BIG BAD BUTTONS













Tom Bunk's 1985 Topps parody button set that poked fun at the then very popular Care Bears stuffed animal dolls; a slogan-filled series named the Gross Bears. The Gross Bears button set did not take off like the success of the Garbage Pail Kids, or, may have been more easily overlooked considering the non-trading card format. Topps went with a button series considering the button craze of the 80's and earlier success with button sets. Several of the Gross Bears ideas and concepts can be seen sporadically reintroduced throughout the GPK sets since a lot of parody material is rehashed over time at Topps. The set was worked on and released during the time that artist Tom Bunk was working on the reverse card artwork of the first two Garbage Pail Kids sets.











29 BUTTON SET


DISPLAY BOX

36 COUNT (#537 MADE IN TAIWAN)
ARTWORK : TOM BUNK



BUTTON DISPLAY BOX

FRONT & CHECKLIST BACK
ARTWORK : TOM BUNK












1. The Tagline for button #4 Barf Bear was changed from the original sketch artwork 'Let's Share Lunch' to 'Ready for Lunch?' for the published final artwork; all of the barf material remains intact and unchanged.


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2. Two Gross Bears images found their way into the 1988 Topps T-Shirt Factory Iron-Ons set. The series consisted of 18 different Iron-Ons with artwork that appears to be taken from various, older Topps sets. The two Gross Bears images found within the set are #13 Spiky Bear (Hug Someone Else!) and #28 Butt Bear (I Get a Kick Out of You!), #4 and #5, respectively — the later being changed to 'KISS ME!' for the iron-on set.
Topps product # 4-594-60-01-8.


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3. A dealer Sell Sheet can be located for the T-Shirt Factory Iron-Ons set, #594 which shows a very small picture of the Gross Bears image for button #28 Butt Bear (I Get a Kick Out of You!) that reads 'KISS ME!' for the #5 iron-on.


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4. The Concept for button #21 Punk Bear (I'm a Sharp Dresser!) had several subtle changes from the color rough to the final artwork. The patriotic red-white-and-blue spiked hair was changed to punk green, a cigarette was added to the mouth — it looks like the original color rough had one in its mouth or it was whistling, and a safety pin was added to attach the razer blade stomach emblem — blade shape being revised.


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5. Thirty-two Gross Bears Mini-Cards have been released within the Yearly sets: six cards were released in the 2016S1 GPK Applie Pie (In Your Face!) set within certain Value retail boxes; the images are printed on card for the first time, measure 2.5 x 2.5in, and include Gross Bears characters: #1 Flare Bear, #2 Killer Bear, #3 Flat Bear, #4 Barf Bear, #5 Pig-Out Bear (numbered #6 in the Button set) and L1 Blender Bear (Lost artwork). #5 Goodbye Bear has been passed up for the release due to the subject of suicide. Six cards were released in the 2016S2 GPK Prime Slime Trashy TV set within Wal*Mart and online Value retail boxes; the images include characters: #6 Heady Bear, #7 RamBear, #8 Big Shot Bear, #9 Rug Bear, #10 Everywhere Bear and L2 Deady Bear. Six additional cards were released in the 2017S1 GPK ADAM-Geddon set; the characters include: #11 Bonkers Bear, #12 Spikey Bear, #13 Tear Bear, #14 FrankenBear, #15 B.O. Bear and L3 Burger Bear. Six additional cards were released in the 2017S2 GPK Battle of the Bands set; the characters include: #16 Go Bear, #17 Lousy Bear, #18 Cyclops Bear, #19 Scar Bear, #20 Punk Bear and L4 Not-All-There Bear. Eight additional cards were released for the 2018S1 GPK We Hate the 80's set without any lost card and two additional images; the characters include: #21 Zit Bear, #22 Melted Bear, #23 Bony Bear, #24 Trash Bear, #25 Bat Bear, #26 Bicep Bear, #27 Butt Bear and #28 Bare Bear. Topps continued to release the Gross Bears within Value boxes for five Yearly sets and finished out the special chase card subset.

NOTE: THE ORIGINAL BOX ARTWORK IS USED FOR THE CARD BACKS MINUS THE '36 BUTTONS' (PER BOX) MESSAGE


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6. The actual Button Size is about 1 1/2 inches in circular diameter, very similar to the Garbage Pail Kids buttons that were released, also with a tagline. The Yearly mini-cards measure roughtly











FINAL ARTWORK SAMPLES, BOX & BUTTONS



#1 FLARE BEAR

#3 FLAT BEAR


#10 RUG BEAR


#17 GO BEAR


#24 BONY BEAR


BOX FINAL ARTWORK



















ARTWORK 4-SALE















1. The following, at-the-time, Unpublished GROSS BEARS were slightly reworked, with subtle changes from the sketch artwork to the final artwork, and often could be found reworked and used as Garbage Pail Kids characters in later GPK sets. Have It Your Way Burger Bear (Burger King slogan parody) was an idea sketch that made it to the final stages and slightly reworked from the color rough stage, minus the chef's hat. The concept was later painted as an OS10 GPK piece by James Warhola. The image was later released on mini-card for the 2017S1 set as #L3 Burger Bear.


