Garbage Pail Kids

Home/Article/Garbage Pail Kids

Garbage Pail Kids

I have wrestled with this blog post for quite some time and it is long overdue. I apologize for the delay in this review to those who were expecting it.

I was asked by our friends at Abrams Books to take a gander at their relatively new Garbage Pail Kids book. I agreed to do so and it came in the mail.

Once it came in, I was excited to flip through the book and take a look at it. It is incredibly well put together. The introduction in the book outlines the history of the series very well and is interesting from a behind the scenes perspective. The dust jacket is made of a material reminiscent of a package of GPK stickers. The art in the book is big and the print is crisp and put on nice glossy paper. Very well done. I applaud the production on this book.

Okay, so that’s a very technical review of the book. Not very heartfelt, but that may be all I have. Expecting a flood of memories to come back, I was a bit surprised that I was actually rather put off by the book. And no memories came back. I knew I never collected Garbage Pail Kids, but I remember being around people who did and I thought surely something would resonate with me. Nothing.

In episode 32 of our podcast, I referred to my lack of interest in jumping on bandwagons. While I remember having some moderate interest in learning more about GPK, I was relatively uninterested in them as a kid and any interest I may have had in collecting them was frowned upon by my parents. But now, 30 years later, I thought just being exposed to them again would incite something in me. Maybe I would remember Joe Severns and Jason Burgess trading an Itchy Ritchie for a Potty Scotty card. But no…nothing.

I began to think maybe I did the wrong thing accepting the offer to review this book. Somehow this cultural phenomenon that appealed to all boys my age in the mid-80s completely passed me by and now I can’t seem to generate any interest in the book. In fact, I am slightly repulsed. These cards were meant to be parodies of the Cabbage Patch Kids and in essence, these images represent the worst things imaginable happening to your little sister’s baby doll. And that baby doll represents a pretty realistic-looking kid. And now I’m a parent and I cannot find this stuff funny at all without a nostalgic hook to hang on it.

So almost thirty years later and I’ve become the parent who frowned upon the Garbage Pail Kids. And thirty years later, Garbage Pail Kids are still doing what they set out to do. Thirty years of time has not desensitized me enough to no longer find these images gross and disgusting.

And if anything, that should be the best endorsement of this book there can be.

By | 2017-03-17T00:49:09+00:00 April 13th, 2012|Categories: Article|Tags: |10 Comments

About the Author:

Nerd Lunch co-founder and podcast co-host


  1. Chrisloc1701 February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    I have a completely different recollection of Garbage Pail Kids. While I do recall the trading cards somewhat, my great remembrance of GPK are the little action figures that came in little garbage bags. They were sold like the trading cards but instead of cards you got a little garbage bag, which you then took home and put it in a sink of water and the bag would dissolve and reveal a little GPK figure. Does anyone else remember this? Or was I on the parallel Earth again which is home to the Turkey McNuggets? Maybe I'm like Olivia on 'Fringe' and I can cross between worlds, maybe thats my super power…

  2. Paxton February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Well said, Shawn. And I totally get where CT is coming from being a fairly new dad myself.

  3. Shawn Robare February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    I have to say that even though I'm on the polar opposite side of your views on GPK, I love that you were totally honest in the review. It does tend to get pretty repetitive in the pop culture blogging community, particularly when it concerns product reviews of stuff where review copies have obviously made the rounds.

    Like Paxton, this book was made for me (it's something I've been dreaming about owning since the 90s when I really wanted my GPK collection back from the kid I traded it to 10 years earlier.) Though I've put together a pretty decent collection of the original cards, this book makes it so much easier to flip through the imagery without having to lug out a huge binder of stickers.

    Again, I can't say this enough, but reviews like this are important in both showcasing the diversity of the community as well as breaking up the "preaching to the choir" vibe that can lead to blog-reading exhaustion. I also agree that this really isn't a negative review so much as a vote that the gross-out power of these cards is intact 25 years later…

  4. CT February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    In three weeks, this book will be in your hands Pax. And you are welcome to write the counter point and we'll post it here. Very curious to know if your perspective on them have changed all these years later.

  5. Paxton February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    I will gladly accept that book. Seeing as how I have a complete set of Series 3 cards and a nearly complete set of Series 4 cards under my bed at this very moment, I'm the exact person this book was written for. I look forward to reading it.

    CT, if you want, I'll write a counterpoint to your review that you can post here on The Lunch.

  6. CT February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Yeah, I doubt I'll get a quote, but I don't feel my review is negative. GPK is what it is. And if you love it, then this book is totally for you.

    I plan to pass the book along to Pax in three weeks and I'm curious to hear what his thoughts are on it. He does have the nostalgic hook for them that I don't have.

  7. TL February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    I had my share of GPK as a kid so, for me, this book was actually quite cool to flip through.

    But I think the last few lines of your post sum it up perfectly. Life comes full circle. Make no mistake about it, having children of my own, I've realized that I truly have become my parents.

  8. Brian (Cool & Collected) February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    You certainly do start to see things differently once your own kids enter the picture. GPK cards have always been something to gross out and annoy your parents with, and they are still accomplishing that goal 30 years later.

    I'm not sure they'll be quoting Nerd Lunch on the dust jacket for Volume 2, but I appreciate your honesty. đŸ˜‰

  9. Hyacinth Marius February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    I used to have GPK cards in the 80s and this book brought back some fun memories. I have it in my kids bookshelf and they love it! It's nice to have them all in a book and not have a crap load of cards floating around taking up space. I'm not a collector obviously, but this is worth the money for some smiles and memories.

    Ketterman Rowland & Westlund Car Accident Lawyers

  10. Click here for Alaska Fishing Lodge February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Really a great book depicting all the cards put out by Topps for GPK. Loved the intro which concreted the facts I was pretty sure I knew accurately. If you're a GPK fan, novice or serious collector this is an awesome book you should have.

Leave A Comment