It’s October, which for the cigar industry means one thing: Tatuaje Monster Series.

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 The Michael, based on character of Michael Myers from John Carpenter’s Halloween series. The cigar itself measures 6 1/2 x 52 using an Ecuadorian habano wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and filler.

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 500 less 10-count boxes than last year’s release, meaning there will only be 4,500 boxes and a total release size less than 55,000.

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:

  • Cigar Mojo
    King of Prussia, Pa.
  • Cigar Warehouse
    Plano, Texas
  • Cordova Cigars
    Pensacola, Fla.
  • Doc James
    Shrub Oak, N.Y.
  • Gran Cru Cigars
    St Louis, Mo.
  • La Casa De La Habana
    Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • Lone Star Tobacco
    Houston, Texas
  • Old Towne Havana
    Orange, Calif.
  • Old Virginia Tobacco Co.
    Manassas, Va.
  • Owl Ear Smokeshop
    Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Rudy’s
    Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Tobacco and Hops
    Goldsboro, N.C.
  • Watch City
    Framingham, Mass.

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.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.