Tuesday, October 14, 2014

17 Days 'Til Halloween: Trading Card Tuesday (Garbage Pail Kids)

Wacky Packages may be the first trading cards I can remember buying, but Garbage Pail Kids are the first ones I remember specifically collecting, as opposed to picking up at random intervals somewhere between impulse and habit. I've alluded to my pre-adolescent love of GPKs before (I think? Surely I've at least included an image tangentially related to a post at some point). Much like Wacky Packages, a lot of the appeal derived from the combination of punny wordplay and gross-out gags. And, I am forced to admit, I'm sure some of it was perhaps an unconscious bit of nose-thumbing at my father. To this day (as the blog can attest) it sticks in my craw that despite the insane popularity of Cabbage Patch Kids, to the point where it was not the slightest bit unusual for boys (including my male cousin) to own them, they were essentially verboten in our house because my fathers sons were not going to play with dolls. So doubtless some part of me got a kick out of over-indulging in a bit (read: a lot) of puerile humor, knowing my dad couldn't really object to poop and booger jokes as insufficiently boyish, even if the underlying imagery was inspired by the banned baby dolls.

Anyway, here's some Halloween-ish Garbage Pail Kids in all their nostalgic glory:

I grant you, in hindsight, the series was a bit one-note, which is especially true of later installments as the franchise was driven mercilessly into the ground. Honestly I gave up on collecting GPKs before they gave up on printing new series. But early on I was all in, because my sense of humor was neither refined nor sophisticated back in those halcyon days, and as a result today the nostalgia value is still pretty high. I roll my eyes at my younger self, but I smile all the same.

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