This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Garbage Pail Kids, those noxious Topps trading cards that delighted children—and disgusted their parents—with depictions of unfortunate kids in a variety of gruesome situations.
Like many relics of the past decades, Garbage Pail Kids have proven to be a valuable commodity for collectors, with some cards fetching thousands of dollars depending on their condition and rarity. (Entire boxes with unopened packs can also sell for thousands.)
Take a look at 11 of the most valuable cards that might be lurking in a drawer somewhere. Remember that collectors often prefer cards that have been graded by a third-party like Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) to accurately assess their condition. And in the case of GPK, keep in mind that cards can sell for different amounts depending on the name used: Almost all cards featured two versions of the same artwork with different names. Cards that feature a glossy paper finish instead of matte can also command a premium, as the matte card stock is more common.
1. Adam Bomb (Series 1, 1985)
The Kid who ushered in a new era of gross trading cards is highly sought after by collectors. (His image also appeared on a lot of the advertising materials.) An Adam Bomb graded 10, or perfect, by PSA recently sold for $10,000 on eBay, but be aware that most cards aren’t in the same shape and that a more worn version is worth closer to $285. The alternatively-named Blasted Billy—which has the same artwork—can sell for $900.
2. Nasty Nick (Series 1, 1985)
This bloodsucking character is technically the first-ever Garbage Pail Kid, with a designation of #1a in the first series. He can command $8350 on the secondary market.
3. Corroded Carl (Chrome Series 1, 2013)
In 2013, Topps issued a limited-edition Chrome Series of the Kids. Owing to their scarcity, characters like Corroded Carl can sell for $6000.
4. Semi Colin (Series 9, 1987)
This freakish tyke is valued because the card contains a printing error that left off the card number (#355a). Expect to pay $1000 or more.
5. Soft Boiled Sam (Series 2, 1985)
This shelled character is hard to find and can sell for $875 or more.
6. Stinky Stan (Series 1, 1985)
7. Schizo Fran (Series 2, 1985)
Hardly the model of political correctness, Schizo Fran represents the Kids at their worst. That’s probably why it sells for $600 and up.
8. Jay Decay (Series 1, 1985)
This charming corpse can go for $510 and up.
9. Dead Fred (Series 2, 1985)
This gun-toting tot got on the wrong side of the law. He can run $280 or more.
10. Hot Head Harvey (Series 3, 1986)
This parody of Transformers holds appeal for collectors of both the Garbage Pail Kids and the robot toy line. It can sell for $150 and up.
11. Buggy Betty (Series 1, 1985)
This pest can sell for $73 or more.