Category Archives: Halloween 2013

One of the few non-candy treats I could really sink my teeth into!

So, confession time.  I was a, er, late trick-or-treater quitter, or how ever you phrase that concept.  I had a hard time giving up the costumes and pillowcases when I got into middle school, and even the first couple years of high school.  I was never one to “do what I was told”, and lets be honest, going door to door in your local neighborhoods at night dressed up like a monster getting free candy?  How in the hell does one just quit that?  That’s like quitting smoking (I hear) or heroin (a closer comparison I would have to guess.)  Anyway, I had a very hard time giving up the ghost (costume), and found myself going door to door with a small group of like-minded geeky friends back in 1991.  My costume?  I was Riff Raff from Rocky Horror.  But I didn’t have moolah in the costume budget for a fake bald cap or wig, so I wore an old fireman’s helmet my ex-EMT uncle gave me.  My concept?  Riff Raff was a volunteer fireman on the weekends.  Everyone needs a hobby.

Halloween 1991

So, when I wasn’t awkwardly telling folks to give me treats, smell my feet and all that junk, I was pretty big into collecting comics, and more specifically, at the time Marvel trading cards printed by Impel.  I had a huge collection of the 1st-3rd series cards, and even though I was a die-hard Topps kid, Impel really impressed me with their card quality.  So, where am I going with this?  Well, in addition to my rather large candy haul that year (king-size pillowcases were the way to go), there were some surprises mixed in that had me way more excited than the eventual chocolate-induced stomach aches that awaited.  When I got home that night and dumped the bag of candy out on the floor I saw a very familiar logo at the bottom of a pack of trading cards I didn’t even realize made it into my loot…

impel

That’s right, in 1991 Impel marketed a tiny set of Universal Monster Trading Card Treats that folks could buy and give out instead of candy.  Though I’d normally frown on this sort of non-candy treat heresy, I was actually really excited to see these.  Not only was I a pretty big fan of trading cards, I was also a budding monster fanatic too.  Unfortunately I didn’t have the wherewithal to archive these cards (or any of the tons of Universal Monster merch that littered the shelves that year), and I have no idea what ever became of the specific ones I scored that night.  But as luck would have it, on my first trip up to Bel Air Maryland to meet Jaime from Shezcrafti.com, we stumbled into a local antique store that just happened to have a few packs in stock for super cheap.

Universal Monster Trading Card Treats 1 600

As far as I know the set consists of six cards featuring the main stable of the Universal Monsters including Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy, the Creature, and Frankenstein’s monster and his Bride.  Now I’m not calling the Bride “Yoko” or anything, but seriously, remove her photo-bombing behind from that card art and you’d have a mean Monster Squad rogue’s gallery.  Just saying…

Universal Monster Trading Card Treats 2 600

I do like that someone (either the artist or someone in the design department at Impel) decided to stick the Bride and the monster on the same single card.  I’m sure Impel wanted these to be six to a pack for some reason.  Anyway, I like that you get a nice range of portraits and group shots on these cards, and I’m so glad the Creature get’s his own featured card considering he tends to get overlooked on a lot of merchandise…

Universal Monster Trading Card Treats 3 600

So the Wolfman gets kind of screwed on the cardbacks.  His synopsis story is eschewed in favor of a “Night Safety” hint.  Also, nice job on the monster movie release date brain teaser Impel, I mean the answers are printed right under the question and they’re not even tiny or upside down!

Thinking about these cards and organizing the monster-themed GPK stickers for my main countdown this year has me wondering, why hasn’t Topps put out a Halloween themed set of Garbage Pail Kids in time for the holiday (you know, for treats?)  I would literally go broke buying boxes of spooky gross stickers.  Topps, get on that.

Garbage Pail Kids Monster Madness: Day 1

Okay, I’m gonna come right out and say it. I totally blew it during last year’s countdown to Halloween. I blew it worse than that time when Van Helsing failed to fling Dracula into Limbo. I totally intended to post animation cels every day and somewhere in the middle of the month life got the better of me and I put the countdown aside. This year I’m a bit more prepared and I fully intend to make it to the end. So what’s in store for my favorite month of the year in 2013? Well, for starters, I want to stick to a set of themed posts, so every day this month I’m going to share some of my favorite monster-centric Garbage Pail Kids sticker cards from the 80s era vintage sets. I culled 31 of the most ghoulish, gross, and, well, monstery stickers from my collection. In addition, I’m going to try and pepper the month with other Halloween articles, some reviews, and other fun ephemera from the archives of Branded in the 80s.

Once again, I’m also helping to organize the annual Countdown to Halloween alongside the tireless and super cool monster kid John Rozum.  So if you like what I’m doing over here, you might want to head on over to the Countdown site and check out the huge list of other sites participating in this year’s spooky festivities.  There’s also a like-minded sister collective called Blog-O-Ween being put together by my pal Cody, the Crooked Ninja Turtle Sensi.  Be sure to check them out as well.

Alright, so for Day one of the GPK Monster Madness I present sticker cards 334a&b, Ashley to Ashes and Dustin to Dust!

1 - Dustin to Dust

This pair of sibling headstones hail from series 8 and were printed back in 1987.  Painted by James Warhola, my second favorite GPK artist next to John Pound, the dreary and yet morbidly cheerful stones seem like a good way to kick off this Halloween countdown.  Though I have no intention of ever being buried, if I had chosen to go into the ground, you can be sure that this would be my first choice for a headstone design!

2013 Franken Berry 200