Garbage Pail Kids Cards Values (With Most Expensive Cards)

Garbage Pail Kids Cards are known worldwide (by different names) for their outrageous caricatures. But these notorious trading cards from the 1980s have now transformed into valuable collectibles, with some rare cards worth thousands of dollars!

This guide will explain to you how you can assign the right price tag to old Garbage Pail Kids Cards. You’ll also find a list of the most valuable Garbage Pail Kids cards to grab today!

The Brief History of Garbage Pail Kids Cards

The Garbage Pail Kids card series was released from 1985 to 1988 by Topps Company as a parody of Cabbage Patch Kids dolls. Feeding on kids’ rebellious sides, these insulting cards were an instant hit among the ‘80s and ‘90s kids. 

GPK cards were internationally released under different names, like “The Garbage Gang” (Australia & New Zealand), “Bukimi Kun” (Japan), and “Les Crados” (Germany). But due to their dark, offensive nature, they were also banned in schools in several countries and entirely banned in Mexico. 

Topps reintroduced the cards as Garbage Pail Kids as the All-New Series (ANS) in 2003. Although these cards are still in business, vintage Garbage Pail Kids sticker cards are much more popular as collectibles.

How to Assess Garbage Pail Kids Cards’ Value

Today, most of the common insulting Garbage Pail Kids sticker cards are generally worth around $10 – $20. But rare GPK cards, for example, with checklists or promotional cards, can be prized up to $1,000 to $2,000, with rarer cards fetching up to $10,000 or more.

Let’s understand what factors decide which GPK card is valuable and how much it’s worth!

Card’s Condition

Naturally, old GKC cards in perfect, “mint” or “near-mint” condition without serious wear and tear are the most valuable ones. The more the damage, the lesser the value. The following damage signs can significantly detract from an old Garbage Pail Kids card’s value:

  • Horizontal, vertical, or diagonal creases due to poor storage or handling
  • Peeling layers of the card
  • Holes, tears, or rips on the cards
  • Rounded or frayed corners and edges
  • Small cuts or chunks missing from the edges 
  • Manual writing, drawing, or marks 
  • Deep scratches and scuffs on the card’s surface leading to missing print
  • Discoloration or staining (due to moisture)
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Source: eBay – pengvin67

While these signs can be easily spotted with the naked eye, Garbage Pail Kids Cards graded by trusted card grading services like PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator) or BGS (Beckett Grading Services) are usually worth more than non-graded cards. 

So, if you’re buying, look for graded cards with grading authentication and if you’re selling, get your cards graded to get the best value out of it.

Special GPK Card Series

While reprints and modern series GPK cards (2003-present) are generally less valuable than vintage cards, some limited editions and promotional cards can be exceptions.

2. Checklists Series

Along with the regular GPK cards, Topps also released a series of cards featuring a checklist of all characters of the GPK card series on the back. These Garbage Pail Kids cards with checklists are rare and, hence, can be extremely valuable.

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Source: eBay – 4 Sharp Corners

For example, I found this PSA-graded 10 Garbage Pail Kids Stickers #8a Adam Bomb Checklist card, auctioned for $6,353 in March.

2. Sketch Card Inserts (ANS4)

In 2005, Topps Company celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Garbage Pail Kids cards series by releasing special Sketch Card art inserts as part of its ANS4 series. Featuring original artwork by series regulars as well as guest artists, these cards can be worth a lot, like Pat Chaimuang’s sketch card that sold for $1,630!

3. Flashback Set

Topps introduced the new Flashback Series in 2010 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of GPK cards. These cards featured glossy reprints of the original characters from the 1985–87 GPK OS series (from OS1 to OS8). 

Regular 2011 Flashback cards aren’t highly prized by collectors, but graded ones might sometimes sell for stunning prices. For example, this PSA 9 autographed Adam Bomb card Flashback surprisingly sold for $1,225.

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Source: eBay – voltronforcego

Popular Original Characters

Garbage Pail Kids cards from the original 1985 OS series are generally more valuable, especially the Series 1 (OS1) and the rare 15th series (OS15). This implies that cards with popular or iconic characters, such as the “Adam Bomb” or “Nasty Nick,” fetch the highest returns, especially if graded.

12 Most Expensive Garbage Pail Kids Cards to Find!

Let’s take a look at the most expensive Garbage Pail Kids Cards ever sold!

1. Adam Bomb #8a (Sold for $30,200)

This card features a parody of the atom bomb, Adam Bomb, a boy with an exploding cloud on the top of his head. This sticker also became the official poster of GPK Series 1. This is easily the most expensive Garbage Pail Kids Card, with an auction going up to a total of $30,200 for a Gem Mint grade-10 card, as per PSA.

A PSA 10 matte-finish Adam Bomb sticker – checklist card from Series 1 sold for almost $30,000 via an eBay auction. Glossy Adam Bomb cards in mint condition can also sell for $1,000 to $2,000.

