This year Halloween comes after Christmas, at least for Pete Geeks! We’ve seen lots of good stuff from the Dubliners this year and the POY’s yet to come. Anyway, the 2021 Halloween System pipe debuts Tuesday, September 28th at Smokingpipes.com in the US and at about the same time at other online retailers. Andy Wike, Marketing Manager at Laudisi for Kapp &Peterson, told me only 850 pipes have been made for the entire world, so best give this a serious thought.
The Halloween System will be available in in nine of the thirteen System shapes and represent a good cross-section of the catalog, omitting only the 301, 304, 305 and 306. The line up includes the 302, 303, 307, 312, 313, 314, 317, B42 and XL315:
302, 303, 307
“On the Halloween pipes,” writes Josh Burgess, Managing Director at K&P, “it’s something that we’ve kicked around for a while. Seasonal releases are a lot of fun for pipe collectors, and they’re pretty exciting for us at the factory too. It gives us the chance to stretch our legs a bit and do a smaller run of pipes outside our regular offerings. Halloween is a natural choice for an Irish pipe manufacturer, since the holiday has at least some of its roots in the Gaelic celebrations of Samhain. There were several directions we could have gone, but in the end, we decided to let the System dress up as Dracula for Halloween.”
As with most things Kapp & Peterson, there’s a back story that yields a bit of historical context. The 2021 Halloween pipe is the Systemic progression of three earlier Dublin-era release, the Samháin (2009), the Dracula 2012 and the Dracula army mount (2018). Each has important historical connections to Ireland and is worth knowing about.
The Samháin strut card gives a good overview of the ancient Celtic festival, so I suggest you give it a read. The line seems to have been sold only in 2009 and 2010 and featured a lacquered orange and black contrast stain, vulcanite P-Lip or fishtail with silver hot-foil P and nickel band stamped Peterson in script over a witch on a broom stick over HALLOWEEN in small caps. In it you can see K&P’s first steps toward the later Dracula and Halloween pipes, using the orange and black (subtle) palette and the “Yes, I can drive a stick” witch logo (not so subtle).
It’s worth noting that Kapp & Peterson became interested in Ireland’s Celtic heritage around 2005 with the extraordinary 2005 POY spigot prince, which was followed by the equally impressive 2008 POY, both featuring Celtic knots stamped (not laser engraved) into the silverwork. But Peterson backed away from the Celtic motif here at the last moment (or so it seems), perhaps deciding to broaden market appeal by using the witch and “Halloween” logo rather than symbols drawn from the ancient festival.
The Dracula line, originally called “Dracula 2012,” was designed as a stand-alone commemorative to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the death of Irish author Bram Stoker. Yes, another of those little-known but important Pete Geek factoids: everyone knows (or thinks they know) the book and its movie spawn, but few these days remember the author of the novel was Irish. Go figure. Anyway, as you can see from the strut card, the commemorative was originally released in just five shapes with a gloss black bowl and nickel band laser-engraved “Dracula” in gothic script and a few bats.
A recent Dracula 150 sandblast
I recall K&P designer Elke Ullmann telling me in one conversation or another that the Dracula 2012 was the most nerve-wracking of all her creative decisions because of the acrylic red and black stem, considered outrageous in the pipe world at the time. She already had a reputation at the factory as a bit of a rebel and “Let’s try it!” kind of person, and I took it that the word from distributors and some in the factory had been rather harsh that no one would buy such a pipe. They were happily wrong and the line has been in year-round production ever since. Over the years it quickly expanded from the original shapes and gloss finish to most of the Classic Range shapes and eventually a sandblast finish as well.
The Dracula army mount XL90 (2018)
Six years later, during K&P’s “Mad Army Madness” period, the Dracula sandblast was given army mount treatment. This was during the last year of the Dublin era when it seemed like everything was coming up army mounts. This one was a grade above others, however, in that it featured a sterling ferrule. It was available in several of the Classic Range shapes, including the 01, 106, 302, 303, 307, 606 and XL90. Just a half-step (but what an important one) from this release to the Halloween System in 2021.
The Halloween System XL315
The Halloween System features a beveled rim and on the samples I’m looking at some good blast work as well, probably a rung above the Standard System sandblast. Everyone’s definition of “good” is different, so it’s important to look carefully at the actual pipe you’re going to buy. It doesn’t hurt to keep in mind that the Halloween System has an MSRP of $145, right between the Heritage Standard System ($135) and the Standard System ($150). To carry coals to Newcastle (sorry for the pun), it’s also a black sandblast System, which is something unique in the System line (the ebony System only being available in smooth).
And did I mention the Halloween leather pipe rest? I’m beginning to experience a sensation that must have greeted earlier pipemen when they opened a System box and found a Gratis Pipe Tool inside. It’s become a fun, useful bonus in the 2021 special issues at this point, something I’m sure will be welcomed by everyone just as the Gratis Tool was in days gone by.
The stamps are all placed together on the underside of the bowl, crisp and clean, and I’m especially glad the year stamp is present.
