It’s day two of the week long launches for the cards celebrating the worst in pop culture in 2023! Today Topps launched 2023 Garbage Pail Kids Was the Worst Cards #3 & #4. Collectors have an 1:5 chance to receive a sad face parallel card. Each card can be purchased for $9.99, in a lot of 5 for $29.99, or a lot of 10 for $49.99. Shipping is free when choosing the Economy option. The cards are available for 24 hours on Topps.com. Topps will reveal the print runs at the end of the sale. Here are pictures of today’s cards.
For maybe the first time ever, Garbage Pail Kids collectors will not be able find packs of a major GPK release in big box retailers. This past Monday, Topps released the Hobby Sell Sheet for 2023 Series 2 GPK InterGoolatic Mayhem. Generally, distributors will receive the Retail Sell Sheet the same day or shortly thereafter. That didn’t happen, instead distributors were contacting Topps to find out where the info was. GPKNews has confirmed with Topps that there will be no Value Boxes (Blasters) or Retail Display boxes for this series. The reason why was not completely clear. Some distributors were told by their Topps’ sales rep, that retail was not being produced due to a production issue. GPKNews was not given an official reason from Topps for no retail product.
So what will be available, and where will collectors find it? Both Collector and Hobby boxes are being produced, and will be the only two SKUs offered. It’s not clear if Topps will label the Hobby boxes with the “H”, or if the box will continue to be the Retail Display box, this time only sold as Hobby. Those boxes will continue to be available everywhere they usually are. Brick & Morter Hobby shops, along with large online card retailers and resellers should have product available either for pre-order or after release. This release isn’t the first product Topps has not offered retail boxes on this year. Certain baseball card brands have suffered the same fate. It’s unknown if Topps will offer a pre-order window on their website for the series as they have with a handful of baseball releases. Collectors can however expect boxes to be available at launch on Topps.com.
What does this mean for the inserts, parallels, and print runs? All the insert sets that were painted and planned for the set are being produced and will be inserted into packs. 3D cards, Patch cards, Kosmic Krashers, and Wacky Packages are all Collector only inserts. It’s not clear if Space Farce and Time Warp insert sets will appear in just Hobby or both box types. Collectors who like the yellow parallel cards will be out of luck, as those won’t be printed since there are no Blasters. Green and Blue parallels will be exclusive to Hobby boxes, Black and Red exclusive to Collector boxes, and Gray, Gold, Plates, and Autos in both box types. Sketches are changing up a bit. Loaded Puzzle sketches are moving from Blasters to Hobby boxes and will be exclusive to those along with the regular size sketch. Shaped and Triptych sketches remain exclusive to Collector boxes. Panoramic sketches will be inserted into both box types. Usually Blasters make up around 50% or more of the total print run. It’s unknown how the elimination of retail boxes will affect the print run. One distributor said he was told there would be plenty product available.
Not having product available at Targets & Walmarts is not good news for the brand. The casual collector will not come across product to continue their collection. It also makes it that much harder to get new collectors into the hobby. The big question will be, was this due to production issues and will we see the return of retail product in 2024? Or will GPKs be left to just current collectors who are familiar with where to find hobby product? It won’t be long until we find out as there is a retail set being planned for a Q1 2024 release.
Collectors visiting the Topps booth at this year’s New York Comic Con do indeed have an opportunity to obtain some promo cards. Topps has not done any advertising for the show, but there is a 10 card Garbage Pail Kids NYCC promo set. Collectors who play a couple of games at the booth are able to receive a mystery prize from the Topps vending machine. There appear to be two different GPK packs each containing 5 different cards that make up the entire set. There are also Star Wars cards and tshirts that can come out of the vending machine. The GPK set is made up of artwork from previous series with a New York theme. The card backs feature the NYCC banner. The booth had uncut sheets from the set on display. Employees at the booth are also wearing t-shirts featuring artwork from the set. Thanks to collector Adam Marks for sending along pictures of the cards! Here is the checklist along with pictures of the cards and booth.
- GPKNY-1 Alice Island (OS 3)
- GPKNY-2 Dinah Saur (OS 3)
- GPKNY-3 Ashley Can (OS 4)
- GPKNY-4 Homer Runt (OS 7)
- GPKNY-5 Sprayed Wade (OS 5)
- GPKNY-6 Brandon’s Bargains (2021 Bizarre Holidays)
- GPKNY-7 Skye Scraper (2021 Bizarre Holidays)
- GPKNY-8 Brewed Billy (2021 Bizarre Holidays)
- GPKNY-9 Peg Piegon (2015S2 30th Anniversary)
- GPKNY-10 Wallace Street (2016S1 AAAP)
Since Topps didn’t see fit to promote anything at this year’s NYCC we will reveal here what collectors come across at the show. This post will be updated throughout the weekend as new info is revealed.
