Freezy Freakies. The one time I had any opinion at all about gloves.
Made by Swany, they were decorated with everything ‘80s kids cared about, like robots and jets, and cute little animals. On that merit alone, they were destined for big things. 99% of gloves were boring, and if a child had to pick between normal gloves and GLOVES WITH ROBOTS, well, duh.
But that wasn’t the half of it. The real reason Freezy Freakies became so legendary is that they had magical powers. See, only when you wore the gloves outside would their cartoony symbols fully materialize.
This bizarre old commercial tells the story:
In the house, your Freezy Freakies might have had the image of a rocket ship on them. Sounds okay, but check this: Once you got those fuckers outside, the rocket ships grew blazing red exhaust trails.
Don’t pretend like you don’t want to clap.
Okay, yeah, if you weren’t a part of the fad, I guess they wouldn’t seem like such a big deal. Believe me, they were. Those gloves marked my first-ever interest in fashion. You could’ve dressed me in mismatched sneakers and a shirt that said “My Life Is Bingo,” and I wouldn’t have cared. But GOD HELP YOU if you sent me onto the snowball battlefield without Freezy Freakies.
Me, my friends, we all had them. I don’t know who started the trend, but once Freezy Freakies turned up in our neighborhood, none of us wanted to be the jerk without ’em.
A snowstorm isn’t a good time to be the odd man out. Not when you’re seven, at least. Everyone liked a good snowball fight, but we liked unfair snowball fights even more. The ones when you totally outnumbered your opponents. There was no quicker way to make five antsy boys throw snow at you than to be the only kid out there without color-changing gloves. It was like walking into Crips HQ without the blue bandana.
Shown above is my favorite pair, and the pair I had as a kid. The “ROBOT” gloves.
They look great as-is, but since I took this photo in my toasty kitchen, the robots are only at half-power. Remember, you need ICY AIR to make Freezy Freakies be all they can be.
Since the gloves were made for elementary school kids, they won’t fit over my hands. Thanks, Larry, for being so demure.
Notice anything different about those robots? Now they have arms and legs!
As a kid, I took that robot to be one of the Transformers. He looked enough like Jetfire, anyway. I’m not sure if I really believed it, but since I was the only one with the robot gloves, tying them to the Autobots propped me up even more.
When I hunted these down several years ago, they cost a fortune. Maybe not a legit fortune, but certainly a fortune for gloves that didn’t fit my hands.
On the secondary market, the cost of Freezy Freakies flies all over the place. When I bought mine, they were a lot. Other times, some lucky prick inherits a dusty factory, finds ten boxes of brand new pairs, and suddenly eBay turns into a buyer’s market. As a general rule, if you pay more than $30, the Jawas will never accept you as an honorary clansman.
Whenever I see Freezy Freakies, I’m thrown back into the winters of youth. Those were exciting but dangerous times. Between the ponds with the iffy ice and the older kids with their rock-cored snowballs, I’m amazed that I didn’t fake the flu more often.
If you were gonna survive out there, you needed confidence.
And what better way to gain confidence than by covering your hands with robots?
I’m only adding this line because the one before it seems too strange to end on.
And this line because ditto.
Eh fuck it, here’s a space alien holding two little Christmas trees.
Or maybe it’s a giant space alien holding two regularly-sized Christmas Trees?
Thank you for reading my article about the gloves.