The Original Stretch Armstrong [2016 Model]

Manufacturer: Character Options Ltd.
RRP: £19.99
Release Date: January 2016
Age Range: 5+

productinfoThe original Stretch Armstrong is Back!

Stretch him, pull him and tie him in knots. When you release him he will use his super strength to return to his original shape! Stretch Armstrong can stretch up to 4 x his original size.

When we met up with Character Options‘ Brand Manager, Mark Hunt, at Toy Fair, back in January, he expressed a lot of excitement at the relaunch of Stretch Armstrong – and understandably so! This was a toy that many of us (of a certain age) remember from our own childhood. The first Stretch Armstrong was released in 1976, and the last to be produced was in 1997, and a toy with a shelf life of almost 20 years is clearly one of the success stories in the industry, and something that Character Options rightfully wanted to continue for a new generation.

With 2016 being Stretch Armstrong‘s 40th anniversary, the timing is perfect to unleash his insanely malleable form to today’s kids, and with the new product having landed on our doorstep this morning, we were rather excited to review the latest model.

Firstly, and most reassuringly, he looks exactly the same as he did when he was first released. Even the box art, which has undergone some modernisation, includes the original font! There is undoubtedly a great deal of respect and loyalty to the original – and why not?! After all, how can you improve on a product that was so successful for so long?

As with the original, the technology behind the stretch remains the same; latex rubber filled with gelled corn syrup. We actually still had one of the original Stretch Armstrong‘s on hand to compare, and the 2016 model appears to be even stretchier, so there’s clearly been some slight improvement in the stretch recipe. You can actually stretch him up to 4 times his size, as well as tying him in knots!

Our kids (Amelia and Jacob) got their hands on Stretch Armstrong and they too were impressed. Tug of war in the middle of your living room will never be  more entertaining! 🙂

Kudos to all those involved in bringing back this childhood classic. This is perhaps one of the finest examples of how, if made right, a toy can become timeless (yes – even with the 1970’s hairstyle and trunks), and how not everything needs to be revamped and repurposed to keep up with the times.




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