Seriously Bad Taste Merchandise

Zeke Newbold

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#1
So I once knew a chap - same generation as me (now fifties) -who told me that when he was growing up (hence the seventies) in some southern town, the local post office or gift shop would sell postcards - postcards! - which featured graphic scenes of rail and traffic accidents on them together with headings like: `The dead and the dying`.

On similar lines I recall listening to a local radio `phone in show (East Midlands) - this would have been late Nineties - where an irate father rang in to complain about some sweet manufacturer (there was some issue of him not being allowed to name the company) who sold their wares - targeted at children -together with collectable novelty cards (like they do). In this case though the cards featured characters and innuendo of a highly adult nature - I think he said that one of the characters was called `Frigid Bridget` or something like that.

Both of these claims have a whiff of urban myth about them - along the lines of razor blades put in baby food or various rumours about hidden innuendo in children's TV shows - except that they were told by people claiming direct experience of the matter at hand, rather than the old `friend of a friend` routine.

And yet I have heard nothing about them since from anybody else.

Can any one confirm or deny these outrages?
 

Dr_Baltar

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#4
So I once knew a chap - same generation as me (now fifties) -who told me that when he was growing up (hence the seventies) in some southern town, the local post office or gift shop would sell postcards - postcards! - which featured graphic scenes of rail and traffic accidents on them together with headings like: `The dead and the dying`.
Something along these lines?:

http://www.akpool.co.uk/categories/33475-postcards-disasters-railway

http://www.akpool.co.uk/categories/34271-postcards-cars-traffic-accidents

http://www.akpool.co.uk/categories/34262-postcards-disasters-ships
 

Jepra Peld

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#6
I remember Garbage Pail kids. My mum, who was generally fairly open-minded, banned me from getting them. I've never known her get that riled up about anything before.

Postcards of disasters etc were not uncommon either. I have some from the Battle of the Somme somewhere.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#7
All a bit mild in the Internet world which offers Baby Jesus butt-plugs etc. etc.

I think the latter are a real commodity - they have been featured online for at least a decade!

If they started as a bad-taste joke, someone is sure to make a real one.

Same goes for snuff-movies, I guess. :(
 

Cherrybomb

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#8
Garbage Pail Kids were just disgusting - as a kiddo in the 1980's a lot of my mates had them and would swap them at school, but just the thought of them made me shudder. I think its because they were just gross, not scary or funny just, yuck.

Also, I remember my gran having some of those disaster postcards :(
 

Kingsize Wombat

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#9
"They're selling postcards of the hanging..." - the opening lines of Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row"

And disturbingly real.

 

CarlosTheDJ

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#10
Garbage Pail Kids were just disgusting - as a kiddo in the 1980's a lot of my mates had them and would swap them at school, but just the thought of them made me shudder. I think its because they were just gross, not scary or funny just, yuck.
I loved Garbage Pail Kids. But then I was an 'orrible little oik.
 

PeteS

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#12
The Garbage Pail Kids seem pretty tepid to me. When I was at school in Berkshire in the early Sixties the collectables we all wanted were the American Civil War cards by Topps:







Good, wholesome fun for us tinies.

maximus otter
Blimey that brings back memories. I think I was always short of 1 or 2 for the full set. Can you imagine this stuff being sold nowadays? Parents buying them for their little darlings would have social services on their doorstep post haste and the PC brigade would get apoplectic.
 

CarlosTheDJ

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#14
There's a book available! I picked it up a couple of years ago, the jacket is the same waxy paper that the cards used to come in, and you get a free set of new cards.

51RZjTXU7xL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
download.jpg
 

RyoHazuki

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#15
"They're selling postcards of the hanging..." - the opening lines of Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row"

And disturbingly real.

The most horrifying thing about that photo isn't the victims - it's the fact that the faces in the crowd aren't contorted with hatred and anger, just smiling and havin' a nice time.

