I struggled as to where to place the skeletal information there was on this unreleased Australia set. Technically, this was a licensed product, which involved an exclusive ditribution, so it could have been placed within the 'LICENSE' pages; and this also would have been sold online, via the company's website, but not directly from Topps; so I'm not sure I would have mentioned it within the 'ONLINE' releases. Another issue would have been the potential 'release period', although a majority of the final artwork was completed by summer's end, it's unclear as to whether it would have been released within 2020, or like so many issues surrounding the Coronavirus—limited material supplies and severe shipping delays—would it have been postponed to 2021 or later; and are these possible reasons as to why the project was eventually cancelled (shelved)? Regardless, I figured most collectors would look within the international section, and it would have been lost within either of the aforementioned sections.

The GPK Australian set was planned to be sold and distributed by Banter Toys, as a physical box release (this may have been a boxed set, considering the word 'subset' was tossed around at some point), through their online shop and distribution channels. A majority of the set would have been completed by local Australian artists, with only one non-Aussie, Joe Simko, whom contributed artwork to the unpublished set. Besides Simko, the set would have included artwork by artists Matt Durston (of GPK Creepy Co. fame!), Andy Hook, Chris Kennett, and potentially others that have not been listed anywhere or have surfaced. Any card mock-ups contain the Garbage Pail Kids logo, so it doesn't appear The Garbage Gang moniker had been planned to be used for the project, but then again, it's just a GPK card template for pre-production. Banter Toys is a division of Croftminster Pty Ltd, Australia's leading distributor of trading cards and toy collectibles.

Per Banter's website 'ABOUT' section, "Banter Toys & Collectibles are a leading distributor of licensed entertainment toys and collectibles in Australia and New Zealand. Established in 1988, Banter Toys have been servicing mass market and specialty retailers in Australia and New Zealand. Our head office is located in Melbourne Australia. We are the market leader in trading cards, and have a growing toy business. The company is able to offer it’s supplier partners very broad distribution beyond mass retailers due to its historical trading card relationship. The company attends all major trading card and toy industry events around the world and exhibits every year at the Australian Toy Fair." Within the 'Our Suppliers' section, "Banter Toys has worked with a diverse range of suppliers and licensors since 1988! Some of our supplier partners are: ...Topps."

It is interesting to note that Banter Toys took to social media on October 12, 2021, to help promote the Garbage Pail Kids 'Mad MIKE: Fury Load' video for volume #3. This was often done by current license holders at the behest of Topps to help promote the GPK brand. Perhaps the yet-released Australian set was still planned to be distributed, even a year later, but pandemic issues may have persued. As U.S. collectors are aware, a GPK set was released in February 2021 and then not again until July 2022 due to the many Covid complications. I'd imagine the unreleased Australian set was officically cancelled after the October 2021 timeframe; since then only a portion of the (sub)set have been shared online.

The first artist to go public about the set was Matt Durston, who took to social media on July 28, 2022, stating: "Here's something I've wanted to share for a few years now. Myself, CrikeyBoy and Andy.Hook.Art were chosen to do an Australian only Garbage Pail Kids subset. But for reasons unknown the set never went to print. Not to mention 3/4 of these designs were either cut or edited. So, now for the first time publicly I can show off the 4 cards I did. Enjoy!" The post showed off four completed pieces.

And again the following day, on July 29, 2022, to state: "Thanks for all the interest in the GPK's yesterday. Here's a look at some roughs of the ones that didn't make the cut. They don't really fit here, so I'll post the full pages in my stories." The post showed off three additional concepts (and a partial one), plus one repeat, with two name suggestions, "A. AUSTIN Post" and "B. BUSTER Open", poking fun at the Australia Post mail company. "Outback MAC" is very reminiscent of the GPK Build-a-Kid during the All-New Series releases.

I first heard of final artwork being completed for the set in August of 2020, so pre-production on the project must've taken place several months prior to this time period, so perhaps in the spring of 2020 the project may have been greenlit, so by the time Matt posted, it defintely had been at least two full years of waiting to share the project to the world. It is unknown if all of the completed artwork would have made it into the eventual set.

The artwork could be later found on Durston's website, as part of his art portfolio—an edited collection of an artist's best artwork intended to showcase their style or method of work"—and seen as mock-up images on digital card with added nomenclature and an old, warn look and traded-card feel to them. Artist Matt Durston pays tribute to Australia's i) great Outback, ii) Cadbury's Caramello Koala candy, iii) the children's television show 'Bananas in Pyjamas', where the main two characters are two anthropomorphic bananas named B1 and B2, and iv) Vegemite, a foods spread created in Melbourne, Victoria, by Cyril Callester in 1922.

Artist Andrew Hook was the second artist to show artwork for the unleased Australian set; he took to social media on August 01, 2022, and stated, "During lockdown 13B I did some particularly gruesome Garbage Pail Kids art, Aussie-themed of course, along with my talented buddies @incredible_melting_matt and @crikeyboy. Not released, unfortunately. I had to paint, not draw, which is not usually my bag, but it was fun! GPKs are a long-lived spoof of those shitty dolls, the Cabbage Patch Kids."

I reached out the Andy in early June 2023, almost a year after he posted his submissions to share on social media, just to gain a bit more information if at all possible, "Yes, I worked on three GPKs at the same time as Matt and Chris Kennett ... It seemed that any of our ideas involving a spoof of an existing product or movie got canned - the Topps lawyers rejected all of Matt’s excellent images for this reason, and my Crocodile Dung Dee too. Hopefully they don’t mind us sharing this unreleased art."

Artist Andy Hook pays tribute to Australia with i) the Crocidile Dundee movie character, a 1986 comedy film set in the Austalian Outback and in NYC, starring actor Paul Hogan as Mick Dundee; with ii) Bondi Beach, of of Australia's most iconic beaches, and the nation's surfing pasttime; with iii) the hot weather conditions of Australia, including a 'WELL DONE' meat thermometer (and sporting some Australian flag shorts); and a cricket mascot-like character sporting a hat with the Austalian national cricket team emblem, with a cricket ball head, paying tribute to the infamous ball-tampering incident of of 2018, coined Sandpaper-gate... where sandpaper is an illegal method of ball altering, but using spit and/or sweat is a very common legal form.

Artist Joe Simko was the third artist to show artwork for the unleased Australian set; he took to social media on January 02, 2023, and stated, "Happy New Year! Here's a Garbage Pail Kids painting of Adam Bomb in Sydney Australia. This was painted over 2 and a half years ago for a GPK Australian set. Not sure if the set is ever coming out, so posting this painting now." Artist Matt Durston actually chimed in on the post and mentioned, "I worked on this set too! I hope it comes out one day. We did some funny stuff."

Less than two weeks later, Joe made a second post, on January 14, 2023, stating, "Another painting for an Australian GPK set that has been on hold for a couple years now. Figured I share these in case they never get published." Joe's third-and-final post took place on June 04, 2023 to share the third-and-final artwork piece, stating, "Another card I painted for the Australian GPK set that unfortunately may never see the light of G'Day."

Artist Joe Simko pays tribute to Australia with the infamous i) ADAM Bomb character climbing up the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and detonating fireworks over the Sydney Opera House, and ii) with the Boomber Angus character throwing an Aboriginal Australian boomberang (& sporting a Steve Irwin-like outfit), and with iii) ADAM Bomb renamed ANGUS Bomb for Angus Young, the co-founder, lead guitarist, and songwriter of the hard rock band AC/DC (known for his schoolboy-uniform stage outfits), and the block of T.N.T. paying tribute to the band's second studio album of the same name, released only in Australia.