Monday, February 4, 2013

Kenner Stretch Armstrong & Stretch Monster


Who can forget Stretch Armstrong and his enemy Stretch Monster? They still make these, I believe.. I had both of these dolls sometime between 1976 and 1980. That's the actual timeline for production of this toy... '76-'80. The original ones, I mean, shown here.  I was anywhere from 6 to 10 years old. More than once too, since, after only a few weeks of abuse at the hands of me and my brothers, the rubber skin of these dolls would eventually rip open and out would seep a red gooey substance... gelled corn syrup . The wound usually started as a pin hole, or a small tear, and with continual stretching would get worse, and tear open more, until the gel was leaking out and the doll was junk. We never could figure out a way to repair one of these things, despite following the repair instructions that came with it. I remember the doll getting so stretched out and the syrup so hardened up over time that we couldn't get it back to it's original shape. So we just threw the doll out and would get another one. I've had at least two of each (Armstrong, and Monster). I got mine for Christmas. I do remember that.

The monster was the one I remember being fascinated with the very most. He looked awesome!. His green rubber skin was textured with scales... and just look at that face. I believe he was a favorite toy of mine for awhile. Because he really stands stronger in my memory than Armstrong.

These dolls would stiffen up when cold, or with age, and if you submersed them in warm water, it would soften them up again. I remember it being a heavy toy (as a kid) and a good toy to strangle someone with, as we were always stretching their arms and legs to great lengths and then tying the limbs around our necks.

There's an entire website devoted to the classic stretch figures, called "Stretch Armstrong World". Plaid Stallions has some cool Stretch Armstrong material also.


 

4 comments:

  1. I had the monster and yes he eventually grew holes and hardened up. But it was a lot of fun! I remember there was a transparent creature too, I always wanted one but never got him.

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  2. This was the quintessential 80's toy. It seems like every boy had one. I loved my green monster with the soft rubbery body. It will always be a part of my memories growing up as one of the coolest Christmas presents I ever got. I think I picked mine out of a toy catalog at my grandparents house and they bought me it. 80's toys were so cool mostly because you had to use your imagination and find fun ways to interact with them. Long live stretch armstrong! 70's and 80's were a great time to grow up because we didn't have the internet, computers or cell phones yet. Kids actually went outside and played!

    If your an 80's kid and want to reminisce hit me up at eknoke01@gmail.com . I love to talk about what that time was like.

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  3. I had a Stretch Monster as a child and I loved him! One of my favorite toys. It was just so cool. I'm a girl too. I would love seeing the original molds of Armstrong and Monster being released for a new generation to enjoy. I'd buy Stretch Monster again in a heartbeat.

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  4. I have both only heads to sell
    contact me to
    www.leotoys.net

    ReplyDelete