Also, I remember finding my (older) sister's stash of GPK cards when I was very young indeed, and how quickly the baffled repulsion turned to guilty pleasure :evillaugh: They definitely achieved super-cult status, in fact the creators are probably making far more money from them now than they ever did back in the 80s.
 

Bullseye

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#16
The Garbage Pail Kids seem pretty tepid to me. When I was at school in Berkshire in the early Sixties the collectables we all wanted were the American Civil War cards by Topps:


maximus otter
Eventually got the whole set of these when I was a kid,there was one that was incedibly rare, started my interest in the American Civil War. Yeah, they were a bit gory, but kids used to like that sort of thing. I think it was about this time that I started buying imported Marvel comics, used to have first editions of Ironman,Thor, all that lot,be worth a bit more than 6d a copy now........if only I knew...
 

Bigphoot2

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#17
The Garbage Pail Kids seem pretty tepid to me. When I was at school in Berkshire in the early Sixties the collectables we all wanted were the American Civil War cards by Topps:







Good, wholesome fun for us tinies.

maximus otter
I remember something similar about WW2 featuring all sorts of gruesome deaths by bayonet, grenade, flame thrower etc
 
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#19
"They're selling postcards of the hanging..." - the opening lines of Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row"

And disturbingly real...
They were real. Postcards of lynchings were quite popular in the South.

The one that's stuck in my mind are those of the lynching of Jesse Washington (in Texas, I think) - both because of the awful nature of his death, and the apparent glee of the (huge) crowd of spectators.

Hell on earth.
 

Min Bannister

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#21
The most horrifying thing about that photo isn't the victims - it's the fact that the faces in the crowd aren't contorted with hatred and anger, just smiling and havin' a nice time.
I particularly like the man who is pointing at the bodies, as if we wouldn't have thought to notice them otherwise.

I have never heard of garbage pail kids.
 

EnolaGaia

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#23
The classic Jesus light switch (originally produced by Hartland Plastics) is the universal baseline standard for tasteless merchandise.

This lesser-known, but just as tasteless, Hartland 3D figurine from the 1940's clearly illustrates the danger that's kept merely implicit in the light switch scene ...

Kilroy-Small.jpg

 

Swifty

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#25
The Kilroy gag wasn't limited to a single product ...

Hartland produced a larger, painted version of the figurine as well as a set of matching drink stirrers!

Holy Shit .. that started in the 1940's .. I'd have guessed '70's for those plastic stirrers

I know the whole Killroy Woz Ere graffiti thing started in the 40's ..

akillroy.JPG
 
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AgProv

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#26
One of those advert sidebars that plague me on other pages: I suspect Herself checked out the clothing for adult women and that's why it comes round knocking witrh sales pitches. But. Regard this photo. First response was "WTF?" and the second was "What the Hell were they thinking?" I mean. Otherwise Fatface looks like a wholly reputable clothing company for women and girls. But this one photo. Did nobody hear alarm bells as to how it could be interpreted? And It may not even be a pair of knickers worn tightly over the face of a girl of about ten. But. First impressions....

upload_2018-2-11_19-32-41.png
 

JamesWhitehead

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#28
adding the jokes at the bottom of the card defused the impact of the gory Hammer horrors
It was entirely in keeping with the way the films were marketed in the USA, where horrors were treated as essentially kids' stuff. Dating-age kids, maybe - Dracula's scars were typically compared to love-bites! In the UK, Hammer liked the X-Certificate so much that it complained if its more tepid offerings were saddled with a wimpish 'A.' :cskull:
 

Xanatic*

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#29
There was a Dune movie colouring book. It included scenes where you could colour in the dead bodies on the ground.
 

Cochise

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#30
The Garbage Pail Kids seem pretty tepid to me. When I was at school in Berkshire in the early Sixties the collectables we all wanted were the American Civil War cards by Topps:







Good, wholesome fun for us tinies.

maximus otter
Those were brilliant. I had the whole set except 'Shot to Death'. Which was the afore-mentioned rare one - only one person in our school had one.

The WW2 ones weren't as good.
 
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