One of the grossest pop culture products of the 1980s got a new lease on life with a short film from Jam Roll Studios that dropped on YouTube this month. The Garbage Pail Kids, a send-up of the ridiculously popular Cabbage Patch Kids, first appeared in card stores and corner stores in 1985 and have since been a staple in North American geek culture.
The video depicts an auction for the original painting of "Adam Bomb," the character who has become an iconic representative of the series.
Numerous characters from the card series appear in the video, though the format of the original cards makes it slightly difficult to say exactly which characters. Each piece of art was used twice, in the "A" and "B" sets, with each character having two different names. For example, the zombie kid that bursts from the ground could be either "Dead Ted" or "Jay Decay." "Adam Bomb," who decimates the Kids at the end of the video, might also be "Blasted Billy," taking revenge for the egregious treatment his twin's portrait suffers.
The Garbage Pail Kids were originally produced by Topps cards and were the brainchild of Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman. Spiegelman is, of course, renowned for his examination of the Holocaust and the generational trauma that followed it in Maus, but is also responsible for Garbage Pail Kids precursors Garbage Can-dy and Wacky Packages.
The series has managed to maintain a devoted fanbase over the years, and Topps has released card sets based on the property as recently as 2017. Though the dolls they spoofed no longer appear to have much pop cultural clout, the GPKs continue to gross out new generations of fans.