Sorry for the dust on the left stem! That’s me, not K&P.
I’m impressed with the acrylic red and black swirl P-Lip, not just the colors but the design. I’ve been smoking an XL315 version for about a week now, and either my teeth have adjusted or the stems are a bit different than the earliest acrylic P-Lips, because I’ve had no trouble clenching and I’m finding it really comfortable. The nickel bands, with standard K&P maker’s marks, are bright and without scratches, and there’s no tearaway in the airways of the pipes I’m looking at.
The reservoir drilling seems a bit small in diameter, but more on that later. For now I’m just having a good time enjoying the cooler weather and approach of All Hallow’s Eve as I break in the Halloween System during my annual “Uncanny Film Festival.” Tonight, The Uninvited. This week—Vampyr, The Phantom Carriage, Der Hund Baskerville and more to follow. Stay tuned, and if you’re a fan of uncanny and/or classic horror films, let me know what you’d watch (or read) while breaking in your Halloween System.
Thanks as usual to
Josh & Andy
at K&P and Lauidsi
Oíche Shamhna Shona Daoibh!
I have a 302 with my name on it, or just maybe the 312 hum, shut my eyes and do Eeny, Meeny, Miny Moe. The 302 is probably the winner, just looks so Peterson. Great Post and pictures, Thank You Mark. And good fun to you! Oh the stems and stamping are great. By the way maybe we can have a Hansom Christmas and Halloween on the same day.
Oh! I forgot just off the cuff old hammer films, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, for the movies, or maybe for a longer smoke Dracula with Frank Langella, Would Sherlock Holmes Hound Of the Baskervilles count? Better break out more Pipes.
One more thing, I did miss the Samhain line, They were beautiful, love the stain, I plan on reading about that more, really good stuff!
Yes, Baskerville counts, esp. in the old creepy German version. Here’s to Halloweeeeennn!
Good stuff, sounds like your privy to some good ones, Vampyr, uninvited I think I’ve seen that one . I am going to google them. Love the old ones, Like the Hammer films , they always had Beautiful women, sometimes pipes and scary monsters, what more could a guy ask for?
I saw an Elvira Mistress of the Dark mock ad with Peterson’s Dracula pipes on the internet. I thought about posting it, but nah, sex and pipes don’t seem to belong together… besides, my wife reads the blog!!
Where, exactly was that, !? LOL.
James, keep away from her. She’s dangerous… hehehe
Hmm–Christmas and Halloween on the same day! Sounds like a Tim Burton movie, doesn’t it?
I was thinking the same thing.
Fun to read as always. Nice collectables that´s true. I think to chuse the B42 to complete my Darwin collection. And wow they can do coloured P-Lips. Very expensive Month this year.
Yeah, I was definitely surprised with the colored P-Lip. I hope we see more of that kind of thing in the future as well! Hope you score that Darwin / B42, Martin.
I was lucky and got one on Friday.No Christmas Pipe on the European market so far
Martin, the Christmas pipe will be at SP.eu quite soon. And remember, it may not be any more expensive to order one from the US. I buy pipes from SP.Eu and pay the same. Shipping is the same as well. Even the shipping time isn’t much different.
Love this gratis pipe stand.
Of course, I will be getting one! Peterson has done a great job this year with limited runs and seasonal series. Thank you for a great write up again Mark!
Bob, you’re so welcome. It’s so much fun to share this stuff.
Wonderful write-up, as always. I am curious, though, if you know if this is going to be a recurring thing and, if so, is it going to be like the other seasonals with different finishes each year?
I don’t know that even K&P knows, Daniel. With such a limited production run, I think it’s kind of a “let’s try this and see how it does” project.
Not my cup of tea, but well though out and executed. I’m also glad to see the date stamp and hope that continues.
Me too, Al, & it looks like the way of things in the current plan.
Also not my cuppa, but like everything else about the release. Keep it up Peterson!!
Most likely a 302 or 303 for me as apples and pipes appear in one of my Halloween favourites to read from the Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon – The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Washington Irving tells other tales of supernatural goings on as well. Hard to imagine it was published over 200 years ago (1820).
I certainly wish they’d bring back the orange and black lacquered stain just one more time …
I saw today the 302s, if you look, are offered in both the “newer” round version as well as the original “fat bottoms.” Hard decision! I see the Samhain pipes every once in a while on eBay, so you might keep a look out.
I’m not much for horror flicks, but I would probably watch the 1992 film “Innocent Blood”. That film just cracks me up. Maybe the 1999 film “The Mummy” and the others in that series, again more campy fun than horror flicks. Hey, the 1982 film “Jekyll and Hyde, Together Again”….I’m smiling just thinking about it. How about a film with The Mummy, Wolfman, Frankenstein’s Monster, Vampire, Swamp Thing, and Jekyll & Hyde? 1985’s “Transylvania 6-5000”😂I’m not sure I can resist the pull of a new Peterson, I just procured a 2021 XMAS and I am wondering about the POY….so many… Read more »
I believe that this is their first acrylic P-Lip in a color other than black. I hope it’s a sign of other (less bloody) P-Lip colors to come!