Update #2 – There are cards! GPKNews was tipped off last night that there would be some GPK promo cards at the Topps booth. Collectors that signup and attend the “factory experience” at the booth, get a free pack of promo cards from the Topps vending machine. The factory experience is a very small part of the booth with some mini games to play. GPKNews was told the NYCC GPK promo set would be 10 cards, mostly of reprinted artwork that had a NYC theme, the cardbacks feature the NYCC logo. There appears to be two different packs available that make up the complete 10 card set. Additionally, the factory experience had an uncut sheet of cards from the NYCC set on display. Employees were also wearing shirts at the booth with artwork from the GPK NYCC set. Thanks again to Adam Marks for sending along info on the cards!
Update #1 – As usual Topps has large blowup cards on the walls of their booth. Some of the GPK cards feature new artwork that appears to be from the unannounced 2023S2 retail set. In the worst kept secret in the hobby the set will be a space/sci-fi theme, and is expected to release in late November. Thanks to Adam Marks for the pictures and info!
Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin is a Garbage Pail Kid. The company’s head hancho posted the photo to his Instagram account yesterday showing off the custom GPK that was created. Collectors are going to have a hard time getting their hands on this one though. The card was created for a Fanatics leadership conference. The card was done by longtime GPK artist David Gross. There is no information on how many of the card was printed or who was given a copy. No one is safe from becoming a GPK!
This Saturday, 8/5, is the annual tradition, 2023 Topps International Trading Card Day. Collectors visiting participating card shops are able to get a free 5-card pack of Garbage Pail Kids cards. Collectors can also choose from Baseball, UEFA Soccer, Formula 1, Bowman U Football, or Athlete’s Unlimited.
Topps has released the checklist, and once again there is a full 30 card GPK checklist, along with random artist autographs. The checklist begins with five brand new trading card related themes. The artwork is done by David Gross, Joe Simko, Brent Engstrom, and Joe McWilliams. There are then 10 OS reprints, followed by 15 reprints from 2023S1. All artwork is on the Trading Card Day borders. There are also 10 randomly inserted artist autographs from 2023S1. Topps used left over stickers autos from last year’s set for the autos.
To find the participating hobby store in your area go to the Topps Ripped page for ITCD and scroll to the bottom of the page, enter your address and you can see the stores in your area. For the full ITCD checklist you can click here, otherwise see below for just the GPK portion.
GPK BASE CARDS
1 Batty KATTIE
2 MICKEY MUCUS
3 PETE S.A. 1
4 TINTIN TEN
5 TRAYDEN CARD
GPK OS1 BASE CARDS
GPKOS2-1 SY CLOPS
GPKOS2-2 LEAKY LINDSAY
GPKOS2-3 RAPPIN’ RON
GPKOS2-4 DISGUSTIN’ JUSTIN
GPKOS2-5 DOUBLE HEATHER
GPKOS2-6 JOLTED JOEL
GPKOS2-7 FRYIN’ RYAN
GPKOS2-8 CRACKED JACK
GPKOS2-9 SPACEY STACY
GPKOS2-10 OLIVER TWISTED
2023 GPK S1 BASE CARDS
GPK23-1 SUITCASE CHASE
GPK23-2 LIGHTER THAN AARON
GPK23-3 POOL PAUL
GPK23-4 THELMA THEME PARK
GPK23-5 CARA CAROUSEL
GPK23-6 BILLIE BIDET
GPK23-7 WILL YOU SHUT UP!
GPK23-8 ARI BNB
GPK23-9 BURIED BARRY
GPK23-10 TYLER TANIC
GPK23-11 BRAIN LES
GPK23-12 COLE FAITHFUL
GPK23-13 CONCH SHELLY
GPK23-14 ANGELA A-ROMA
GPK23-15 BEN SNORKELING
GPK ARTIST AUTOGRAPH CARDS
GPKA-AA ANGELA A-ROMA
GPKA-BD BILLIE BIDET
GPKA-BS BEN SNORKELING
GPKA-CC CARA CAROUSEL
GPKA-CS CONCH SHELLY
GPKA-LA LIGHTER THAN AARON
GPKA-PP POOL PAUL
GPKA-SC SUITCASE CHASE
GPKA-TTP THELMA THEME PARK
GPKA-WYSU WILL YOU SHUT UP!
Ira Friedman’s over 33 year career at Topps is coming to an end. In a farewell letter to fans, Friedman announced today his final day with Topps will be 7/31. Ira has been the Vice President of Licensing for a number of years for the company. His leadership over Garbage Pail Kids licensing has been one of the key reasons the brand has flourished over the past few years.
Below you will find his final farewell to not only Garbage Pail Kids but collectors as well. I can tell you from my personal experience, there has not been a bigger supporter of GPKs at Topps the past few years as I’ve ran this website. Ira always had collectors in mind while working there. That seems to be a rare quality these days. The brand won’t be the same without him. Thank you Ira!
