The penultimate Tatuaje Monster Series release has arrived in stores.
Retailers around the country are now receiving The Michael, the 10th—or 12th—release in Tatuaje’s legendary Monster Series. As for the cigar, it’s a 6 1/2 x 52 toro extra with an Ecuadorian habano wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan fillers.
As with all but the first two full-size Monsters, the company divided the release between two types of boxes. Each year, the company releases 666 numbered dress boxes of 13 cigars, which are designed to look like coffins and painted in the theme of the character the Monster is based off of. The Michael is based on the character of Michael Myers from John Carpenter’s Halloween series.
The other packaging option is plain boxes, 10-count wooden boxes that feature a black painted logo. The cigars inside are identical, except the dress boxes are packaged without cellophane. Pricing is $13 per cigar regardless of the box.
Last week, 13 retailers received 31 dress boxes each. Those retailers are known as the Unlucky 13, a collection of 13 different retailers chosen each year to receive the bulk of the highly sought-after dress boxes. All other retailers receive their shipments a week later, i.e. this week, and are limited typically to no more than three dress boxes.
This year there are actually a bit more than 666 dress boxes at retailers. For one, box #150 was stolen and was replaced by a box from Tatuaje founder Pete Johnson’s private collection. Each year, Johnson typically makes 700 dress boxes with the remaining 34 boxes marked XX instead of with a number and are used for Johnson’s personal use and charitable causes.
Johnson told halfwheel that he used “about 10” of the XX boxes due to the stolen box and other allocation issues.
Next year’s Monster Series release has already been announced: The Bride.
Johnson has said that he considers the Tatuaje Chuck and Tiff, released as part of the Pudgy Monsters sampler in 2014, to be part of the regular Monster Series, meaning The Bride will mark the 13th, and final, Monster Series release.