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Source: eBay – Probstein Auctions

2. Nasty Nick #1a (Sold for $17,900)

The first Garbage Pail Kids card, #1a, features the first and most famous GPK character, Nasty Nick, who is a vampire magician with a doll. In mint condition grade 10, this card can be worth thousands. For example, a glossy version graded 10 by PSA, sold for $17,900.

3. Fryin’ Brian #4a (Sold for $4,311)

The GPK card number #4a looks quite offensive with an animated version of a prisoner kid getting an electric shock. While low-grade Fryin’ Brian cards aren’t worth a lot, high-grade Gem Mint 10 versions can be worth around $1,000. The glossy version of this vintage card is also valuable, with one selling for a high price of $4,311.

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Source: eBay – pittbullsmoke

4. Blasted Billy #8b (Sold for $3,500)

The Blasted Billy card is quite similar to Adam Bomb, with the exploding cloud above his head. This card has an average value even with PSA grade 8 or 9, but grade 10 cards can sell for over a thousand dollars, like this one sold for $3,500, according to PSA. The highest price of the #8b Checklist card in Gem Mint condition is around $2,000 – $2,500!

5. Jay Decay #5b (Sold for $3,494)

Jay Decay is the zombie kid card from the GPK Series 2. Difficult to find in Gem Mint state (graded), a collector bought a high-grade Jay Decay Checklist card for a whopping price of $3,494 via an auction.

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Source: eBay – global_products_source

6. Dead Ted #5a (Sold for $3,100)

Dead Ted card displays a scary scene of a zombie kid rising from his grave. This card is generally worth $50 to $500, depending on the grade, but the highest grade 10 cards can sell for $600 to $1,000 or more. One grade 10 #5a Dead Ted card sold for $1,375.

The second version of Ted, Evil Eddie from Series 2, sells for $100 to $200 in good condition, while the grade 10 cards are rare to find and hence can be valued as much as $2,000; one sold for $$2,225.

7. Heavin’ Steven #3b (Sold for $1,694)

In this ugly-looking card, you can see the Heavin’ Steven baby puking out blocks and toy cars along with milk. A Heavin’ Steven can in mint or near-mint condition generally sells for $40 – $100, but a grade 10 card can be worth around $400 to $1,000 or more, like this one sold for almost $1,700, via PSA.

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Source: eBay – 4 Sharp Corners

8. Junky Jeff #22a (Sold for $1,230)

This card might make you want to take a shower. Junky Jeff is a nasty kid whose head is full of junk items like cans, fish bones, and much more, and the cat is ready to feed on it.

As rare as it looks, the Junky Jeff cards are worth over $1,000 in mint condition. For example, a grade-10 card auctioned for $1,230. High-grade Glossy Junky Jeff can be worth over $1,500.

9. Brutal Brad #55b (Sold for $660)

This card might offend women, as it shows an animated caveman, “Brutal Brad,” dragging a cavewoman by her hair. Nonetheless, the card is valuable for its rarity. Gem Mint 10-grade Brutal Brad cards can be worth up to $600 or more, just like one sold on eBay for $635, but low-grade cards in average condition won’t make over $40-$50.

10. Nerdy Norm #24b (Sold for $625)

Opposite to what the name suggests, Nerdy Norm displays a baby smoking and drinking. Another offensive and antisocial theme-based card that can fetch good returns. A grade 10 Nerdy Norm card sold for $625.

The Glossy version of the Nerdy Norm card can be worth as much as $1,000 – $2,000, like the one sold for $2,125 on eBay in 2021, as per PSA. Lower-grade cards generally sell for around $100 – $200, while ones in poor condition go below $50.

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Source: eBay – The Archivist and The Hoard

11. Jolted Joel #53a (Sold for $271)

Poor Joel is a rockstar kid who got jolted by his electric guitar. Funny enough, the Jolted Joel can be worth around $100 – $200 in excellent condition. For example, a Mint Gem grade-10 Jolted Joel card sold for $270, according to PSA.

12. Soft Boiled Sam #58b (Sold for $250)

Part of the second Garbage Pail Kid Cards series, the Soft Boiled Sam displays an egg-baby cracked open by a chicken inside it. The value of a Soft Boiled Sam card in pristine condition can go over $200, like one Gem Mint card sold for $250, while the low-grade cards are worth up to $50.

Garbage Pail Kids Cards might be offensive, provocative, and notorious, but no one can deny their high popularity and value as collectibles, today! But if you can focus on the fun part, collecting GPK cards might become a gateway to golden days.

Speaking of golden days, Little Golden Books are another vintage collectible with peak popularity nowadays. Don’t forget to read about their values and identification!

Judith Miller
Judith Miller

Judith is an antique expert with nearly 20 years of experience in the field of antique identification and valuation. She has reviewed over 30 thousand vintage items and has worked with numerous antique shops. She enjoys seeing new places, attending antique shows and events, and sharing her knowledge with people! Know more about me

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