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Who Killed the Freezy Freakies?

July 5, 2011

Here is something that has been troubling me for some time now.  Whatever happened to Freezy Freakies?  You don’t know what I’m talking about?  Exactly. 

I have combed the face of this earth, inquiring in farmers markets, Coldplay concerts, Star Wars conventions, and other venues where in-the-know Gen Xers tend to congregate.  Still, I have not found a single person who can offer me actual concrete memories of Freezy Freakies.  Instead, I’ve come across only vague recollections at best.  There are perhaps more substantial records of a Yeti roaming the Himalayas than of Freezy Freakies once gracing the hands of school children.  And this has led me to the conclusion that there is a conspiracy at work here.

Freezy Freakies were puffy ski gloves that kids wore in the early 1980s.  At first

INDOOR VIEW

glance, they often appeared to be merely plain white, even – gasp! – pearlized you might think.  However, once the gloves became cold in the outdoor winter air – shazam! – a bright-colored picture would suddenly appear on the backs of them. 

I know it sounds like bragging, but I happened to own a pair, as did my brother.  Mine, I believe (my memory is quite foggy here), might have revealed a picture of a peacock.  Or maybe it was a unicorn.  I can, however, remember with absolute certainty that my brother’s pair, the most badass pair ever to be created, would transform into monster lizard hands.  I know!

Try to imagine this.  A mild-mannered kid waiting to go outside for recess,

OUTDOOR VIEW

standing in line near the exit to the playground wearing a pair of pearly-white puffy gloves.  The kids are heckling him – Look at his sissy mittens!  (“Mittens” they were not, okay some versions were, but almost nothing is more demeaning to a 4th grade boy than to be accused of wearing mittens.)  Then, once outside, the boy suddenly turns on the taunting mob, displaying his ferocious dark green lizard-scaled hands!  And then – look at his fingers!  Dear God, he has black razor-sharp talons!  The crowd of kids disperses in terror, never again to be so foolish as to mess with Godzilla Hands.  Yes, I can assure you, once the monster lizard gloves hit the Freezy Freakies market, no boy settled for anything less.     

If you were lucky enough to own a pair of Freezy Freakies, you could be guaranteed a higher quality of elementary school life, popularity would be yours for the taking, no more waiting in line for the teeter-totters, and never again would the lunch lady run out of pigs-in-a-blanket just before you reached the cafeteria window.  One boy in a grade ahead of me named “Mickey” had a pair that revealed a picture of Mickey Mouse.  That’s the only time I recall Freezy Freakies causing someone’s social stock to actually nosedive.  I’m certain though this example was an anomaly.  And socially-speaking, Mickey was already operating from an unlevel playing field, thanks to that Toni Basil song being played at every birthday skate party.

Now why, you’re probably asking yourself, would our children not have this advancement in fabric cold-sensor technology at their fingertips?  (No pun intended – seriously, I detest puns.)  I strongly believe this to be an industrial de-evolution of a sort.  Exactly how would you feel knowing your parents grew up sucking-back Capri Sun astronaut-style while you were drinking unpasteurized milk from a tin cup?  You see where I’m coming from?  It is tragic.  (Although, true, not tragic on the same level of sci-fi movie predictions showing our grandchildren playing on gray polyester backyard turf.  But tragic nonetheless.)

My brother thinks this camo pair should instead be called "Leprosy".

Perhaps this is something of an electric car conspiracy?  Will we one day learn that the technology of Freezy Freakies still exists somewhere in a government-guarded basement vault?  Will we learn that children’s winterwear is denied the magical appearance of delightful cold-induced hidden images in order to keep a greedy multi-billion dollar woolen mitten industry thriving? 

Please tell me you remember Freezy Freakies too?  And, if so, let’s fight to keep this memory alive.  Let’s seek answers.  Let’s do it for our children’s sake.

38 Comments leave one →
  1. July 5, 2011 9:47 pm

    You are not crazy and I totally remember these! I was SO jealous of those “cool” kids that had them. My “Freezy Freakies” item is a line of Converse high tops. It was a dinosaur line that the soles left imprints of dinosaur tracks. Sniff…people give me the most bizarre looks when I speak of them. Mine were teal & oh so very cool.

    • July 5, 2011 10:09 pm

      I wish I could remember those, Emily! I feel your pain. Maybe they’re stored in the same sealed vault that contains Freezy Freakies gloves and Boo Berry cereal.

  2. John permalink
    July 6, 2011 11:11 am

    I remember these, but only vaguely. I was the poor kid, that was no doubt, running around with second hand mittens trying not to get caught. (No doubt, this has cost me some therapy dollars.) However, a few years later I was blessed to be given a t-shirt that changed colors when it was hot or cold. Nothing cooler than elementary boys running around, sticking their shirts in their mouths to watch it change colors . . or worse yet, trying to track down the elementary girls to “blow on their shirt”. A phrase, that even now, rings of crazy inappropriateness. Good luck in your trek to find the Freezy Freakies.

    • July 6, 2011 6:58 pm

      Ah, yes, John. The Generra hypercolor shirts! Another thing that shouldn’t have ever gone away. (Although, ewwwww, you bring up a valid point that there are good reasons why kids don’t have these anymore.)

  3. Josh permalink
    July 7, 2011 12:11 pm

    Heh, I remember these. Never owned them. Sniff.

    • July 7, 2011 4:47 pm

      Maybe they were taken off the market because they were made from a material that was later proven hazardous to our health? In which case, Josh, you’ll be better off.

  4. meg permalink
    July 7, 2011 9:48 pm

    Definitely peacocks. I think Nina Hsu had them. Hers were pale yellow if I remember correctly. Sadly, I don’t think hers provided the same social currency. But I do remember wanting them, and I also seem to remember a commercial that ended with an announcer saying that Bradlees sold them.

