Monday, July 09, 2007

RETRO TOY FLASHBACK # 63 Talking Freddy Krueger (Matchbox) (1987)

Have you ever seen a dream walking? Well, if not...he's your boyfriend now.

Yes, this is Matchbox's classic eighteen inch tall sleep demon, Freddy Kreuger, as seen in the classic A Nightmare on Elm Street film series of the mid 1980s and early 1990s (1984 - 1991). This figure whose "arms and legs are poseable" and who comes with a "surface" that is "washable"(!) scared up some benjamins twenty years ago. Yes, it's been that long.

"Each time you pull Freddy's string," the back of the box declares, "..he has a special message just for you." Or, As Freddy puts it himself on the box, "Pull my string to hear me talk and make me pose...IF YOU DARE!" Yikes!

Among Freddy's bon mots should you choose to pull those strings: "Hi, I'm Freddy," "Watch out...Freddy's back," "Welcome to Elm Street," "Let's Be Friends," "Pleasant Dreams" and "Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha." Hmmm. I'm disappointed that he doesn't say some of his more notable movie one-liners such as "I'm Your Boyfriend Now!" or "I'm the Brains and You're The Brawn" or "I don't believe in fairy tales" or "What a Rush!" Ah well...

Historically, I always get a kick out of it when toy makers try to cash in a horror movie craze. After all, horror movies are (or were...) generally rated R and so toys based on them inevitably have the effect of scaring children. When Alien came out in 1979, Kenner released a line of Alien figures and games, and then had to remove them from toy store shelves because little tykes were terrorized and ran out of the store without getting parents to open their wallets. The same thing happened with Freddy Krueger merchandise in the late 1980s. "Pleasant Dreams" is exactly what kids WOULDN'T have after playing with their own Freddy doll. The box stipulates this toy is "not suitable for children under 3 years."

Really? You think? He's a mass murderer, and possible child-molester who slices opens teenagers and then eats their souls. May I suggest a more appropriate ad-line for the box: "Slicing and dicing his way into your children's hearts!"

As for me, I was a misguided teenager finishing up high school during the height of the Freddy craze, so I still have my Talking Freddy Krueger Doll, my Freddy Quick Change from MAXX FX, my Freddy finger-knives glove and a Freddy latex mask. I will soon be terrorizing my 9 month old son with these items. And then I will soon be living on the streets after my wife kicks my ass.


  1. If she won't even let Joel watch Veronica Mars, I think you should probably give up on Freddy. For your own safety and all.

  2. I think that's a wise strategy, Joe. Just the other day, I put on the Flight of the Conchords rap clip for Joel and I got smacked down by Kathryn with another "it's not age-appropriate" glare and remark.

    Best to behave myself.

  3. Anonymous1:57 PM

    I received the Kenner Alien on Christmas Day in '79 (aged 7) and it didn't do me any harm (other than creating a lifelong obsession with horror films . . . but is that so wrong : )

    What scarred me far worse was the discovery years later that my parents sold the figure at a yard sale - now it has become my grail!

  4. Anonymous9:02 AM

    Well, if you end up on the streets, there's about a million stray cats to sustain you while you rethink your position on The Beyond...I'm just sayin', is all...

  5. Anonymous11:11 AM

    Blah blah blah... star and half...


The Cult-TV Faces of: Prison