The Story of the Freezy Freakies Phenomenon of the 80s

Have you ever heard of a product called Freezy Freakies? If you’re shaking your head and feeling confused, you’re not alone. This was one of the most popular products of the 1980s, yet it’s also one that the overwhelming majority of people in the United States have never heard of.

In reality, this is a product that was enormously popular in colder climates, especially in the northeastern states. People that grew up in warmer climates have probably never heard of the product because it simply didn’t get cold enough for them to be a popular seller in those areas. As a direct result, the company that distributed the product, Swaney American Corporation, made the decision to focus on colder climates and leave the warmer climates alone. Therefore, kids that were growing up during the 1980s in the northeastern parts of the country were extremely familiar with Freezy Freakies. On the other hand, kids that were growing up in warmer states such as California or the southern states never had any exposure to the product whatsoever.

Without a doubt, this was one of the more innovative products for young individuals. It served two main purposes. First and foremost, it kept kids warm, as it involved winter gloves that were designed for extremely cold climates. Second, it kept kids entertained. By using a type of thermodynamic dye process, Swaney American Corporation was able to create gloves that featured a particular design, but the design would only appear when the temperature was below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. They would treat part of the gloves with a regular dying process so that part of the design would always be visible and then they would create the rest of it with the thermodynamic process so that it would appear and disappear depending on the temperature.

The gloves sold at about $13 a pair, low enough that parents wouldn’t balk at the idea of purchasing the product for their kids, yet high enough that they were able to net a decent profit off of every sale. The truth is, the product became so popular that at its peak, the company was selling roughly three hundred thousand pairs of gloves every year and featuring more than 30 designs. Kids liked the designs so well that they would even stick the gloves in the freezer during the summer, just so they could show their friends which ones they had.

When you consider how long ago this design came into being, it’s nothing short of amazing that the technology to do something like this was even available back then. The company started marketing these products in 1980. This would be a product that will get the attention of most people even today, so you can imagine how interested people were in purchasing a pair of gloves utilizing this technology so many years ago.

This makes the story of the company and of the products they sold one of the most interesting stories in corporate history. It also proves how different things can be between different geographic regions of the United States. In areas that were cold enough to make these products popular sellers, everyone knew what they were. In warmer states, no one had any idea that the product even existed. Even today, a lot of people that were never raised around them don’t know what they are, even though they managed to be one of the most popular products of the 1980s.


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