The Little Monsters are based off of the four original Monster Series releases and the upcoming 2012 release, theTatuaje Mummy. Here’s a picture of the four original releases and their Little counterparts (left to right):
Pete Johnson announced the Little Monsters on the Jan. 14 episode of Smoke Inn’s Kiss My Ash Radio show. We posted this news story in January:
Earlier this morning on Smoke Inn’s Kiss My Ash Radio show, Pete Johnson of Tatuaje announced that he would be releasing the Monster Series in smaller vitolas.
The popular Monster Series has previously been regulated to larger sizes, hence the Monster moniker. During the show, which will be available online later this week, Pete said that he is working on thinner RGs and shorter sizes.
Early reports indicate that it will be available in samplers. As of now, the only mention of a release date has been June.
Update (January 14, 2011):The names for the cigars are:
- Frank Jr.
- Lil’ Drac
- Baby Face
- Mini Mum*
*Mini Mum is based off of The Mummy, the next Tatuaje Monster Series.
In March, Johnson confirmed the sizes, pricing and the reason behind the increase in production:
Pete Johnson of Havana Cellars/Tatuaje has confirmed the five dimensions for the much anticipated Tatuaje Little Monsters release slate for June. The five sizes are (in order of appearance):
- Tatuaje Mini Mum — 5 3/4 x 42
- Tatuaje Wolfie — 5 1/2 x 48
- Tatuaje Baby Face — 4 3/8 x 50
- Tatuaje Lil’ Drac — 5 x 48
- Tatuaje Frank Jr. — 5 5/8 x 44
Johnson has slowly leaked information about the release since announcing it in mid-January. The concept takes the four released Monster Series blends and the Mini Mum, the fifth in the series scheduled for later this year, replicated in smaller sizes. For Tatuaje fans, the names and distinct appearance makes them easy to coincide with their larger brother: Lil’ Drac based off of “The Drac,” Frank Jr. off of “The Frank,” etc. In the past month, Johnson has announced that he will make 10,000 orange boxes that will include two of each cigar, this is double the original 5,000 he originally planned. The Tatuaje brand owner also told halfwheel that he expects pricing for the boxes to be around $75.00. The Little Monsters sampler is expected in June. Johnson hopes that the increase in production numbers will keep them on retailers’ shelves a bit longer, as opposed to the normal Monster Series releases which often sell out before retailers receive their shipments.
And last week, the Little Monsters began shipping.
The Tatuaje Little Monsters, a limited edition project for Pete Johnson’s Havana Cellars, began arriving in stores Monday in what is expected to be one of many shipments over the course of the next few weeks. The Little Monsters, which constitute five smaller versions of Tatuaje’s Monster Series releases are a 10,000 box release Johnson hoped would stay on shelves, something the larger versions traditionally have failed to do.
However, a sample of a few retailers indicate the initial shipment seems unlikely to stay on shelves as retailers are reporting frantic purchasing.
Last week, Johnson tweeted the following, asking his fans for patience:
The cigars are smaller versions of their original counterparts with a slight change to the bands, which read “Little Monster”except for the Baby Face, which features a tobacco band like the original The Face.
We e-mailed Pete Johnson to ask him to explain his motives behind blending, specifically how he was approaching making smaller versions of blends that debuted a few years ago:
I used the same blends as the original, which was the best way to represent the original cigars. The tobacco varietals did not change. Only the crop years. Of course the Mimi Mum and The Mummy will be from the same crop.
The Little Monsters are packed in pairs from newest release (Mini Mum) on the left to oldest release (Frank Jr.):
Interestingly enough, the boxes originally depicted the Little Monsters on the outside, however, due to concerns about marketing products to children, Johnson decided to place the artwork underneath the cigars and instead the outside of the boxes read “Little Monsters.” The original boxes looked like this:
On the production boxes, you will find this underneath the cigars:
Each box was supposed to contain a single trading card depicting one of the monsters. In addition to the five normal cards, there are two limited edition cards: one is a version of the Baby Face card that has a depiction of Pete Johnson’s face instead of the normal monster face and the other is reportedly a foil printed card. However, Pete Johnson has stated that there will only be 5,500 cards because of a printing issue. A little over 1,000 of each of the five regular cards were produced.
On top of that, the Mini Mum card that has been shipping in the first shipments contains a printing error. Under the Favorite TV Show section, it says, Unwarpped, which is obviously supposed to read Unwrapped.
Here’s a picture of the boxes being packed at My Father Cigars S.A. with the card inside and various cards on the table: