Stuff We Love: Garbage Pail Kids trashed every other ‘80s trading card

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Sep 3, 2019, 8:11 AM EDT (Updated)

Possibly the grossest and most unexpectedly rad thing ever to crawl out of the ‘80s, Garbage Pail Kids were the filthy, sticky, grimy, snot-covered, and sometimes morbid answer to the Cabbage Patch explosion.

Garbage Pail Kids emerged from the trash in 1985 when Topps consultant and Pulitzer-Prize-winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman (the creator of Garbage Candy and Wacky Packs) saw a way to transform those innocent kids that grew out of cabbages into a totally deranged version of themselves. There’s a reason these things were called “Mr. Creepy” in Japan. Adam Bomb’s brains are a mushroom cloud. Shrunken Ed is the horror movie extra he sounds like. Janet Planet has alien appendages. Dead Ted is, quite literally, a zombie.

Each barf-tastic card was actually a sticker that you could collect or slap on your Trapper Keeper to show everyone how awesome you were. They all had two names that were the result of wordplay and nuclear waste. For example, Adam Bomb was also Radioactive Rob—is Radioactive Rob, because these were never taken out with the trash. They’re still mutating over 30 years later, with all-new terrors like Alien Ian and the appropriately named Demonic Dante (a horned beast with three eyes who belongs in Dante’s Inferno), a Garbage Pail Kids documentary that just came out this summer, and some of the newer mutants even have their own Facebook profiles on the back.


Some of that raw sewage has now oozed into the most tubular collab ever with Santa Cruz Skateboards, the brand that changed skateboarding during the epoch of Ray-Bans and tubular neons -- which is why Adam Bomb belongs on a skate deck.

“The way we like to do our collaborations is partnering up with people in that same golden era. We take iconic graphics and mix them up,” Santa Cruz, who recently partnered with Topps for the first-ever blind bag variant skateboard, told SYFY WIRE at New York Comic Con, adding that the company is “super stoked about it.”

The decks range from the “rarish” Hazardous Hand variant to “super duper rare” Prismatic Puke to “brain-meltingly rare” one-off custom art. Other variants glow in the dark, blaze with foil and holographic backgrounds, or are just so unbelievably bright they could set fire to your eyeballs. Each comes with an exclusive card and (of course) sticker. While hardcore skaters actually do hit the pavement with them, Garbage Pail Kids collectors are also geeking out. Who wouldn’t want to hang up a skate deck with an atomic doll on it?

You can see every single Garbage Pail Kid who ever terrorized the Cabbage Patch here, but do it on an empty stomach.