Thursday, March 11, 2010
They started showing up early this month, the long awaited Garbage Pail Kids Flashback series. Some fans hounded Fedex, awaiting their preordered boxes/cases while others began daily trips to the card racks of local retailers. Finally the cards arrived and the fun and frustration began. Packs were "ripped" with the anticipation of getting a first look at the new and previously unreleased artwork.
Every pack was a new opportunity to score an elusive chase card or a personal sketch from a GPK artist.
As the online buzz continued fans shared opinions on designs, concepts, and art. Many posted tips to help "even out the odds" in finding the rare cards. Collecting forums such as the GPK Underground were abuzz with fans sharing neat finds and helpful advice.
Ebay as expected became an immense resource for not only selling cards but helping to fill in gaps for collectors attempting to complete sets.
Now that a good week has gone by and a good amount of funds have been exhausted, the dust has seemed to settle a bit. With a good amount of the chase cards still floating around out there collectors and fans have gone back to the stores for single packs.
Here is an overview of some of the activity and response:
One of the first things that was apparent was that the card boarders were quite different than expected. Even though it was known in advance that the cards would have 4 sets of colored parallels the "spoiler" images that were released were much different than the final cards. The "checkered" border was used throughout the entire series. Some fans found the borders obnoxious and didn't have a feeling of cohesion with previous series.
Along with the standard "puzzle" backs there was artwork from the giant series 2 GPKs printed on the card backs which was a nice surprise.
The previously unreleased cards were also a nice treat. I think the only complaints were that there are still more out there that fans wanted to see in card form. I think a lot of fans are hoping these will be produced in a Flashback 2 set in the future.
The enormous amount of parallels has made it difficult for collectors attempting to complete a full set but has also made it fun to score one of the more rare silver or gold versions. One complaint is that the gold/silver cards are kind of dull and look more gray/brown than shiny.
The loco-motion cards were neat. They were much thinner than locos that were in previous series. Unfortunately they are impossible to scan and share.
There have been multiple posts by fans experimenting with methods of detecting rare cards in packs. Quite a few neat ideas from weighing, pack placement, bending/feeling packs, magnets, and peeking through the semi-transparent wrapper. Some packs have a white card with a metal security tag inserted inside which can throw-off a number of these methods.
So far the sketch cards and the metal printing plates have been the "holy grail" of the series. There were an immense amount of sketch cards inserted into packs all excellent in their own styles and variations. I will continue to post sketch card images in the future, there are just so many I have to do it by artist in portions.
Here is an example of one of the printing plates.
One of the most exciting and awaited portions of the new set is the "Where Are They Now?" cards. Updated versions of the GPK kids as they would look today. The major complaints with these cards is that Topps had the artists age the kids too much to the point they looked elderly. Also the border/logo cropped off essential portions of the artwork or gag. I've posted the images of the cards and the original artwork if available. Overall, I love them and the fact that the w.a.t.n. concept has already expanded beyond the cards in this series and into artist's personal sketch cards. This has opened a door for a neat sucession of new ideas and concepts for the future.
So far I haven't seen any cards show up at the local Walmarts. Normally Target and Walmart along with other retailers do a "bonus box" with a bonus card inserted but so far the only bonus cards are ones I found in Target "blister packs" found in the toy section in another area from the rest of the trading cards. Here are bonus cards B1-B3:
Happy hunting and stay tuned for future updates!