How To Find the Most Valuable Garbage Pail Kids Cards?

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The Hollywood Reporter

If you were a child in the late 80s or early 90s, you probably have fond memories of playing with Garbage Pail Kids cards. What was once a cult phenomenon has now been revived as an adult collectible.

The only problem is how do you find and sell the most valuable cards? This article will give you some tips to help you figure out which cards are worth the most money — and how to get your hands on them.

The History of Garbage Pail Kids

So, what is it about these cards that made them so popular? The easy answer is they are just weird, but there is much more to it than that. Popularity can be attributed not only to their one-of-a-kind and bizarre qualities but also because of their low cost, increasing rarity, and intense nostalgia factor.

Garbage Pail Kids’ cards were first introduced in 1985 by Topps Co., known as Art box Incorporated. The company was looking for fresh ways to make money after its licensing agreement with Disney expired in 1984. After failing on two other projects (Wacky Packages and Wacky Grads), executives went back to an idea they had been playing around with for years: trading cards themed around children’s bathroom humor.

The Different Types of GPK Cards

The three most popular types of GPK cards are sketch art, ’80s style, and Cartoonish.

  • Sketch Art is more artistic, where you can find lots of shades and textures.
  • The ’80s style is glossier in appearance and has heavier shading with less detail.
  • The Cartoonish Style features brighter colors and resembles what it was like drawing cartoons back when they used pencils on paper.

All three styles are still highly sought after by collectors for their different aspects.

Know Where to Look For

The first thing you should do is search for any cards on online auction sites that have listings with keywords in them like rare, crisp, or mint. You can use these descriptions as clues.

Look on forums and other sites to get an idea of what you’re up against before you start bidding on cards. They are an indication that someone else might have sold their card for more than what they paid for it, and if you put in an offer, you might get lucky.

Avoid Low-End Collections

One way to spot for valuable Garbage Pail Kids’ cards is by looking for variations. For example, if you happen to find an otherwise worthless card that also has an alternate character on it (either completely different or just with minor tweaks like hair color), it could be worth more.

If you’re buying individual cards rather than in bulk, make sure you use good judgment about what’s being offered. There are plenty of low-end collections being sold at very high prices and bargains waiting to be found among awful inventories.

Check Your Budget

Before you buy anything, be sure that you know your budget and how much money you must spend at once (if it’s not something you can do in pieces). Understand where your budget falls compared to other collectors so that you don’t overpay for cards if they turn out not to be valuable or desirable.

Don’t Skimp On Playability

A huge percentage of Garbage Pail Kids’ cards are severely limited in what they can do. Some have too many color limitations, and others have stickers or multi-layered artwork that makes them hard to play with. Moreover, some of these cards only had one printing set, making it difficult for people who collect cards on later sets to find them.

Understand With an Example

For example, there is only one six-card series in Series Six, and all six of those series are worth 100 dollars each. If you’re lucky and find an old pack from Series One or two that has 30 different card numbers in it, then you could be looking at something worth hundreds of dollars per card!

Don’t Overpay for Common Stickers

While it’s tempting to spend big bucks on all your favorites, you’re better off buying these when they come up in volume. They are more likely to have scratches and folds that will reduce their value.

One more way people overpay for items is by buying too many of one thing. Don’t do that with Garbage Pail Kids’ cards. If you want to collect them, buy those more familiar, like Wendy, Frighty Bear, or Ook-A-Mow.

Final Thoughts

Searching for Garbage Pail Kids’ cards online is fast and easy. First, be careful when buying these cards because you may receive damaged cards or ones not from your favorite series.

Secondly, ensure you’re getting real vintage Garbage Pail Kids’ cards by researching what year they were released and always look at their condition before purchasing. Don’t buy something just because it’s old and expensive either.