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Not-All-There Bear made it to the final stages and was slightly reworked as well, the crossbones bear insignia changed to a broken heart. The concept was later reworked and painted as a similar idea for an OS7 GPK piece by James Warhola. The image was later released on mini-card for the 2017S2 set as #L4 Not-All-There Bear .


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The Blender Bear piece was previously unpublished and was later reworked for an OS5 GPK piece painted by Tom Bunk. The character is in the same position, similar style of blender (with an added cord), tongue sticking out and blood replaced with water. The image was later released on mini-card for the 2016S1 set as #L1 Blender Bear.


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Deaddy Bear (teddy bear rhyme) or Zombie Bear was never published or released in another parody set. The stomach emblem was changed from a comical bear skull crossbones to a human skull with no bones for the final artwork, the foreground forepaw added and the atmospheric colors changed. It is very similar to the OS3 GPK Frankenstein character painted by Tom Bunk. The tombstone in the background has bear ears on it. The image was later released on mini-card for the 2016S2 set as #L2 Deady Bear.


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2. The Gross Bear character #24 Bony Bear had her Death Scythe Removed and a heart balloon (to match her heart) added instead. The balloon concept was removed from the #25 Trash Bear character and added to Bony Bear, per the colour rough artwork.


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3. Like many Topps' humor and parody sets, the Gross Bears Big Bad Buttons theme came from the 1976 Topps release simply called Big Bad Buttons. Button examples: #4 Change Your Deodorant! and #18 Where's Your Leash?


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4. The artist behind the buttons, Tom Bunk, in December of 1985 sporting all of the Big Bad Buttons. The Gross Bears buttons were released after the OS2 GPK cards were released in October of the same year; Bunk worked on the Gross Bears artwork while he was working on the OS1 and OS2 GPK reverse card artwork.

NOTE: BIG BAD BUNK SPORTING ALL 29 GROSS BEARS BUTTONS











#
CHARACTER NAME
FINAL ARTWORK
CONCEPT ARTIST
YEARLY SERIES CARDS
1 FLARE BEAR
Tom Bunk
John Mariano
2016S1 #1
2 KILLER BEAR
Tom Bunk
John Mariano
2016S1 #2
3 FLAT BEAR
Tom Bunk
John Mariano
2016S1 #3
4 BARF BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
2016S1 #4
5 GOODBYE BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
UNPUBLISHED
6 PIG-OUT BEAR
Tom Bunk
John Mariano
2016S1 #5
7 HEADY BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
2016S2 #6
8 RAMBEAR
Tom Bunk
John Mariano
2016S2 #7
9 BIG SHOT BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
2016S2 #8
10 RUG BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
2016S2 #9
11 EVERYWHERE BEAR
Tom Bunk
John Mariano
2016S2 #10
12 BONKERS BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
2017S1 #11
13 SPIKY BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
2017S1 #12
14 TEAR BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
2017S1 #13
15 FRANKENBEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
2017S1 #14
16 B.O. BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
2017S1 #15
17 GO BEAR
Tom Bunk
John Mariano
2017S2 #16
18 LOUSY BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
2017S2 #17
19 CYCLOPS BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
2017S2 #18
20 SCAR BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
2017S2 #19
21 PUNK BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
2017S2 #20
22 ZIT BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
2017S1 #21
23 MELTED BEAR
Tom Bunk
John Mariano
2017S1 #22
24 BONY BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
2017S1 #23
25 TRASH BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
2017S2 #24
26 BAT BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
2017S2 #25
27 BICEP BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
2017S2 #26
28 BUTT BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
2017S2 #27
29 BARE BEAR
Tom Bunk
John Mariano
2017S2 #28
UNPUB BLENDER BEAR
Tom Bunk
UNKNOWN
2016S1 #L1
UNPUB DEADY BEAR
Tom Bunk
UNKNOWN
2016S2 #L2
UNPUB BURGER BEAR
Tom Bunk
UNKNOWN
2017S1 #L3
UNPUB NOT-ALL-THERE BEAR
Tom Bunk
UNKNOWN
2017S2 #L4

29 TOTAL BUTTONS + 24 Total Cards