Peel Here #48, Water plus sunlight make for one disgusting pile of gremlin pudding…


By Shawn Robare



Day nine of the Halloween countdown has arrived and I figured it would be a good day to dig back into my sticker collection with another installment of the more gruesome Peel Here column. Well actually it’s not all that gruesome, but there are monsters, Gremlins to be exact. Sure I realize that the film actually takes place during Christmas, and it was released in the summer of 1984 instead of say the fall, but it still has monsters in it and it freaked me out as a kid so I say it counts.

I thought I’d start out a bit small with this one single individually wrapped Hallmark Stick-R-Treats Halloween sticker…



I’m not sure exactly how many of these there are though I know of at least one more that features Gizmo. I missed out on the whole idea of non-candy Halloween treats growing up, except for the occasional house with a bowl full of pennies and the one time I received an apple (which my father quickly yanked away from me and threw down into a nearby sewer.) Though as a kid I probably would have sung a different tune, now that I think about it, I really like the idea of stuff like stickers and cheap plastic toys intermixed with a bowl of candy as Halloween treats. I don’t think it really caught on though, as I only really remember seeing a couple other similar ideas over the years (like the fun but overpriced Matchbox cars two packs that come incased in little skulls and jack-o-lanterns.)

This next sheet of Hallmark stickers is a little odd because they’re all dated 1983 when the movie didn’t come out until ’84. Now granted, I realize that the merchandising machine is crazy, but even today you only really start seeing stuff a few months before a movie hits, so I’m wondering if the date on these is a misprint or something. If not, then maybe Spielberg and Dante were really hyping this thing like crazy during the winter before the movie came out…



Next up we have some very suspicious looking puffy stickers. I say suspicious looking because even though Gizmo is prone to amazing acts of cuteness, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him jam out on a ukulele or fly in cute, multi-colored saucers. There’s also a variation on this set where the top left Gizmo is carrying a torch, so I’d have to say that these are bootlegs. Yet, at the same time, the top left Gizmo is on all of the official merchandising, including the rest of the sticker sets I’m sharing today, so who knows…



A column on Gremlins stickers wouldn’t be complete with out the 1984 set of Lazer Blazers hologram stickers from Colorforms…



Again, you can see the goofy picture of Gizmo (from the puffy stickers) just bopping along…

Like all fun science fiction/fantasy/horror movies of the day there was also a set of Topps trading cards, which of course had a subset of 11 sticker cards…



I’m not all that fond of the repeated Gremlins logo in the background of the stickers, but I do like the various poses the designers chose, in particular the pre-gremlin version of Stripe which seems to get overlooked a lot in merchandising…



There’s also the card back puzzle, which features a really fun close-up of a freaked out Gizmo…



I’ve also decided to include the following Rub n’ Play Transfers set from Colorforms. I haven’t really broached the subject of these transfer activity sets yet. There were a few brands out during the 70s and 80s, but the two I was most familiar with were Presto Magix and these Colorforms Rub n’ Play sets…



Basically these acted like stickers except instead of just sticking willy nilly or in albums you transferred them with a pencil or some other blunt instrument from a thin sheet of cloudy plastic to a board or a mini fold out poster which had a background printed on it so that you could set up little elaborate scenes. Basically these were printed up with the picture portion stuck to the back of the plastic and you drew on top of it to transfer the image onto another surface. The transfers are very similar to temporary tattoos actually and could easily be ripped or develop a horrible case of wrinkles.

I remember mixing and matching the transfers between sets so that the Dukes of Hazzard could meet up with Knight Rider, or so Skeletor could fight against Thundarr and stuff.



I think I need to gather the rest of my transfers sets together for a future Peel Here column. Next week on the column I’m going to break out a whole mess of creepy weird wheels…

  • Kirk D.

    This post scored two memories for me. Had (maybe still have) the Hallmark stickers and I had a blast with the Run N’ Play. Much drama took place on those power lines going across the illustration on the back. One of my favorite Gremlin items is a greeting card that’s purposefully glued shut and on back it says something like (beware the gremlin’s tricks)

  • Jay

    you must havea huuge place to keep all this cool shit! Do you own a warehouse? lol. I love Gremlins by the way. The original’s a classic but The New Batch was nowhere near as good though.

  • Quentin Collins

    These remind me of PrestoMagix, which I used to love. I also had a few dozen different Colorforms sets growing up. Used to play with them for hours.