Let’s look back at one of my most cherished childhood relics.
I’ve talked about my lifelong love for the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise a handful of times here on Bloody Disgusting, so I won’t bore you again with those memories. To make a long story short, I was introduced to Freddy Krueger at a young age thanks to my local Blockbuster, and I never looked back. Freddy instantly became my hero, and that hasn’t changed over the years.
My Nightmare on Elm Street collection, as you might imagine, has grown pretty large over the years, but even as a kid I had a fairly impressive array of Krueger collectibles. The earliest horror toy I can remember owning was the controversial 18″ talking Freddy doll from 1989, and I also had the original Freddy Halloween mask – I wore it often, whether it was Halloween or Tuesday.
Another Elm Street collectible that I cherished as a kid (and still own to this day) was Impel Marketing’s A Nightmare on Elm Street Collector Card Set, released back in ’91. At the time, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare had just come out, and the 132-card set paid tribute to the entire franchise. The cards featured screen-grabs from the films and even behind the scenes photos, and they were housed inside of a coffin that was stamped with “Freddy’s seal of approval.” But it was the deluxe, super special version of the set that my dad picked up for me.
As I recall, you could either purchase the standard card set or mail-away for the limited edition version, priced at $39.95. In addition to the coffin box filled with cards, the deluxe edition also included a t-shirt, and the whole thing was packed inside of “Freddy’s boiler box.” It even came with a certificate that entitled you to “one bloodless, uninterrupted night’s sleep a year.”
It’s good for life, so I’m still enjoying that perk at 30.
Though horror shirts are incredibly popular and easy to acquire these days, that wasn’t the case back in 1991. So the included t-shirt, despite not being very impressive by today’s standards (why the hell was it white?!), was maybe the coolest thing about the set when I was a kid. Of course, it was an Extra Large, so it wasn’t practical for me to wear it at the time. But I remember hanging it in my closet and dreaming of the day when I’d be able to put it on. Seriously. I fantasized about that future. And I’m glad nobody told me back then that that I’d never grow into it.
I’m a full grown man and it still doesn’t fit me. Go figure.
As for the cards themselves, they featured images on front and behind the scenes information on back. Again, all of that info may be common knowledge in 2017 thanks to the internet, but at the time the cards presented a treasure trove of fun facts that I couldn’t get enough of. Even just being able to look at cool screen-grabs was awesome back then. It truly was a simpler time.
In addition to the standard cards, the set also came with two special “Freddy Vision” holograms.
Check out some of my favorite cards below!