How Many 2024S1 GPK Kids At Play Were Produced? Part 1

This is Part 1 of a 2 part series on the production of 2024 Series 1 Garbage Pail Kids: GPK Kids At Play. Part 2 will be posting soon.

Ugh Topps! After back to back sets of nailing the odds correctly, Topps decided to put back on the dunce cap and fail math class. The first retail set of 2024 saw the return of product to big box retailers like Target and Walmart. This means there were 3 or 4, depending on your trust level in Topps, different box types for this release. The big problem with figuring out production numbers is there are many, many errors on the odds sheet. There are three major issues with the odds sheet; 1) There are at least 10 card types where the odds are incorrect, 2) The per box odds do not match the per pack odds on 20 different card types, 3) finally while in the past Hobby and Retail Display boxes are the same thing, there are four different odds listed for these two boxes. We will cover each of those errors throughout both production articles. The good news is, there is enough information to figure out production, we don’t quite have a Chrome 5 situation here. Production looks to be way up over the previous set. How high? 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 trying to figure out the total production. Usually there’s at least one card type that is shared across all pack types and has the same odds. Last set it was Gold and Gray parallels. Unfortunately, for Kids At Play every shared card either doesn’t have the same odds or the odds are wrong. Not only are the odds listed different for Gold, Gray, and Autos, but after doing the math, the odds for all three are incorrect. In each case the odds are actually overstated. The cards should be, and based on early case breaks, are falling at a higher rate than what’s stated. In the case of Gold cards the odds are over stated by more than half. So where does that leave us? We have to try to figure out production for each individual pack type. Thankfully there appears to be enough odds that are correct to get individual pack production. Let’s start with the easy one, Collector packs. We can look at Red parallels, patch inserts, and for the first time both Shaped and Triptych sketches. That’s right, for the first time in years, Topps revealed how many of each sketch type was inserted into packs.

  • Red borders – 200 cards in set * 75 made per card = 15,000 total Red borders * 27 odds = 405,000 Collector packs made
  • Patches – 10 cards in set * 199 make per card = 1,990 total Patches * 206 odds = 409,940 Collector packs made
  • Shaped Sketches – 1134 total * 344 odds = 390,096 Collector packs made
  • Triptych Sketches – 202 total * 1933 odds = 390,466 Collector packs made

Those numbers are all right in the same neighborhood. Based on case breaks they also appear to be correct with Reds and Patches. We are going to go with 405,000 for the Collector pack number. That number is slightly lower than InterGoolatic, but I expected it to be much lower, since they are adding back in Blasters. In fact it’s similar to Book Worms collector box numbers.

On to the next pack type, Retail Display. Or is that Hobby? Well this one is a mystery. Historically, Topps has sold the same exact box under both the Retail Display and Hobby names. Odds, package, and SKU have always been the same. This year surprisingly, there are four card types where it shows different odds for these box types; Printing Plates, Regular Sketches, Gold Autos, and Auto Foilfractors. That would make one think there are two different box types. However, based on what collectors have received both the Package and SKU numbers on boxes and packs are the same. After running the numbers, I believe both box types are the same, and those different odds are an error. No only are the odds different, but running the numbers on them show that they are incorrect as well. The good news is we still have the Blue parallel odds we can use to figure out the pack run.

  • Blue borders – 200 cards in set * 99 made per card = 19,800 total Blue borders * 25 odds = 495,000 Retail Display/Hobby packs made

How can we be sure that number is accurate. For a couple of reasons. When running the rest of the numbers the amount of packs make sense. Also real world box breaks have shown that number to be accurate. So we are going with 495,000 total Retail Display/Hobby packs. Believe it or not, those numbers are an increase over InterGoolatic. That’s another key to show the print run is considerably higher. It’s less than Book Worms, but still very high!

One last pack type to look at, Blaster boxes. Topps actually saved us here by revealing the total number of each sketch type inserted into packs. Luckily, Blaster boxes have two exclusive sketch types, Panoramic and Loaded Puzzle.

  • Pano Sketches – 194 total * 6,111 odds = 1,185,534 Blaster packs made
  • Loaded Sketches – 350 total * 3,532 odds = 1,236,200 Blaster packs made

So here’s where we need to take a little leap of faith. We don’t have any other numbers we can use. These odds are hard to prove because these hit types are very high. However, again when running the other numbers they make sense. Also the other sketch types in Collector boxes were accurate. I believe we are safe using these numbers. I’m going to use 1,185,000 for the Blaster pack number to make the math easier. Wow, another very high number. It’s right on line with Vacation Blasters.

So there you have it, we now have production numbers for each individual pack type in Kids At Play. Here’s what I believe the total production numbers:

  • Total Production – 2,085,000 Total Packs
  • Collector – 405,000 Collector Packs or about 16,875 Collector Boxes or about 2,109 Collector Cases
  • Retail Display –  495,000 RD Packs or about 20,625 RD Boxes or about 2,578 RD Cases
  • Blaster – 1,185,000 Blaster Packs or about 118,500 Blaster Boxes or about 2,962 Blaster Cases

Wow over 2 million total packs. With adding back in Blasters to the mix, one would think Topps would cut back on Collector and Retail Display print runs after increasing them for InterGoolatic. That didn’t happen, and to top it off they printed a ton of Blasters. Let’s take a look how production compares to recent sets.

  • Total Pack Production
    • Food Fight – 1,790,000
    • Book Worms – 3,635,000
    • Vacation – 1,737,000
    • InterGoolatic Mayhem – 900,600
    • Kids At Play – 2,085,000 (132% increase in production vs. InterGoolatic)
  • Collector Pack Production
    • Food Fight – 225,000
    • Book Worms – 405,000
    • Vacation – 180,000
    • InterGoolatic Mayhem – 465,000
    • Kids At Play – 405,000 (13% decrease in production vs. InterGoolatic)
  • Retail Pack Production
    • Food Fight – 1,565,000
    • Book Worms – 3,245,000
    • Vacation – 1,557,000
    • InterGoolatic Mayhem – 435,600 (Hobby boxes only)
    • Kids At Play – 1,680,000 (386% increase in production vs. InterGoolatic)

Wow! It’s hard to believe Topps would increase production this much over InterGoolatoc. Just when you thought they learned their lesson. Topps really had the production dialed in with InterGoolatic. There just isn’t the demand for a print run this large. Kids At Play is the third highest produced modern GPK set. Only Book Worms (3.6 million) and Chrome 5 (3.2 million) were higher. No other set has broken the 2 million pack production number. How Topps moves forward from here will be interesting. While there have not officially been any other announced sets for 2024, we know Chrome 7 will be coming this fall. Kids At Play are going to have to be discounted heavily in a few months. How will that play into future sets?

This is Part 1 of a 2 part series on the production of 2024 Series 1 Garbage Pail Kids: GPK Kids At Play. In Part 2 we will look at production numbers for all parallel and insert sets. Part 2 will be posted soon.