If you’re a horror fan and you spent any time of your life in the 80’s, chances are you have a dusty binder in your attic filled with cards of babies covered with zits, ripping their skin off, and vomiting up their intestines. Normally, such a collection would land you in your local paper’s police blotter, or at the very least raise a few eyebrows, but this was the glorious 80’s and the times deemed it acceptable for these hideous little creatures doing disgusting things to be our friends. But the fun didn’t last long. After just a few years of production, it was a parent on parent war as the makers of Cabbage Patch Kids (Coleco) sued the makers of the Garbage Pail Kids (Topps) for trademark infringement. In an out of court settlement, Topps agreed to modify the look of their Kids, but this proved to be a death knell for the gross babies. After just a few years of being on top, which included a TV series (which never aired in the United States due to parental complaints – it was recently made available on DVD) and even a live action movie (which flopped in a big way – you’d be hard pressed to find a single positive review of it), the Garbage Pail Kids vanished into thin air, a little slice of our demented childhoods taken with it.
That is, until 2003, over a decade after their demise, when Topps reiussed the Kids, in an “All New Series”. Complete with various special inserts and a glossier, not to mention higher quality, cardstock, the new kids on the block looked better and more deliciously vile than their oldschool counterparts. In the past seven years, seven All New Series’ have been released, proving that the Kids are not only back, they’re better than ever. This makes me happy and i’m sure you share in the joy. But still, there’s one question that has remained in my heart and in my mind all these years, and I doubt i’m alone….
“What happened to the original Garbage Pail Kids, the ones I grew up with, the ones I befriended, the ones I loved?”
Earlier this year, just a few months ago, and in fact just discovered by me this past weekend, the answer to this burning question was revealed, in the form of a new series – Garbage Pail Kids : Flashback. As the name suggests, these are the original ’85-’87 Garbage Pail Kids that we knew and loved, reprinted on that same higher quality cardstock that the All New Series was printed on. Yes folks, Corroded Carl is back. Babbling Brooke is back. Blown Joan? She’s back, motherfucker! But the excitement doesn’t end with mere reissues. No, no.
The real highlight of this new Flashback set is the “Where Are They Now?” cards, which show us those original Garbage Pail Kids as they would appear today, along with their original looks depicted on the back. Ever wonder what ole Nasty Nick is up to these days? Wonder no more!
But that’s still not all! Also in the 160 card set (which is chock full of special inserts) is six “Lost” characters – characters that were previously unpublished back in the 80’s! Sadly, I did not pull any of these guys in the pack I got. But rest assured, I will be hitting up Target again real soon and snatching up some more.
With the discovery of this new set, the world seems a little more complete. Not only do we have a plethora of new Garbage Pail Kids to discover, but we also have all of our favorite oldies at our disposal as well. Remember that little slice of our childhood’s that went away in the late 80’s? It’s been restored. I challenge you to pick up a pack of these retro GBK Flashbacks from your local card shop, sit in your bedroom and tear them open, and not for at least 60 seconds feel the excitement and wonder of being a kid again. Something like this is truly one of the closest things 80’s kids may ever get to a time machine, and that’s a pretty powerful, and awesome, thing.
So if you were sitting back wondering why this dork is getting so excited by little sheets of cardboard, just know it’s about more than that. Afterall, how often do we really get to travel back in time, and for only 2 bucks, at that?