Per THR, Danny McBride‘s Rough House Pictures is developing an animated series adaptation of 1980s trading card characters the Garbage Pail Kids for HBO Max.
The series will be produced together with Michael Eisner‘s Tornante Company, which owns the baseball card giant Topps, the original creators of the Garbage Pail Kids.
McBride, who has worked with HBO on a number of projects in the past, including Eastbound & Down, Vice Principals and The Righteous Gemstones, will write and co-create the new animated series alongside frequent collaborator David Gordon Green, and Josh Bycel (Solar Opposites).
The show is expected to be family-friendly and aimed for an audience of all ages. Perhaps this is HBO Max’s first attempt to expand their subscriber base and get a younger demographic on board. They don’t offer the same sort of kid-friendly content Disney and Netflix boast, so perhaps this is a way to get both contemporary and 80s kids onto the platform.
The Garbage Pail Kids cards were first launched in 1985 as a parody of the Cabbage Patch Kids, a line of popular dolls from Mattel. Each card depicted a character with a tragic fate or a disgusting quirk. They were so effective that a lawsuit with Mattel ended with an out-of-court settlement in which Topps promised to change the trading card logo and character depiction.
The cards went on to become one of the cult icons of the 1980s. With 80s nostalgia still strong, it’s not much of a surprise to see a streamer attempt to capitalise and profit off that nostalgia. This isn’t the first time the Garbage Pail Kids have appeared on screen though.
In 1987, the trading cards got a live-action movie adaptation, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, which is widely considered one of the worst films ever made. That year also saw the premiere of the first Garbage Pail Kids animated show, although due to controversial themes the series was not broadcasted in the US, despite that being the place where they were most popular.
To prove how much of a brief fad this was, the cards were discontinued just a year after the film and show due to poor sales, although they were brought back in 2003, but to nowhere near the same popularity.
We’ll see what McBride and co. can do with this series. McBride’s work is normally a bit more edgy, so it will be interesting to see how he adapts his style for a family-friendly animated show. His HBO track record is strong though.