Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Way Back WhensDay: Garbage Pail Kids

A few from my collection
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

In the early 80's a new toy was introduced to the world.  Baby dolls who were in need of a loving home, born in a cabbage patch.  These awkward looking dolls were appropriately named Cabbage Patch Kids.  They were the must have toy.

Like anything successful, there needs to be a spoof.  A couple years after the introduction of the dolls, the world met the Garbage Pail Kids.  They were not cute and cuddly dolls though.  They stickers that came in a pack just like baseball cards.  Each pack contained five stickers and a piece of gum that was flavorless after a minute in your mouth.

I would ride my bike to the nearby drug store and purchase several packs at a time.  Back then they were a quarter a package, a bargain by today's standards.  Each time I ripped into the wrapper to reveal the batch of stickers, I got excited wondering which misfits would be added to my collection.  Duplicates would quickly get traded with friends.

Some of the names were meant as a spoof, like Tiffany Lamp, Ella P. Record, and Farrah Fossil.  Others were just plain gross like Louise Squeeze, Acne Amy, and Drillin' Dylan.  Each sticker had a twin, Holly Wood was paired up with Woody Alan, King-Size Kevin and Hugh Mungous were twins, and Formalde Heidi and her sister Decapitated Hedy.

I still have my collection of stickers, much to the chagrin of my wife.  I don't know how many I have, but there are years worth from the many different collections they introduced.  They've made a comeback of sorts recently too, but I have no idea if there are new stickers or just a re-release of the classics.

In 1987 The Garbage Pail Kids Movie was released.  It's as awesomely bad as you might imagine. That's what you get for basing a film on a series of stickers with gross, ugly, and potentially offensive characters. A cartoon series only lasted briefly, but the stickers left a lasting impression on the children of the 80's and may mount a comeback for generations to come.

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