I had been excited about this release for a while now. Sadly, I’m going to pass on this one. Since they’re (apparently) not going to be offered in fishtails, I won’t be adding one to the collection. Perhaps this release will inspire the folks in Sallynoggin to bring back the short-lived Dracula army mount.
David, thanks for calling this to my attention. I’ve revised the post!
Since the topic is Halloween and Dracula pipes…I propose a nickname for the Dracula line….wait for it…here it comes….”Vlad the Inhaler.” …What do you think?
It’s great, David! LOL. I did get a hint, as someone asked about it, that K&P will indeed repeat the Halloween pipe next year. In what format, only Vlad knows.
So Mark, can you “confirm or deny” that there will indeed be a 2022 Halloween Peterson? Is that “hint” any closer to being a confirmation?
David, yes I can. There is a Halloween and a Christmas pipe both finishing up production.
Mark, I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t stop myself. I now companion a Halloween 317. Just came in this morning’s post. I’m smoking it right now (at my desk), loaded with C&D’s Briar Fox. This is my second p-lip, in spite of the fact that I had sworn never to get another. I just couldn’t pass on this striking Halloween issue. I cannot say that I like the p-lip. Can’t even come close to it. The most I can say is that I’m trying to force myself to tolerate it. My other one is a 317 in the system standard… Read more »
Well, since you’ve made the investment, I hope you may find eventually the P-Lip to your satisfaction. I find clenching it so much easier than a fishtail–it’s just more secure, to me, as well as offering a fuller flavor and less chance of tongue bite.
I’m still working on getting used to the P-Lip. I added a P-Lip Irish Seconds (313) to the collection for just that purpose. Not making much progress, but following your inspiration, I haven’t given up yet.
David, just as long as you’re enjoying your smoking time. There’s no profit in a P-Lip if it doesn’t work for you!
I just got my order in for a 307👍🏻 I thought I could resist, but my P.P.A.D. took over. It’s like I’m possessed. I not a big fan of horror flicks, so I will go with the movie “Innocent Blood”, it makes me laugh every time I see it. “The Mummy” series of movies I have on DVD will make a showing, more of my kind of “horror” flick. I might have to try and find another favorite of mine that has a wolfman, a vampire-ess, Frankenstein’s monster, a mummy, and a swamp thing.. I might have missed some🤔. It’s… Read more »
The Mummy series is on my list as well, including the original 1930s version. And I may have to see a few of those you mentioned as well. So many movies, so little time.
I liked the old black & white classics on TCM when they were on.
I tried, but could not resist. I almost feel obligated to buy any new Pete with a P-lip, just to let them know. The XL315 is on its way to sunny Tejas, just in time for Halloween. Fortunately, our wedding anniversary is about the same time, so it’s a gift!
I’m thinking Mississippi River Rum Barrel Aged and Young Frankenstein (Frau Blücher!)
Thanks for the heads up, Mark and Happy Halloween!
“Young Frankenstein” another black & white classic😉
Looking over the pipes here, I wish they would have stamped the band with a bat or bats, a cat with his back arched and tail up, or maybe a jack-o-lantern.
Well I kept telling myself I didn’t need one, but I really liked the stem color and black sandblast, Plus, all I smoke these days are my system pipes. So I went to smokingpipes.com this morning and the last one they had was a 317, which is also my favorite shape. It’s on the way to its new home, along with a tin of St Bruno Flake. Love your site, keep up the great work.
Brandon, glad you did! Doubt the System Halloween will come around again, and the 317 is such a venerable shape, going all the way back to 1896. And St. Bruno’s Flake, how I do love thee!! I wish it came in 500 gram tubs. And thanks for the compliments–you make it worthwhile.
So, I’ve been smoking my Halloween 2021 shape 317 a few times now. I’m (somewhat) getting used to the P-lip. I’m thrilled about the pipe itself. I suspect that Mark conjured up the ghost of Charles Peterson through my Halloween pipe to haunt me into liking a P-lip. Anyway, my real point is that it’s nearly a year since last year’s Halloween edition was announced. I’m eagerly anticipating information on the 2022 pipe. I must say, though, that considering last year’s pipe, it’s going to be very difficult for Peterson to design a pipe that will even come close. I… Read more »
The Halloween pipes are indeed almost ready to unveil. I haven’t seen them, but like you am wondering how last year’s System could be beat.
I can smell the pumpkin pie. It won’t be too much longer……
You’re exactly right. Time to sell plasma.
Plasma? that’s all gone toward this year’s Christmas pipe.
If anyone reading this needs a kidney, please check my eBay store.
I wonder if we’ll see a 2022 Halloween theme pipe-rest?
I “sort of” miss it from the Christmas, knowing that adding one would have increased the price.
There is a photo on http://www.laudisi.com
Black with orange army mounts