The Cabbage Patch Kid was one of the most successful toys of the Eighties, but the strange appearance of the dolls led to them becoming the butt of many jokes. One of the biggest of these was the creation of a entire range of characters known as the Garbage Pail Kids.
The Garbage Pail Kids were a series of trading cards (that were also peel off stickers) which were initially styled to look very much like a Cabbage Patch Kid, but were normally given a much more disgusting look such as being covered in weeping sores or having no arms or legs, or were having some kind of terrible (though comical) punishment inflicted upon them.
Each of the designs were then given names which played well off the depicted character. For example, a zombie like character might be called Deady Eddie (not sure if this was a real name or not, I just made it up to give you the idea). In actual fact, most of the designs in the series were actually used twice with the only differences being the use of another name.
Given kids often like anything weird and disgusting like this the cards were an instant hit, and unsurprisingly many adults disliked them intensely. Schools started to ban children from taking them to classes because they were too distracting (which I suppose is a fair point), and eventually the makers of Cabbage Patch Kids also forced Topps, the makers of Garbage Pail Kids, to stop making the characters look so similar to the dolls.
Their popularity led to a film being released in 1987 (which failed to set the box office alight and vanished without trace – I can’t say I ever remember hearing about it at the time) and also a cartoon series, which didn’t air for many years after it was created due to the TV companies receiving lots of complaints from parents.
Sadly the Garbage Pail Kids popularity eventually started to wane, and in 1988 they went out of production. However, in 2003 Topps revisited the idea and released a whole new range of cards in the US (I’m not sure if they are available elsewhere, it is possible) and they have continued releasing new sets of cards (they are now on to the seventh series of cards!) to this day.