It’s early October and that means 13 retailers around the country are getting a lot of phone calls.
Earlier today, Tatuaje announced the list of retailers who will receive special boxes of this year’s version of the Monster Series, the Krueger.
Every year since 2008 Tatuaje has released a limited edition as part of the Monster Series, cigars based on monster characters from film and literature. The cigars are generally large and strong, but they are best known for the elaborate packaging that shows off their connection with the character and the mayhem that surrounds the release of said boxes.
This year’s release is based on the Freddy Krueger character from Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street. The Krueger is a 7 1/4 x 48 box-pressed torpedo with a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan fillers.
“The Krueger size is made from the Cojonu 2009 molds, but cut a little longer,” said Pete Johnson of Tatuaje to halfwheel. He said the cigar is a straight parejo up until the head as opposed to the “torpedo taper” that was on The Wolfman.
Those special boxes are known as dress boxes, 13-count boxes shaped like coffins, painted to match the monster. Only 666 numbered boxes are released with 403 boxes divided up between 13 stores—31 boxes per store. The remaining 263 boxes are sent to Tatuaje retailers around the country, which generally receive between one to three boxes per store.
Tatuaje dress boxes are probably the most sought after release in the world of cigars. Retailers who are chosen to receive the boxes routinely spend days dealing with customers from around the country trying to order the cigars. Furthermore, dress boxes command a premium on the secondary market and are oftentimes difficult to find without paying double or triple the cigar’s original price, which has always been $13—keeping with the theme of six and 13.
As such, Tatuaje releases the cigars in 10-count boxes. The cigars are identical, other than the ones in 10-count boxes are packaged in cellophane, and it allows for a much wider range of consumers to easily find and smoke the cigar. Johnson told halfwheel there will be just under 60,000 cigars released for The Krueger.
In past years, special European dress boxes have been created, they will not be made this year.
The retailers chosen to receive the bulk of the dress boxes are known as the Unlucky 13. Each year, the company selects different retailers to be chosen for the distinction. This year, they are:
- 8 to 8 Cigars
Villa Park, Ill.
- Beehive Cigars
Salt Lake City, Utah
- The Cigar Box
- Cigar Smiths
- Delaware Cigars
- Emerson’s Cigars
Virginia Beach, Va.
- En Fuego Cigars
Las Vegas, Nev.
- Habana House Cigars
- Mission Pipe Shop
- Smokers Delight
- Smoke Inn Wellington
- Tobacco Barn
Lake Forest, Calif.
- V.Cut Smoke Shop
Los Angeles, Calif.
No retailer has appeared on the Unlucky 13 list more than once with the exception of the defunct Gloucester Street Cigars, whose owner is credited with helping to come up with the idea for the series.
This year, two stores with associations to previous Unlucky 13 retailers made the list: 8 to 8 Cigars and Smoke Inn Wellington. In both cases, these stores have different owners than the previous store: 8 to 8 Cigars is owned by the brother of the owner of Casa de Montecristo of Countryside, Ill. and Smoke Inn Wellington has separate owners from Smoke Inn Boynton Beach.
Tatuaje begins shipping The Krueger today.