Interview: The SB Dunks That Still Haunt Our Dreams
The Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Freddy Krueger’ is still the stuff of legend. Hacking and slashing its way to retailers in 2007, the Freddy Dunk was originally a member of the maniacal ‘Horror Pack’ (which also featured the ‘Jason Voorhees’ SB Dunk High and ‘Dawn of the Dead’ Air Trainer 1).
Unfortunately, New Line Cinema (who owned the rights to Nightmare on Elm Street) caught wind of the release and promptly issued a cease and desist. Still, a handful of dissident Freddy Dunks are lurking in our streets! A skate store in Mexico managed to sell a batch, while another oil-stained pile was reportedly rescued from a fire by a savvy Nike employee.
To celebrate spooky season in 2021, we chopped it up with New Jersey SB Dunk collector and Branded owner Chris Robinson. We slice open the Dunk phenom, unbox the art of sneaker sleuthing, and get up close with a Freddy prototype so rare it’ll keep you up all night long!
Welcome to prime time, b****!
Tell us about your Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Freddy Krueger’ models.
Right now, I have the Freddy sample (which doesn’t have oil stains), a stained pair, and an early prototype version (of which only 10 were made). It was made in Vietnam. As more Nike employees get laid-off, more pairs are coming out. There were 26 pairs of samples made, but for the longest time, there were only four or five in the light.
The prototype has black splatter instead of red blood. But I only have the left shoe. I think it’s really cool because it’s suede instead of leather. One of the main California reps that was fired sold me a single shoe for $6000. If I could find the other shoe it would be worth upwards of $100,000. But it’s impossible. Honestly, it’s probably destroyed.
I also have the Dunk Low Pro SB ‘Jason Voorhees’ sample that never came out. There's 24 pairs of the Low sample which are super rare to find.
Were the oil-stained pairs actually saved from a fire?
Back in the day, Nike SB were keeping things really under wraps because they do a lot of trademarked shit. If they get released and New Line Cinema issues a cease and desist, it’s too late. They’re already sold.
But unfortunately, someone leaked the Freddy Dunk and New Line Cinema called for a cease and desist while the shoes still hadn’t made it to retail. So whoever leaked it fucked everything up. The only pairs that released were from a store in Mexico. 26 pairs with boxes. It was the only place in the world where the Dunks released. Everywhere else (including the US) had the cease and desist.
In terms of the oil-stained uppers, I guess the employees were sent to burn them. Maybe the boss man came in and poured oil on them. Once he left the room, the employees probably started grabbing them in garbage bags because they were supposed to be on fire. So every non-sample pair has oil on it.
Did you sell a pair of samples to Kendall Jenner?
I put them on StockX for $27,500 just as a joke. Because at the time, they were only $10,000. But then somebody bought them and I couldn’t believe it. So I go to StockX to deliver them (because I’m not mailing these), and they’re like, ‘We’re not supposed to tell you this, but Kylie Jenner bought these.’ I was thinking, what the hell, she’s a size 6. Next thing I know, Kylie Jenner is gifting them to Kendall for Christmas. I Google it and sure enough, Kendall is a women’s 10 and a half. Men’s nine.
Right after she posted them on Instagram, somebody put in a bid for size 9 for $30,000 on StockX. I sold another pair. It was some rich stock market kid. They were literally shipped to Wall Street, New York City.
Nike SB were doing a lot of stuff ‘under the wire’ back then. Could the Freddy Dunk happen today?
In terms of production, there’s just too many hands on it and nobody can keep a secret anymore. Back when a shoe was worthless, nobody cared to steal a pair or leak it on the Internet. It was just the 10 people that ran Nike SB. They would make the shoe and nobody would see it until it came out. So you opened the box and it was like, ‘Holy shit, a pair of Heinekens!’ You wouldn’t actually see it until you held it. It was all kept completely silent and under wraps before there was anybody to call or complain that they were sold.
Tell us about being a sneaker sleuth. How do you hunt these Grails?
I was in on it early. The sneaker game really started by standing in line with people. The skate reps were really in tune. They’d come to your local skate park and bring you samples and give samples out to the kids. The culture was a lot more in the street. Back in the day, I networked a lot. I was learning eBay and chasing every day.
Every morning, before I kissed my girlfriend or made a coffee, I’d run to the computer to hunt down samples on NikeTalk and Flight Club. You could even just go to the Nike outlets and every once in a while, you’d walk in and see a Nike Dunk sample sitting right there. It was a lot different. Nobody cared back then.
When did you notice the Dunk trending upwards again?
As soon as Travis Scott wore the ‘What The Dunk’. I called two of my friends and said, ‘Listen, go buy a pair of those Dunks right now.’ At the time, they were $1500. Two days later they went from $1500 to $2500. I bought a couple of pairs. Right now, they’re $10,000. But I knew the Dunk was taking off. I went onto Flight Club and bought 30 pairs of sneakers. I bought the Stussy's for like $150. They’ve spiked to $3500 right now. I just sold a pair of 'FLOM' Dunks for $90,000.
Has the Dunk hit its zenith?
The real pieces of art will continue to go up. The Freddy prototypes, ‘FLOM’, ‘Pigeon’ or ‘Paris’. They are respected in the art world. So those will continue to flourish. But as far as generic pieces, I think we’re oversaturated. The Dunk will start to fall-off but the iconic pieces will still hold their artistic value.
Can't get enough of the ghoulish Grails? Make sure to check out our 2021 Halloween sneaker roundup.