It’s All About Fans First!
by Ira Friedman
Ever since my first publishing gig at STARLOG and FANGORIA sci-fi and horror magazines in the late ‘70’s, it’s always been about the fans. In 1980, when I worked atLucasfilm Ltd., I saw firsthand how much care and attention George Lucas placed on fostering an authentic connection with Star Wars fans everywhere. When I later branched off on my own, I produced official tie-in magazines for fan-fueled properties including: BladeRunner, The Goonies, Gremlins, Back to the Future, among others, and created the official E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Fan Club for Amblin Productions and Universal Studios.
When the Garbage Pail Kids blindsided the world in 1985, it didn’t take long for me to get hooked on everything GPK. In 1987, I acquired the publishing rights for an official “one-shot” magazine, based on the ill-fated Garbage Pail Kids movie. The film tanked at the box office yet has become a cult favorite to some many years later. While not particularly fond of the movie, it did not undermine my fascination with this quirky and outrageous property. Nor did it discourage the legions of fans who just couldn’t get enough of GPK.
In 1988 I joined Topps as the company’s Director of New Product Development. I got to ‘play’ in the firm’s non-sport ‘sandbox’ and spent much time immersed in things like Wacky Packages, Mars Attacks, along with many outside licenses and other company creations, most notably Garbage Pail Kids. My obsession with this irreverent-yet-adorable, controversial-yet-hilarious brand was in full blossom. While I was technically in charge of the GPK trading card program, the bulk of the credit goes to the artists – both back in those halcyon days and to the current times – whose incredible artwork and boundless creativity hit a nerve that continues to reverberate throughout the fan community.
In more recent times I have functioned in the role of chief architect of the GPK licensed merchandise business. It’s been a blast working with like-minded partners from all areas of commerce as they’ve passionately translated GPK into a wide variety of innovative consumer goods. This diverse range ofofficial products span: Monopoly board games, 8-bit video games, middle-school books by R.L. Stine, comics written by Adam F. Goldberg, a stunning 78-card Tarot Deck and the upcoming, first-ever GPK Pop-Up book, plus a myriad of amazing toys and lots of other cool stuff.
My 33+ year love affair with GPK is about to come to its professional end as July 31 will be my last day at Topps/Fanatics. The company has assembled a competent team to carry the torch and I look forward to seeing GPK persevere, prosper and continue to charm and infatuate the “little kid” inside us all.
As for me, while GPK will always hold a special place in my heart, it’s time to move on and explore other opportunities. Thanks to every one of you for being a part of my GPK adventure and for allowing me to play some part in your GPK experience. In my book, it’s always been — and always will be –about fans first!
– Ira Friedman, July 2023
P.S. And may the Farts be with you, always! J
Garbage Pail Kids will once again be part of Topps International Trading Card Day. Topps is expanding the program for 2023. This time anyone who visits a participating hobby store on 8/5/23 will get their choice of a free pack. Collectors can choose Baseball, UEFA Soccer, Formula 1, Bowman U Football, Athlete’s Unlimited, or Garbage Pail Kids. Additionally, anyone spending $10 in the store on 8/5 gets a Mike Trout card, and can return on 8/12 for a free Adley Rutschman card. Topps will release a list of participating stores and a checklist just prior to the event.
The GPK portion appears to be different this year. GPKNews is aware of 5 new paintings that were created by David Gross, Joe Simko, Brent Engstrom, and Joe McWilliams. It’s not yet known if there will be any other GPK cards as part of the set. The sell sheets for the product show one of the new GPK cards, Batty Kattie done by Smokin Joe McWilliams. GPK packs might be tougher to come by this year. Once again shops must purchase boxes to participate. Boxes cost dealers just over $50. Each 100 pack box contains; MLB (40), UEFA (20), Formula 1 (15), Bowman U (15), Athlete’s Unlimited (5), and Garbage Pail Kids (5). Each pack contains 5 cards. Get the family together and plan a Saturday searching all the Hobby shops in your area!
Chris Mess came early, and he’s sharing all the current and upcoming Garbage Pail Kid releases. Topps yesterday released the Chris Miss GPK Holiday Guide. The guide highlights 16 different GPK items that either have recently been released, or will be coming to a store/website soon. If you’re looking for a last second gift, or just want to keep updated on the current GPK merchandise let Chris Mess be your guide! The guide can be accessed here, or see below.
Adam Bomb will be sharing his mis-fortunes with the fine folks of Algonquin, IL. The Adam Bomb Mis-Fortune Telling Machine, that is a partnership with Topps and ToyNK, will be taking up residency at the Bowlero family entertainment center in Algonquin, IL. The machine is setup now and ready to dispense its wisdom to all until the end of the year. Bowlero is a bowling center with arcade games and sports bar. The machine made its debut earlier this year at the New York Comic Con, with another appearance at the Motor City Comic Con. The machine dispenses one of 10 collectible GPK cards for a fee. It’s expected Topps will continue to use the machine throughout 2023 for promotional purposes. Collectors in the area can now grab a beer, bowl a few frames, and have Adam Bomb give you your mis-fortune!