That’s a Stretch

Just when you thought it was impossible for Hollywood to scrape another layer of muck off the bottom of the creative barrel…

Universal Pictures announces that it’s going to make a movie based on the 1970s toy action figure Stretch Armstrong.

I kid (no pun intended) you not.

For the benefit of those of you born during the last quarter-century, Stretch Armstrong was a doll that resembled a blond wrestler wearing black swim trunks. Stretch’s soft plastic body could be stretched (hence the name) and contorted, thanks to the semi-liquid silicone gel encapsulated inside.

Think of the many elastic-powered comic book superheroes — Plastic Man, Mister Fantastic, the Elongated Man — and you’ll get the inspiration.

Stretch’s mortal enemy was the Stretch Monster, a similarly constructed green being that vaguely resembled the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

As most kids who owned a Stretch Armstrong soon discovered, a fair amount of overextension or indelicate handling would rupture Stretch’s skin, spilling the gel and ruining the toy. (I’ll wager that this unfortunate feature won’t play a role in the upcoming film.)

I know that nostalgia is big business. Doubtless, some executive at Universal saw the box office figures for Michael Bay’s Transformers movie and sent a flotilla of flunkies scampering for the archives to ferret out another long-ago toy hit to exploit.

But seriously… Stretch Armstrong? A toy that was pretty much a joke in its heyday… which was more than 30 years ago? Most of the people old enough to be nostalgic for Stretch Armstrong — assuming that anyone is — have aged out of the demographic for the potential film.

I’m sure that the special effects will be amazing, though. (Snicker.)

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Explore posts in the same categories: Aimless Riffing, Cinemania, Reminiscing, Wonderful World of Advertising

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