    • July 8, 2011 2:07 pm

      I can’t believe you remember the commercial! I would give anything to see that commercial again. I’m sure it’s locked up with the Freezy Freakies in the vault.

      • Caroline permalink
        July 21, 2014 8:10 pm

        The commercial is on YouTube. LOL I found it tonight to prove to my husband that they really did exist. LOL

  5. July 8, 2011 9:49 am

    Your writing is great Angie. Like I said, I had a pair of the robot once so that did make me the big kid on campus!

    • July 8, 2011 2:05 pm

      No, techically the big kid on campus would’ve been the one with Godzilla Hands. But Robot Hands would definitely come a close second.

  6. Troy permalink
    July 11, 2011 3:55 pm

    I had a pair of these! Haven’t thought about those for years! I was spoiled.

  7. Susan permalink
    January 28, 2012 8:44 am

    The commercial is on you tube. My sisters and I all had them. You can buy them on Amazon. I plant to get them for her kids when they get old enough : )

  8. Kachie permalink
    May 10, 2012 4:20 pm

    I had a pair of red and silver ones in which a unicorn would appear. My brother had the robot ones. They were the most awesome thing ever!!! I chewed the fingers on mine until there were holes. I loved them!! They have new ones out for sale, but they are soooo not the same.

    • May 10, 2012 7:05 pm

      I love when I find people who remember them! Keep the Freezy Freakies candle burning. Tell others, keep telling the story of Freezy Freakies. Don’t let the dream die.

      And, yes, I’ve seen the new ones and they’re complete crap.

  9. July 5, 2012 7:14 am

    My quest for the truth brought me here. My wife gave my son a color changing shirt yesterday and I practically had a brain hemorrhage with the massive flood of memories. Sadly my mom would never get these for me.

    • July 5, 2012 7:07 pm

      Wait — a color changing shirt? Like the old Generra hypercolor shirts from the early ’90s? (Another relic that I thought had disappeared.) I hope your son realizes how lucky he is! I can completely relate on the brain hemorrhage this would cause you. Welcome — you’re in a safe place here.

      • July 5, 2012 8:00 pm

        I think the hyper-color was based on water right? These are by heat (I think she got it at Old Navy). Its a skull shirt and when he is in the sun the design gets more elaborate but fades away when he goes into a AC room. Pretty cool.

      • July 5, 2012 8:04 pm

        Very cool! The hypercolor shirts were actually based on heat as well — body heat, to be exact. I think they took hypercolor shirts off the market after one too many cheeky junior high kids left handprints where they didn’t belong. Perhaps the world is ready for them again?

        Cheers!

  10. Sean permalink
    October 4, 2012 8:09 pm

    There ya go

    • October 6, 2012 11:54 am

      I think I can finally sleep well tonight. Thank you, O’ Great One.

  11. izzo permalink
    June 3, 2013 2:27 pm

    Puma created some freezy freakies sneakers not long time ago….

  12. Chris permalink
    June 21, 2013 11:40 pm

    I had the peacock gloves as well. Damn, I was cool. But seriously NO ONE else remembers these? Seriously, people remember Tommy Tutone, but not Freaky Freezies?

  13. kisha permalink
    October 5, 2013 10:55 pm

    I remember all about them. Ask me anything about them.

  14. erin permalink
    December 9, 2013 7:32 pm

    I had freezy freakies. Mine had cheerleaders on them and I had to have a pair. I was obsessed. I had them in the attic for thd last 25 years. But I think I might have just recently got rid of them.

  15. Ryan G. permalink
    June 26, 2014 8:09 pm

    Not sure when this article first came out, but I was looking up fun, old t.v. shows & items. I too remember the great freezy freakies! and, had several pairs when I was young. I’d love to be able to share the memory of them with our 8yr. old, along with the footie pajama phase. Unfortunately, I’ve only ever seen, one pair of mittens on Amazon.com. Bring back the memories Swany!

    • July 7, 2014 7:40 pm

      Thanks, Ryan! We have to keep the Freezy Freakies dream alive!

  16. melanie permalink
    September 26, 2014 5:46 pm

    I remember them! We need them back!

  17. November 6, 2014 1:09 pm

    They have them on eBay!!! Unfortunately, they are little girl sizes. :(

  18. November 6, 2014 1:11 pm

    They have them on eBay!! Unfortunately, only kids sizes and only girls. I have 2 boys, or I would at least get them for them, if I can’t wear them, haha.

  19. Rachel permalink
    November 18, 2014 10:22 pm

    I remember these. They were the bomb! I remember I had a turquoise and silver pearl pair and when they got cold blue stars appeared all over them. I wish we could have them. I’d not only buy them for my kids, but I’d buy them for myself if they came in a size large enough!

  20. Heather permalink
    December 19, 2014 7:15 am

    I totally remember these. For one reason or another Freezy freakies popped in my head this morning. Googled it and found this! I also don’t know why they have fallen off the face of the earth. I grew up on Long Island and most of the kids had these. Mine were the unicorn ones. I think they were purple. You can watch the commercial on you tube. Maybe you can find these on ebay

  21. Didier permalink
    January 8, 2015 3:55 pm

    Freezy Freakies are officially back!!

  22. January 24, 2015 9:49 pm
  23. Unicornucopia permalink
    March 12, 2015 5:12 pm

    Are you all sitting down? Yes? Okay, good. I have some news for you. They are revamped and in adult sizes, with 4 designs and hopefully more on the way, but there is a website where you can order a pair of Freezy Freakies gloves! I just ordered mine (as I missed their incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign), and even though they don’t quite fit the childhood mitten nostalgia, I am super duper excited for the grown-up version I can wear now!!

    http://getfreezy.com

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