Most Valuable Garbage Pail Kids Cards of All Time
The Garbage Pail Kids were the scourge of elementary school and junior high school teachers of the mid-1980s. Topps made them as sticker trading cards in 1985 to parody the uber-popular Cabbage Patch Kids, and Garbage Pail Kids soon became a pop culture phenomenon with a side of controversy.
The general public found Garbage Pail Kid characters very offensive. They were grotesque caricatures of children with severe deformities/abnormalities or suffering horrible deaths. At the peak of their popularity, Garbage Pail Kids were spun off into an animated series and a feature film in 1987 that's considered one of the worst movies ever made.
The cards that spawned the series now have become collector's items. These are the most valuable Garbage Pail Kids cards of all time.
25. Cut-Up Carmen
Bottom line: In place of actual toys, kids back in the day used to be given cut-outs. Sometimes, you asked your parents for a G.I. Joe action figure, and you got a G.I. Joe cut-out book. Not the same thing, mom and dad.
Cut-up Carmen from the Garbage Pail Kids speaks to that, although in its own twisted way. It's got extras like an atomic bomb going off (shout-out to fellow Garbage Pail Kid Blasted Billy) along with vomit, a cast and a Band-Aid among other things.
Note: All values are based on current PSA ratings for mint condition cards.
24. Buggy Betty
Bottom line: Buggy Betty plays on one of the more terrifying movies of all time — the 1986 film "The Fly" starring Jeff Goldblum and from the wonderfully twisted mind of director David Cronenberg.
It's a movie that would have been incredibly popular around the time the Garbage Pail Kids were at their most popular.
23. Hot Head Harvey
Bottom line: This is another 1980s play from the Garbage Pail Kids. Hot Head Harvey is a pretty straightforward Transformers rip-off of their main character, Optimus Prime.
It also qualifies as one of the least offensive Garbage Pail Kids cards of all time.
22. Dead Fred
Bottom line: One of our personal favorite Garbage Pail Kids cards of all time is the gangster-movie-inspired Dead Fred.
Good 'Ol Dead Fred is coming to a brutal end, and his demise is definitely a tip of the hat to Al Capone, the most famous gangster of all time. We can see that by the scar on his face.
21. Bad Breath Seth
Bottom line: This particular Garbage Pail Kid has breath so bad it caused some sort of nuclear holocaust-level event in his area. Another version of Bad Breath Seth — Foul Phil — was portrayed in "The Garbage Pail Kids Movie" as having halitosis so bad he could knock someone unconscious with one whiff.
As far as offensive Garbage Pail Kids cards go, this one is somehow on the lighter end, which could explain why the value is behind other cards in the set.
20. Sumo Sid
Bottom line: If we're ranking how offensive Garbage Pail Kids cards can be, Sumo Sid is not close to being in the upper echelon. In fact, it's really just a cartoon portrayal of a traditional Japanese sumo wrestler.
Sumo wrestlers average 300 to 400 pounds each, and in the top 10 heaviest sumo wrestlers of all time, the lightest is still above 500 pounds. So any jokes about their weight don't really track. Because they're actually heavy.
The name of the character for the alternate version of this card is Ugh Lee. Get it?
19. Electric Bill
Bottom line: This is our first example of why Garbage Pail Kids were deemed so offensive. Electric Bill is a cartoon baby prisoner getting electrocuted to death. It is not something anyone is accustomed to seeing. Or would want to see, for that matter.
Also known in its alternative version as Fryin' Bryan. Hopefully, you're starting to get the picture of why Garbage Pail Kids struck parents and teachers wrong.
18. Mean Gene
Bottom line: The Mean Gene in Garbage Pail Kids cards seems to us more like a parody of what was popular in movies at the time — action movies starring action stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.
On this card, our toddler of the moment appears to be firing off an assault rifle while simultaneously tossing lit dynamite at his foes. The card's alternate version is known as Joltin' Joe.
If we had to guess why the value of this card is so low, it's probably because of some confusion caused by having the same name as legendary pro wrestling announcer Mean Gene Okerlund.
17. Leaky Lou
Bottom line: Leaky Lou is simply a baby with a bunch of holes in him, with some being plugged by corks. Not the most offensive Garbage Pail Kids card we can think of, but also disturbing to look at. It kind of toes the line.
If we're taking a guess, this particular character is done as a nod to old black-and-white movies, where characters would often be portrayed as taking on leaks after they'd been shot with bullets.
In its alternate version, this card is known as Drippy Dan.
16. Slobby Robbie
Bottom line: Slobby Robbie is an obese baby eating ice cream and candy at the same time. As he also smashes a scale and the ground below him begins to crack.
Also known as Fat Matt in its alternate version, this card begins to give you a more clear idea of how Garbage Pail Kids were as disgusting as they were popular.
15. Brutal Brad
Bottom line: In the running for the most offensive of the entire Garbage Pail Kids cards, Brutal Brad portrays a caveman dragging a cavewoman by her hair – presumably back to his cave after knocking her over the head with his wooden club.
It doesn't get more offensive than a Garbage Pail Kids card, even in cartoon form, that portrays violence against women or infers that some sexual assault may be about to occur.
