The Garbage Pail Kids were created in 1985 by The Topps Company. A group of underground cartoonists birthed a collection of trading card stickers that parodied the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls which were popular at the time. The gross-out humor and subversive attitude appealed to kids of all ages (and repulsed parents), and the stickers were plastered on books, desks, and bedroom doors around the world.
In 2012, Topps established its digital group, launching apps for baseball and football enthusiasts. But what about the GPKs? It’s been over three decades since they were unleashed onto the world. Expanding the realm of digital card collecting, Topps embraced a new format – the NFT (non-fungible token) on the WAX blockchain. This allows investors and collectors to buy, sell, and trade irreplaceable cards anywhere with anyone no matter how gross the cards are.
Click and drag to bring the art to life!
The Collecting Landscape
Topps Expands Its Digital Realm
Before NFTs, collectors would scour retail stores or buy from collectors in the secondary market to complete their GPK collections. Buying, trading, and selling nationally or internationally. left a lot of buyers at risk of scammers, unreliable sellers, or those who would not adequately protect a sought after card before shipping. If all of that did work out, you still were left with the gamble of losing it all in the unpredictable black hole that is the postal system.
The introduction of NFT trading cards in the Garbage Pail Kids collecting community virtually eliminates the hassles of maintaining a physical collection. No more worries about loss, damage, or theft. Each Garbage Pail Kids NFT is a unique digital card. Collectors can buy, sell, trade and store their blockchain collections on a dedicated Topps platform which uses the WAX blockchain to authenticate each card and its content. Every Garbage Pail Kids card on the platform will retain a unique code that will ensure its authenticity. This new approach has created some division in the collecting community since its introduction of Series 1 in early 2020. Some traditional collectors find it difficult to find value in a non-tangible card.
To entice the hesitant collector to more fully embrace the new direction of GPK NFTs, Topps also created rarer versions of the GPK base cards such as prism cards, sketch cards, and animated collectors cards. Topps brought me on board to create more dynamic and engaging animated versions of popular characters for Series 2. THis approach perfectly suits the digital platform and gives collectors more reason to explore and potentially embrace the new direction in collecting. These animated GIFs were included as the rarest cards in the set which appeals to the possibility of finding such a scarce card for your collection.
From Wax Packs to the WAX Blockchain
How to Appeal to Collectors
Garbage Pail Kids Series 1 NFTs were limited due to the experimental nature of its platform, so it sold out quickly – less than 28 hours. But how could Topps get hesitant collectors to embrace the followup Series 2 and take the quality of the Collectors Cards up a notch.
Topps understood their animated Collector Cards could be improved and enhanced with more dynamic and purposeful animation. They expanded on the animated cards and released 12 Collector Cards with Series 2 to better entice those who were hesitant to dive into collecting NFTs.
Series 2 doubled the release of Series 1, and it sold out in a few days. More cards were available in the series, more people got on board and experienced Garbage Pail Kids NFTs collecting in its digital form. Some hesitant collectors have started to embrace the fun of collecting NFTs, and GPK as a iconic property has also attracted new customers who want to partake in digital collecting.
Gross Out GIFs
Morphing Iconic Art Into Mesmerizing Moments
A new marketing effort was made to publish articles, do interviews on various platforms revealing the wider selection of chase cards including the animated GIFs, enticing potential customers to buy digital GPK packs with the knowledge that there’s a chance to find these Collectors animated cards.
A personal challenge for me was dissecting the existing artwork and putting into motion. I painstakingly repainted and illustrated portions of the art that didn’t exist in the flat paintings. Bringing new humor and life to the cards while retaining the vision of the original artist would entice collectors to notice and embrace digital cards using GIFs to perfectly illustrate why NFTs are the perfect platform for the future of enhanced collectibles.