Top 5 STRANGEST Bits of Friday the 13th Memorabilia
Today is Friday the 13th, an unlucky day of fear for the more superstitious amongst the population (For the record, that’s known as “Triskaidekaphobia.” See? The internet can be educational!), but around the clubhouse, it’s a holiday in and of itself. A day to celebrate and fondly remember everyone’s favorite mama’s boy and disgruntled goalie, Jason Voorhees, and the hours of gory glee & unintentional hilarity he’s brought to our lives over the years. It also begs the question, “What is the true measure of a successful franchise?” Is it character recognition, or perhaps longevity of the series?
HELL NO! It’s all about the merchandising, folks! And there are few pop culture icons out there that have been pimped, repackaged, and pushed upon the masses as often as Mr. Voorhees. From t-shirts to travel mugs, lunchboxes to limited-edition Blu Ray boxed sets, Jason’s iconic hockey mask has adorned more products than Mickey Mouse. So we here at the the clubhouse thought we’d take a look at some of the… well, stranger choices the marketing department has made over the years. And do keep in mind, these are only OFFICIALLY licensed products.
1.) Friday the 13th Part V: A New Stuffing
(Mezco Cinema of Fear Hockey Edition Jason Roto-Plush, 2009)
Now, really ponder this one before you answer. When you think snuggly, cuddly buddy that you want nothing more than to curl up with in a nice warm bed, isn’t Jason Voorhees the first name that pops into your mind? No? Well, Mezco thought you’d feel differently, introducing an entire line of 12″ stuffed Jasons, in many of his varying guises, including this Comic Con exclusive Hockey Edition.
2.) Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Live and Unplugged
(Friday the 13th Guitar Picks, 2003)
Now, obviously, NOTHING screams Rock N’ Roll quite like a lumbering, mute, half-wit with a penchant for murdering oversexed teenagers. Seeing as how nothing shreds quite like a slasher, now you too can knock your audience dead with these “clever” little hockey mask guitar pics! And in the immortal words of the man himself, “…”
3.) Friday the 13th part VII: The New Flood
(LJN Friday the 13th Spit Balls, 1987)
Camp Crystal Lake plays a pivotal role in all of the Friday films. And what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of camp? That’s right… SUMMER FUN!!! So it seems only natural that the first licensing cash-in aimed at small children should be a squishy little Jason head that squirts water out of it’s nose, accompanied by the gruesome, pained face of one of his many victims. Because playing with undead serial killers is fun for the whole family!
4.) Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes the Motor City
(Matchbox Monsters Series- Friday the 13th, 1999)
Now, Matchbox has made some very strange decisions with their toy lines and accessories in the past, but I would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall for this pitch: “So, what do kids love more than toy cars? Monsters, right? So how about we take giant caricatures of whoever’s popular… like, maybe that Jason guy? And we stick ‘em to the hood of the car, like they’re doing something scary, right? And… let’s see, it takes place at a camp or something, doesn’t it? BAM! Recycle one of our jeeps, or a hummer type-thing, and put the camp logo on the side. Can’t miss!”
5.) Jason Goes To Smell: The Final Friday… product placement
(Friday the 13th Air Freshener, 2011)
I know that when I think of a film series starring a rotting mass murderer, the olfactory sense that I’d most want to associate with that would have to be the sense of smell. Nothing like climbing into a sweltering car on a particularly hot and sunny day, only to have the brisk aroma of decaying flesh fill your nostrils. Ok… to be fair, I’m pretty damn sure the air freshener is not corpse-scented, but you would have to assume the marketing folks could see where that connotation could be easily made.
BONUS: Jason X-Play
(NECA NES Friday the 13th action figure, 2013)
Now what Strange Kids Club list of weird Jason crap could possibly be complete without mentioning NECA’s amazing (but obviously bizarre) NES-inspired Comic Con exclusive 8-bit Jason figure? The already-immortal Crystal Lake Slasher has been immortalized in plastic more times than he’s had sequels, but no one has ever done him quite like this. Packaged in a clamshell replica of the original’s NES box art, this Jason’s sporting not only the ridiculous purple coveralls and bright blue mask depicted in the game, but a very nifty glow-in-the-dark feature as well.