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Garbage Pail Kids, Madballs Kick-Off Gross Partnership

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The ‘80s icons are teaming up for the first time.

Cloudco Entertainment, owner of the Madballs brand, and The Topps Company, owner of the Garbage Pail Kids brand, have teamed up for a collaboration that playfully pits classic 1980s icons and “co-heavyweights of gross” against one another. The collaboration will feature all-new 1980s-inspired artwork from veteran Madballs and GPK illustrators and will kick-off with a number of consumer goods partners, including trading cards, collector toys, soft lines, collectible augmented reality pins and more.  

“Madballs and GPK are of the same era and share tons of irreverent attributes, so we love the idea of a fun ‘confrontational collaboration’ that plays off the two brands as competitors,” says Robert Prinzo, global licensing head, Cloudco Entertainment. “Whether it’s Hollywood monsters, horror icons or comic book superheroes, fans always want to see ‘impossible’ match-ups from different universes, so we’re grateful to partner with Topps and deliver the ‘grossest’ possible version of that here.”

For more than three decades, Madballs and GPK have both been known as the “grossest of the gross,” co-ruling counterculture with their pun-heavy names and subversive humor, and this collaboration features all-new artwork that pits entire groups of Garbage Pail Kids and Madballs’ characters against one another, as well as individual characters from each brand in one-on-one face-offs.

Artwork will remain “authentically ‘80s” via all-new imagery from long-time veterans of each brand like Jim Groman, who worked on the original Madballs brand launch in the 1980s, and Joe Simko, a fan-favorite illustrator of Garbage Pail Kids whose GPK artwork has been prominently featured in the brand’s trading cards and packaging.  

Consumer products launch partners include:

  • Topps (trading cards);
  • Megalopolis (two-pack action figures);
  • Mad Engine (apparel and accessories);
  • Chalk Line (jackets);
  • Mishka NYC (streetwear, apparel, accessories, and vinyl Medicom figures);
  • Pinfinity (augmented reality pins); and
  • Super Impulse (collectible toys). 

Mobile app, retail, publishing and other partnerships are set to be announced shortly.

“Shared nostalgic roots and over-the-top zaniness make this collab a no-brainer,” says Ira Friedman, vice president, global licensing, Topps. “Our respective fan bases as well as pop-culture aficionados everywhere are going to have fun with this outrageous mash-up.”

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