Copyright Acknowledgment: All images of The "TRASH BAGBUNCH"
and other Products and Images, created by Mel Birnkrant,
are Copyright (c) BIRNKRANT KISCOM/ The OBB
The “TRASH BAG BUNCH”, which began life as “THE GARBAGE BAG GANG”, was quite possibly the best product I Never did.
Nobody ever said that inventing toys would be easy, and selling those inventions proved to be hard too. But, every so often, one can get lucky, and perhaps by 1991 some luck was due. That year, while Galoob’s Baby Face was just beginning, a little item called the “Magic Diaper Babies we sold to Galoob’s International Division was flying off the shelves of Europe. Each Magic Diaper Baby, when dipped in water, would reveal its gender by means of its diaper turning either pink or blue. The figures were packaged individually in sealed bags, so the buyers couldn’t see what they were getting. And these little bags began appearing beside cash registers wherever lottery tickets were sold, at candy stores, news stands and check-out counters everywhere. Well, everywhere, that is, but here. Nonetheless, over 100 million pieces were sold. They were only 30 cents apiece; maybe that’s why.
This good fortune arrived right in the nick of time, for I had been, quite literally, “down in the dumps” for years. Thanks to the State of New York, who In 1988, in a masterpiece of misguided judgment, had decided that the land stretching from the road in front of my front door down to the banks of the Hudson River would be the perfect place to put a land fill.
It was estimated that several hundred trucks, from as far away as Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, would pull into the dump each day to jettison their garbage. And the resulting heap of refuse would provide refuge to a host of creepy crawlers, officially known as “VECTORS”. That’s a politically correct term designed to hide the true identity of a maliferous menagery of rats and rodents, bugs [and I don’t mean bunny], worms, snakes, ants, flies, maggots, and mosquitoes, maybe even monsters and nameless creatures of the night! This would have, not only, proved unsightly, but a mountain of stinking garbage, towering above the scenic Hudson, would have wiped out our small community.
“Not In My FRONT Yard”, I hollered, and joined the battle to prevent it. Led by John Cronin the River Keeper and all my neighbors, including Pete Seeger, the fight went on for several years. In the end: Thank God, we WON!
Now based on the success of Magic Diaper Babies my partner Andy posed his usual question: “How can we flip this idea for boys”. In light of the nightmare, from which I was just waking, is it any wonder that a garbage dump, teeming with monsters, leapt to mind?
The entire presentation consisted of just this drawing, which was, hopefully, self explanatory: tiny Garbage Bags with Bio-degradable “garbage” that when dissolved in water releases a Disgusting Ugly Mutant Pest. They might even be scented Stinky, and Glow in the dark with Radio-activity.
The rest of the presentation was this Dump Display, which gave a whole new meaning to the expression “Dump Display”. It was just a box with a Riser that accurately depicted a scene I once anticipated would be seen across the street from me. Then I fabricated a dozen little garbage bags, stuffed them with toilet paper, and dumped them into the display. There were no monsters, nothing! Those were left to the imagination. We felt that this was all that was necessary to dramatically convey the concept. And, therefore, we were Ready …… to show it to Galoob!