Gross Profits: Original Garbage Pail Kids Art Is Up for Auction

The revolting trading card series is now fetching big money at auction.
A Garbage Pail Kid being typically repulsive.
A Garbage Pail Kid being typically repulsive. / Getty Images/GettyImages

No one has profited more from mucus, boogers, and other bodily expulsions than the Topps trading card company, which unveiled their first Garbage Pail Kids set in 1985. A loose parody of the Cabbage Patch Kids phenomenon, the cards depicted a population of unfortunate children with chronically disgusting heath issues and insensitive names, from Corroded Carl to Stinky Stan.

We’ve now reached the point where those cards—some 800 million were sold in the 1980s—are now collectible commodities. Recently, Heritage Auctions announced a sale of GPK cards and original art. And while the auction isn’t due to wrap until October 12, there’s already been a lot of activity.

An original illustration by artist John Pound of a child in a literal garbage pail is up to $8000 as of this writing. The 5-inch by 7-inch color drawing is believed to be the first GPK character, one conceived by Topps employee Mark Newgarden, though it was never circulated in any of the original trading card sets. Instead, it was intended for another parody line dubbed Wacky Packages.

“The gag they had me do for Wacky Packages, they gave me a rough sketch and it looked like a little baby bum in a trash can,” Pound told Mental Floss in 2016.

Another original work, Buggy Betty, also known as Jean Green, is up to $16,000, as is Rachel Rodent, also known as Matt Rat. (The cards often had dual names.)

Heritage is also offering a complete series 1 set graded by experts at Professor Sports Authenticator (PSA), with some of the cards evaluated at a 10 out of 10. Bidding is up to $2400.

Clearly, there’s a market for nostalgia involving orifices. Earlier this year, The Garbage Pail Kids Cookbook was released, with recipes for delicacies like “poop cookies.” Goosebumps author R.L. Stine also authored a series of novels based on the characters.