BIG BAD BUTTONS







Tom Bunk's 1985 Topps parody button set that poked fun at the then very popular Care Bears 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 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 backs of the first two series of the Garbage Pail Kids.







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 the published final artwork Ready for Lunch?



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 seems 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!), the later being changed to 'KISS ME!' for the iron-on set, #4 and #5, respectively. Topps product # 4-594-60-01-8.


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.


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 at one time) and a safety pin was added to attach the razer blade stomach emblem (revised blade shape).


5.
Six cards were released in the 2016 Series 1 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, #6 Pig-Out Bear (numbered #5 in the GPK 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 2016 Series 2 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 2017 Series 1 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. Topps will continue to release the Gross Bears within Value boxes depending on the reception by collectors with future GPK releases.

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

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 with a taglines.







FINAL ARTWORK SAMPLES, BOX & BUTTONS




#1 FLARE BEAR


#3 FLAT BEAR


#10 RUG BEAR


#17 GO BEAR



FINAL BOX ARTWORK PAINTING



















(CLICK PIC TO VIEW COLOR ROUGH IMAGES)

ARTWORK 4-SALE








1. The following 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 a 10th Series GPK piece by James Warhola

Not All There Bear made it to the final stages and was slightly reworked as well, the crossbones bear insignia changed to a broken hear
t. The concept was later reworked and painted as a similar idea for a 7th Series GPK piece by James Warhola.

The Blender Bear piece was never published, but was later reworked for a 5th Series 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.


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 and the atmospheric colors changed. It is very similar to the 3rd Series GPK Frankenstein character painted by Tom Bunk. The tombstone in the background has bear ears on it.


NOTE: MISSING BEAR PAW

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 arwork.


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?


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 2nd Series GPK cards were released in October of the same year; Bunk worked on the Gross Bears artwork while he was working on the 1st and 2nd Series GPK card back artwork.

NOTE: BIG BAD BUNK SPORTING ALL 29 GROSS BEARS BUTTONS









BUTTON
CHARACTER NAME
FINAL ARTWORK
CONCEPT ARTIST
1 FLARE BEAR
Tom Bunk
John Mariano
2 KILLER BEAR
Tom Bunk
John Mariano
3 FLAT BEAR
Tom Bunk
John Mariano
4 BARF BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
5 GOODBYE BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
6 PIG-OUT BEAR
Tom Bunk
John Mariano
7 HEADY BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
8 RAMBEAR
Tom Bunk
John Mariano
9 BIG SHOT BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
10 RUG BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
11 EVERYWHERE BEAR
Tom Bunk
John Mariano
12 BONKERS BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
13 SPIKY BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
14 TEAR BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
15 FRANKENBEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
16 B.O. BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
17 GO BEAR
Tom Bunk
John Mariano
18 LOUSY BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
19 CYCLOPS BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
20 SCAR BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
21 PUNK BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
22 ZIT BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
23 MELTED BEAR
Tom Bunk
John Mariano
24 BONY BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
25 TRASH BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
26 BAT BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
27 BICEP BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
28 BUTT BEAR
Tom Bunk
Mark Newgarden
29 BARE BEAR
Tom Bunk
John Mariano

29 Total Buttons