The world of Garbage Pail Kids on their 30th anniversary is just so exciting things couldn’t be held to just one column. Here’s a continuation of my conversation with Matt Oldweiler, owner of geepeekay.com, easily one of the best sources for Garbage Pail Kids info on the Internet.
The conversation started in the latest Cards Online column, so if you’re a Garbage Pail Kids fan and haven’t picked up a copy of Non-Sport Update, be sure to do so.
NSU: Looking beyond just the cards, what are your favorite pieces of Garbage Pail Kids merchandise?
MO: Without question, my favorite Garbage Pail Kids merchandise is the number of items released by the Imperial Toy Co. back in 1986. From the cheap cardboard packaging to the items themselves (sunglasses, keychains, pencil toppers) they just scream 1980s. And, truthfully, the stickers are fairly easy to obtain, and I have them all. But there’s something about these toys in their brilliant blue packaging that provides that rush I desperately look for in a collection. Over the years I have been able to obtain a number of one-of-one items and they are proudly displayed on shelves and in display cases throughout Geepeekay HQ.
NSU: What were your initial goals for the site? Have you reached them?
MO: It started simply as a way to share my collection to people around the United States. I had no idea my site would eventually reach over a million people in over 160 countries. So in terms of reaching my original goals, yes I have reached and far-exceeded my original goals and expectations for the site.
That being said, I still have a to-do list that is pages and pages long full of pictures I need to add, information that needs updating, and items that need to be included. I am fairly certain my work at Geepeekay will never be done. And, quite frankly, I’m okay with that.
NSU: How much work has it been to develop it and make it a premier source of information?
MO: Often I wish I logged my time so I could see just how many hours (years?) I have spent building this site. I always say, “It’s ten times as much as I originally envisioned—and 100 times what people imagine.”
Part of the issue is my coding and Photoshop skills are self-taught, so a lot of that time is trial-and-error. But still, the site is a 300-plus page monster, so even if I knew what I was doing all of the time it could still be classified as a part-time gig.
NSU: Do you see Garbage Pail Kids catching on with kids today? Why or why not?
MO: Short answer? Nope. Sadly the majority of collectors I see today are in their 30s and 40s. In fact, my household is a perfect example. I have three children. Aside from liking them to make their dad happy, they really could care less about GPK. And although it’s frustrating to see kids just pass them by, it’s fairly simple to understand.
Garbage Pail Kids are, at their core, a parody of Cabbage Patch Kids dolls, which honestly aren’t flying off the shelves today either. Kids today don’t get the gag, and I can’t say I blame them. Maybe a line of American Doll parody stickers? My boys absolutely love sports cards they can stick into albums, or watch the players on TV while sorting the cards. With GPK there just isn’t much to latch onto aside from vomit and fart gags.
NSU: What do you think the next 30 years hold for Garbage Pail Kids?
MO: If I had to guess, I would say there might be a little lull after the 30-year anniversary. There was a 14-year void between the Original Series and All-New Series being released. While I don’t think we will see something like that, I do think things might slow down a bit. The past few years have been insane with multiple monster sets of stickers, toys, comic books, games, figures, etc. A general feeling I see around the community is even though people love GPK, it’s getting a bit exhausting and financially draining trying to keep up with the hectic release schedule. Still, if they keep making them, I’ll keep buying them!
Thanks again to Matt for both his time, thoughts and all he puts into geepeekay.