Crowdfunding Brings Back Freezy Freakies From the '80s

Color-changing winter gloves from the '80s will see the slopes again.

ByABC News
January 23, 2015, 2:10 PM
A crowd-funding campaign, "Freezy Freakies gloves - Back from the '80s. Now for adults!" has caught fire online.
A crowd-funding campaign, "Freezy Freakies gloves - Back from the '80s. Now for adults!" has caught fire online.

— -- Trends from the 1980s have been been resurfacing these days everywhere from fashion runways to hot new restaurants. Now, a long-discontinued relic of your childhood is making its way to the slopes.

A Kickstarter campaign to reissue Freezy Freakies, the color-changing winter gloves that were wildly popular throughout the 1980s, has successfully ensured that at least four of the original temperature-sensitive designs will be put back into production. The twist? This time, they come in adult sizes.

"It all started with my brother and I going skiing," said Hans Reichstetter, who launched the Freezy Freakies crowd-funding campaign. "We basically wear all '80s gear, neoned out and kind of ridiculous. And we get a nice little reaction from people on the slopes usually."

"We remembered way back in the day when we were in school that Freezy Freakies were the absolute coolest and when my old '80s gloves started to break down, we both started to look for a pair that actually fit our hands but couldn't find any."

For those unfamiliar with the fad, Freezy Freakies were a line of winter gloves with images drawn in "Thermochromic Ink," and would change color with the temperature. While the ink was transparent at room temperature, it would turn colorful at cold temperatures, causing the gloves to transform in the snow.

While original kid-size versions are still sold on eBay, Freezy Freakies were never produced for adults. But in searching for the product online, the brothers noticed that there was a larger community of nostalgic children of the '80s searching for the same thing.

"There seemed to be this fond memory of the gloves and it was still living in the Internet age even though they've been off the market for so long," said Reichstetter, who reached out to original manufacturer Swany America to gauge their interest in a revival for adults.

"It took a little back and forth," admitted Reichstetter, who, along with his brother, run a small apparel company. "But the people there were very excited and ended up licensing us the designs."

As the original images were pencil-sketch designs, Reichstetter and his brother had to hire a designer to recreate the patterns using today's technology. In the end, four of the most popular Freezy Freakies designs were offered on the Kickstarter: Unicorn, Turbo, Ski Alpine and Fighter Jet.

With 15 days left to the crowd-funding campaign, the Freezy Freakies have already received donations five times their original fundraising goal. Some patterns have even sold out, such as Unicorn.

"This is amazeballs," wrote one fan on the campaign's Facebook page. Another posted emphatically about being disappointed to learn the Unicorn design was unavailable.

But Reichstetter said the response has been so positive that there will likely be a second round of offerings to come next season.

"The outpouring of positivity has been overwhelming," he said. "We are super happy."