12/21/08

Kid Stuff #4: Stretch Monster Love


With Christmas fast approaching and buying gifts for my own children, it got me thinking about what Christmas present I enjoyed most as a kid. I think my answer would have to be Stretch Monster.

I mean no disrespect to the original Stretch Armstrong, but the stars were aligned with Stretch Monster: the perfect age (I was 7), the perfect timing (really into monsters), and the perfect temperament (easily amused and destructive). It would seem Stretch Monster and I were meant for each other, and I manhandled the hell out of him!

When did this manhandling end, you ask? How long can a boy possibly be entertained by a goo filled doll? Ahh, this was truly the gift that kept on giving - my stretching, squashing, kneading, and contorting continued long after the holidays. Indeed, Stretch Monster was still taking a beating the following summer.

Alas, all good things must come to an end. Stretch Monster was left in the car in the boiling heat of mid-day Miami. I'd heard freezing it could cause damage, but never heat, and so his gelatinous guts burst and oozed down the dashboard.

Apparently, I am not alone in my inability to maintain a Stretch Monster. Kenner made over 50,000 stretch toys and apparently there are less than 100 still in good condition! I've also come to learn that the gooey substance was simply corn syrup, and Kenner sold so many of these that they were the largest buyer of corn syrup from 1976-1979! (source)

Go here to see some really good pictures and an old commercial on my long lost toy.

A thanks to The Stretch Monster Archive where I found these cool pictures of the box.

12 comments:

  1. I never had a Stretch Monster, but I did have a Stretch Armstrong. I played with that thing forever. I got it one Christmas. I always remember that being one of my favorite Christmas gifts ever.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That kid in the ad is hilarious! I hope he got paid well.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What's up with that kid's face?! And yeah, the first pic is totally gay. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good old Stretch Monster! He was my favorite toy and like everyone else he oozed to his death.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I had both Armstrong, AND Monster. Stretch quickly got holes from being stretched so much. The old "stick 'em in the freezer to repair" trick didn't work for very long. Stretch Monster was a little more durable, If I recall correctly.

    ReplyDelete
  6. How nice to meet you.....I missed that toy, but now I have found you I'll never miss anything again .

    ReplyDelete
  7. We were an Armstrong family. Yes, that was definitely a sweet toy.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Stretch Monster was the BEST!!!!!!
    I got one Christmas of my senior year at boarding school and one of the girls was so impressed she asked for one as a graduation present. She brought it to commencement with her. But my freshman year in college my roommate -- a pretty decent guy, really -- STABBED my stretch monster to see what he was filled with. The poor creature oozed for a whole semester until I finally gave him a decent burial and/or threw him away, depending upon your point of view.

    ReplyDelete
  9. loved the monster, i had the UK version,i stretched him to far and he leaked. i recently bought one on ebay for £260 which i hear is a bargin. andy.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Loved my cousin's --Shawn C Hufford & Ian Amelia-- action stretch dolls filled with syrup!!! You could stretch them so far & we had so much fun with them! I think we may have even fought/argued over them!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Loved Stretch Armstrong and HAD to know what was inside. haha. Wow, I want one. $200 on eBay.

    ReplyDelete