Stretch Armstrong

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Stretch Armstrong
Stretch Armstrong toy.jpg
Type

Action figure

super stretch: Mr. Fantastic
Company Kenner & Denys Fisher
Country United States
Availability 1976–1990s
Materials Plastic, rubber and gel

Stretch Armstrong was a large, gel-filled action figure first introduced in 1976 by Kenner.[1]

History[edit]

Stretch Armstrong was an action figure in the shape of a short, well-muscled blonde man wearing a pair of trunks. The doll's most notable feature was that it could be stretched from its original size (about 15 inches) to four or five feet. (If a tear did develop, it could be fixed with an adhesive bandage. Information on how to repair Stretch can be found inside the instruction booklet that was originally inside his box.) The original Armstrong figure was held in place inside its box by two polystyrene inserts; it could be placed back inside the box for storage.

The original Stretch Armstrong figure was conceived and developed by Bill Armasmith, and was in production from 1976 until 1980 when production was stopped.[citation needed] The original 1970s Stretch is very collectible now and commands high prices on the secondary collectors' market, selling for hundreds, even thousands of dollars.[citation needed] However, finding one in mint condition is hard. Through storage and play, the figure can become damaged and rendered useless. There are still Original Stretch Armstrongs that have survived the passing of time and are remarkably preserved through sheer luck or being stored at the correct temperature.[citation needed] The figure keeps best at room temperature so thirty years later, collectors are still using Stretch.[citation needed]

Stretch Armstrong is made of latex rubber filled with gelled corn syrup, which allows it to retain shape for a short time before shrinking to its original shape.[2]

Similar releases[edit]

An estimated 67 different versions from Japan, Germany, Italy, France, Australia, and other countries released Stretch Armstrong variations between 1976 and the 1990s.[3]

  • Stretch X-Ray (1977), had an over-sized exposed brain and an alien-looking face with a transparent form that showed its internal organs
  • Harbert Sport Mister Muscolo, 1977 Italian version of Stretch Armstrong[4]
  • Lili Ledy El Hombre Elastic, Mexican version of Stretch Armstrong[4]
  • Tsukuda Mr. X, Japanese version of Stretch Armstrong[4]
  • Stretch Monster, a reptilian green nemesis released by Kenner in 1978
  • Harbert Sport Mister Monstro, Italian version of Stretch Monster[4]
  • Tsukuda Stretch Monster, Japanese version[4]
  • Stretch Ollie and Stretch Olivia, male and female octopuses (colored blue and pink, respectively) which had the same face shape but the only difference was their color. Kenner issued both weeks apart but Ollie was more popular.[citation needed] The Denys Fisher UK toy company issued Ollie and Olivia in smaller boxes than their American counterparts, saving on shelf space. The figures are rare to come by now.
  • Deny's Fisher Stretch Incredible Hulk[4]
  • Mego Elastic Donald Duck[4]
  • Mego Elastic Batman[4]
  • Mego Elastic Incredible Hulk[4]
  • Mego Elastic Plastic Man (1979)[4]
  • Kenner Stretch Serpent[4]
  • Cap Toys Fetch Armstrong, Stretch Armstrong's pliable canine counterpart, released in the early 1990s
  • Kenner/Hasbro Super Stretch Mask[4]
  • Cap Toys Stretch Vac-Man
  • ToyQuest Super Morphman

The last two were filled with a granular solid in place of the viscous liquid found in the other figures. A vacuum pump, which attached to the heads of these figures, removed the air from within, which "froze" the toy in its stretched position.[2]

Stretch Armstrong was reissued in the 1990s by Cap Toys, with a canine sidekick, "Fetch Armstrong".[1][5] The reissue stretch Armstrong had a more comical exaggerated face and mouth and had on a t-shirt and shorts. This new reissue figure was introduced in 1993 and 1994 version exist with slightly different art work. He also has an evil brother named Evil X-ray Wretch Armstrong who has a skull face, sports a mohawk, and also stretches. Wretch Armstrong seems to be a redesigned, smaller remake of Stretch X-Ray but in reality looks nothing like the 1970s version. Evil X-ray Wretch Armstrong is only 7 inches tall whereas Stretch X-ray was over 12 inches tall.

Cancelled Movie[edit]

In 2008, Universal Studios signed a deal with Hasbro to create a film based on Armstrong from a screenplay written by Nicholas Stoller.[6] It was announced that Taylor Lautner would star as Armstrong and that the film would be in 3-D. Producer Brian Grazer stated "Stretch Armstrong is a character I have wanted to see on screen for a long time ... It’s a story about a guy stretching ... the limits of what is possible to become all that he can be."[7][8] Two years later, Relativity Media announced that they had picked up the film after it was dropped by Universal and set a new release date of April 11, 2014.[9] Planning to make the film more serious than originally intended by Universal, Relativity hired The Manchurian Candidate writer Dean Georgaris to write a new script,[10] dropped Lautner, and hired Breck Eisner to direct.[11] Production was scheduled to start filming on May 15, 2013, in Montreal but by October 2013, both the studio and Hasbro had abandoned the film to work on other projects.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Clark, Eric (2007). The Real Toy Story: Inside the Ruthless Battle for America's Youngest Consumers. Simon & Schuster. pp. 44–45. ISBN 0-7432-4765-5. 
  2. ^ a b Katz, David A. "Chemistry in the Toy Store" (pdf). chymist.com. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  3. ^ Stretch Armstrong World (retrieved 23 January 2012)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Estimated Stretches Left in Existence, Stretch Armstrong World (retrieved 23 January 2012)
  5. ^ DeBrosse, Jim (September 1, 1995). "S-T-R-E-T-C-H-ING THE MARKET SHARE". Dayton Daily News. pp. 1C. 
  6. ^ "'Stretch Armstrong' Writer 'Gets' Taylor Lautner Obsession". MTV. June 11, 2010. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Stretch Armstrong Movie Gets April 2011 Release Date". /Film. June 2, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2010. 
  8. ^ Russ Fischer (February 5, 2010). "Universal Casts Taylor Lautner in Stretch Armstrong 3D! Seriously. Read more: Universal Casts Taylor Lautner in Stretch Armstrong 3D. Seriously.". /Film. Retrieved February 6, 2010. 
  9. ^ Nikki Finke (June 28, 2012). http://www.deadline.com/2012/01/relativity-picks-up-hasbros-stretch-armstrong-pic-sets-april-2014-release/#more-222825. Retrieved July 6, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ Relativity, Hasbro find 'Stretch' scribe
  11. ^ "Breck Eisner Confirmed to Direct Stretch Armstrong". Comingsoon.com. July 19, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  12. ^ Relativity Abandons 'Stretch Armstrong' Movie

External links[edit]