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Back in the days before the internet things like this were super valuable, not just because they were collectibles but because they were horror-themed and for kids! Looking back now at how sanitized and conservative the 80's were compared to the 70's, it almost seems like a small miracle that they ever hit the commercial market at all. We didn't know that back then. We couldn't get enough of them. We used to trade duplicates with our schoolyard pals like they were baseball cards, in between playing Dungeons and Dragons and watching Scooby Doo.
I'm not sure if there was ever a connection intended, but to my recollection the Garbage Pail Kids seemed like a counter argument to the overwhelming popularity of the Cabbage Patch Kid, which most kids my age found nauseating - including me. A friend on social media told me recently that they still sell these at Walmart and Target. Next time I'm in I'm going to have to pick up a pack for old time's sake.