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State official: Remove Garbage Pail Kids bubble gum cards

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- State Treasurer A. James Manchin called on shopkeepers Wednesday to remove from their shelves 'monstrous' Garbage Pail Kids bubble gum cards that depict torture, sex and drug use.

The cards, which are more popular than bubble gum baseball cards among many youngsters, feature such names as 'Bustin Dustin,' a battered baby; 'Warmin' Norman,' a burning child, and 'Still Jill' nailed to a wall.

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There also are 'Curly Carla,' with snakes in her hair, 'Pinned Lynn,' with needles poked all over her body, and 'Stoned Sean.'

The cards are manufactured in Duryea, Pa., by Topps Chewing Gum Corp., which is based in Brooklyn, N.Y. The company also makes baseball cards.

'I have received many complaints about the wildly popular Garbage Pail Kids series of cards and stickers being made available to our children,' Manchin said. 'On personal examination, I find them to show graphic and monstrous depictions of human mutilation, cannibalism, torture, child abuse and neglect.'

Manchin said he is asking retailers to remove the products because he believes they are a malevolent threat to the well-being of West Virginia children.

'I also think they depict intense disrespect for parents and country,' he said.

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Manchin also urged a letter-writing campaign against the company.

Barbara Caldwell of Charleston's Consumer Protection Office, said mothers' complaints also had reached her. She said some of the cards have sayings such as 'don't pay attention to your school principal. He'll just brainwash you,' or 'mother wanted for child abuse,' or 'teacher wanted for mental cruelty.'

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