if that’s the case, why no retail? Maybe it’s simply just a production issue, or is it more? Is this going to continue? We shouldn’t have the wait long as the next retail set, 2024S1, is set for the first quarter. If retail packs once again are not made, collectors might be looking at ever decreasing print runs.

This is Part 1 of a 2 part series on the production of 2023 Series 2 Garbage Pail Kids InterGoolatic Mayhem. In Part 2 we will look at production numbers for all parallel and insert sets. Part 2 will be posted soon.