In the late 1970s, Kenner Toys introduced the world to the Stretch Armstrong doll, a musclebound behemoth whose outward appearance was largely without definition, save for his trademark blonde hair, toned physique, and black speedo. The original action figure was manufactured and designed using a latex rubber mold which was filled with gelled corn syrup that allowed children to bend, stretch, and contort their little body builder into any outlandish configuration that their hearts might desire – and ever since production stopped on the original line of models in the 1980, the figurine has become a high commodity item for specialty toy collectors.
Back in 2009, talks of a Stretch Armstrong motion picture were initially bandied about the likes of Universal Pictures, before eventually attracting the attention of director Breck Eisner. Subsequently, Universal Pictures and Eisner have backed down from the project, though word has it that a filmed production of another kind is now in the making.
According to Deadline, Netflix is producing an original Stretch Armstrong animated series in an effort to expand their already burgeoning slate of original content for kids, with a series set to see release sometime in 2017. Currently, the show is slated to center around an overworked teenager named Jake Armstrong and his two best friends who will come in contact with an alien substance that will turn them into the crimefighting trio – known as Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters.
Just how the program will develop from there is entirely up in the air for now, though it would appear that Netflix is intent on bringing the program to their younger viewers, alongside other family friendly series fare such as the new musical series Lalaloopsy for young children and a tween live-action drama titled The Greenhouse. When asked for comment on the developing Stretch Armstrong TV series, Director of Global Kids Content for Netflix, Andy Yeatman, stated:
“With roughly half of our 75 million members regularly watching kids content, we’re happy to expand our original slate with these three great series.We know kids love Netflix and that’s in part because they never really outgrow us. We program and recommend new TV shows and movies from preschool through their teen years and into adulthood.”
Following the news that an original Guillermo del Toro series and a reboot of the Voltron franchise are also in the works, it would appear as though Netflix is gearing up to deliver more original programming for younger viewers in the near future. Whether or not the Stretch Armstrong series performs well, or even makes it past the pre-production stage, remains to be seen, though for the time being viewers can expect to see everyone’s favorite childhood strongman of the 1970s within two years.
The Stretch Armstrong animated series will see release on Netflix sometime in 2017.