Nightmare Anniversary: “GREMLINS 2” & The New Batch of Merchandise!


Welcome to Nightmare Anniversary, where FANGORIA looks back at film’s celebrating special anniversaries this year and toast to the times in which they were released. What skeletons remain in the closet of the fright films we love so dearly? That’s what Nightmare Anniversary aims to dig up.

For fans of the now 25-year-old GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH, the differences between the original film and the sequel are stark and significant. While Dante brings a chaotic, satirical streak to both, GREMLINS is much closer to an archetypal monster movie while GREMLINS 2 is a biting, cartoonish excursion into the demented. But if there’s anything about GREMLINS that GREMLINS 2 shares with open arms, its one thing that fueled Dante’s anarchic passion: merchandising!

While GREMLINS 2 does bring much fun in the way of its troublesome titular characters and its various top-tier SFX work, GREMLINS 2 also rallies against the conglomeration of the entertainment industry in a way that only Joe Dante could. Yet that didn’t stop GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH from putting out its own shameless line of tie-in merchandise, from toys to books to trading cards. Hell, GREMLINS 2 even had its own video game, which was received surprisingly well (possibly even better than the film itself).

While merchandising is fairly common with most blockbuster releases nowadays, the GREMLINS films were coming off the brunt of the STAR WARS merchandising phenomenon, despite being a much darker and adult property. In fact, GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH carries such an anti-corporate message that the lengths to which the film produced tie-ins is almost oxymoronic, especially considering some of the books are clearly aimed at children well below GREMLINS 2 PG-13 rating. So check out these antithetical accessories and don’t forget to give GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH another watch for its big 2-5…

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About the author
Ken W. Hanley
Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel "THE I IN EVIL", and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
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