Disgusting even for the day and age it was created.
14. April Showers
Bottom line: We don't care how twisted poor little April Showers seems. We think she's cute.
This is a great card for collectors because it seems like the value continues to go up, and it's become a favorite for dyed-in-the-wool Garbage Pail Kids fans.
13. Blasted Billy
Bottom line: The most iconic Garbage Pail Kids card of all time is Adam Bomb. It speaks to the popularity of the card that its alternate version of Blasted Billy is worth almost $1,000 in mint condition.
This particular character was used on most of the promotional materials put out by Topps for Garbage Pail Kids. Just a boy setting off an atomic bomb placed in his own head.
If there was a moment where the Garbage Pail Kids line came close to creating pop art, this was it.
12. Soft Boiled Sam
Bottom line: This is a pretty disturbing entry into the Garbage Pail Kids collection, with a toddler who is a play on Humpty Dumpty.
But in this case, he's got yolk emerging from his arm and a baby chick shooting out the top of his head.
11. Nerdy Norm
Bottom line: Here we go. Another example of exactly how low Garbage Pail Kids cards could stoop.
Nerdy Norm is a baby wearing a diaper while he simultaneously smokes multiple cigarettes, pounds Coca-Colas and coffee, while he tries to stay awake, we think?
Also known as Nervous Rex in its alternate version, this is probably the closest reflection of the people who were making the cards at the time.
10. Jay Decay
Bottom line: As horror fans, this might be our personal favorite of the entire Garbage Pail Kids collection. A tip of the hat to scary movies that depicts a Garbage Pail Kid zombie rising from the grave.
Jay Decay was also known as Dead Ted in alternate versions. It's not hard to see the inspiration behind the card coming from the popular "Living Dead" movies from famed director George Romero.
9. Semi Colin
Bottom line: We have to give it up for the Garbage Pail Kids for the design of Semi Colin, a half-boy/half-monster that looks like he's been pulled straight from the Upside Down in "Stranger Things."
Another ode to the 1980s.
8. Junky Jeff
Bottom line: Junky Jeff enters the upper pantheon of disturbing Garbage Pail Kids cards, thanks to a nauseating caricature of a baby with the top of its head used as the top of a trash can and some sort of rat/cat creature looking inside of it for a meal.
It's worth noting that the creators thought they were probably doing something really clever here by implying that kids' heads were filled with garbage in the 1980s from television and the advent of the video game era. It's still gross.
7. Schizo Fran
Bottom line: OK, this one is just disturbing. Schizo Fran — Fran Fran in the alternate version — shows conjoined twins who appear to be engaged in a fistfight.
Even in the 1980s, Topps had the thought that making fun of mental disorders might be in poor taste, so there's another "A" version of this card called Double Heather that's become a little easier to come by.
That being said, Topps and the creators of Garbage Pail Kids aren't going to be getting any credit for their good taste anytime soon.
6. Dirty Harry
Bottom line: Garbage Pail Kids liked to do plays on overweight babies. Dirty Harry isn't too far off from fellow Garbage Pail Kid Slobby Robbie, another card that made this list.
Dirty Harry is actually a half-boy/half-pig, which is another Garbage Pail Kid tradition of combining little kids with animals.
5. Jolted Joel
Bottom line: The 1980s were truly great when it came to hard rock hair bands. Jolted Joel was a tip of the hat to legendary 1980s supergroups like Bon Jovi, Poison and Motley Crue.
Jolted Joel has lived on somewhat in modern times, with a pair of retro shorts from Chalk Line.
4. Evil Eddie
Bottom line: The "B" version of this valuable Garbage Pail Kids card, Evil Eddie is no slouch. He's a baby portrayed as a vampire who looks like he's about to take a bite out of what appears to be a Barbie doll.
In the first edition of Garbage Pail Kids cards from 1985, it's widely thought the only difference between "A" and "B" versions pertained to the names on the front of the cards.
If you're in the collector's game, please also take a look at the back of the card, if possible, as there are some differences there as well.
3. Adam Bomb
Bottom line: The most iconic Garbage Pail Kids card of all time is Adam Bomb. He's also known as Blasted Billy in its "B" version.
Adam Bomb was the front-facing card on all Garbage Pail Kids cards promotional material from Topps in its original run. The toddler with the mushroom cloud coming out of his head is a true collector's item for Garbage Pail Kids fans.
2. Corroded Carl
Bottom line: Garbage Pail Kids have produced some pretty disgusting cards in their time, but Corroded Carl might take the cake.
This nasty little toddler is covered in cysts/pimples/open sores and is in the process of popping one of them and pouring cream over the rest of his body. It's gross and valuable.
Getting a mint version of Corroded Carl will run you in the thousands.
1. Nasty Nick - The Most Valuable Garbage Pail Kids Card
Bottom line: The most valuable of all the Garbage Pail Kids cards was the first card ever created by Topps for the set. And its value can be attributed to its location on the original printing sheets.
Because this card was in the upper left-hand corner, it was usually the first cut, meaning many versions were not centered correctly.
Nasty Nick was the "A" version of the original 1985 series, which in this case distinguishes it from the also valuable Evil Eddie "B" version of the card.
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