History

The original Stretch Armstrong doll by Kenner was a big figure toy filled with corn syrup in the shape of a well-muscled blond man wearing a pair of swimming trunks. The figure was introduced in 1976 but the original idea came from James O. Kuhn in 1974. It stands out from other vintage action figure toys because its arms and legs could stretch outwards (presumably without breaking).

stretch armstrong doll

Corn syrup filling

The corn syrup was condensed to the right viscosity to make the stretch return slowly to its original position, as the latex skin reacted against this highly viscosic goo. From 1976 to 1979 Kenner produced 40,000 Stretch Armstrong toys making over 50 million USD, and was the largest buyer of corn syrup over those same years!

Mego vs Kenner

In 1981 Kenner sued Mego for copying the Stretch Figure concept and design with their Mego Elastic Heroes.

Given the solidness and weight of the Stretch Armstrong toy, it didn't fit in with other action figures as far as being able to stand on its own, bent into different poses, or to be used in 'fights' between different figures, as boys will do.

stretch armstrong

Quickly damaged

Ah.... kids! As many children found out, the doll was filled with a thick, dark-colored gel that would ooze out of any damaged area, quickly turning hard and making the Stretch Armstrong toy useless. The doll's skin was made from soft material allowing it to be damaged easily, and of course many kids would stretch the toy beyond its normal capacity.

New Stretch

Stretch Armstrong came back, though shortly, in the early 1990s. This new version of the doll looked more cartoonish and had longer, blonder hair. It also featured a big, white smile with a lot of teeth visible. It looked more like a wrestler from WWF than the original doll. The more modern and modest Stretch also covered his manly torso with a muscle t-shirt with the text 'Stretch Armstrong' and wears boxers.

Links

Updated: 28 January 2021

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Stretch Armstrong value and price guide

What's your Stretch Armstrong worth? Here are some recently sold items.

Picture Title Date Price
retro 1990 s stretch armstrong 15 giant figure Retro 1990 S Stretch Armstrong 15 Giant Figure... 07/2021 £74.99
the original mini 7 stretch armstrong retro super The Original Mini 7 Stretch Armstrong Retro Super... 07/2021 £10.82
hasbro stretch armstrong classic original giant Hasbro Stretch Armstrong Classic Original Giant... 07/2021 £17.13
bundle 80s 90s action figures thundercats bill he Bundle 80s 90s Action Figures Thundercats Bill He... 07/2021 £66.66
original stretch armstrong figure denys fisher Original Stretch Armstrong Figure Denys Fisher... 07/2021 £36.29
no pictureSee all sold items on eBay for more prices07/2021£-.--

Stretch Armstrong forum

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Comments (5)
Simon - May 6, 2021
I have a mint, boxed 1976 stretch Armstrong with the instruction neatly slipped inside the box. No tears on the box just a little tired on the corners. Polystyrene packing still intact. This is a toy kept from my childhood. Looking to sell.

Cheers
Simon
Sounds like a rare collectible in this shape! I would try eBay to sell it or maybe there are some dedicated Facebook groups with collectors...
Susan - January 30, 2020
Do you have a catalog I could subscribe to?
Graham - November 7, 2019
Hi, I have an original stretch Armstrong from my childhood, unfortunately the neck area has split and he has lost some syrup. Does anyone have any ideas how to fix him. I am looking to sell. cheers Graham
Vegas - August 12, 2014
I was recently at comic con Boston last Sunday when I came across the strech serpent mint in the box, I think he knew what he had but he was only asking $3,500 for it. I allmost bought it but I kindly passed but I soon wanted to kick myself in the ass when I got home and remembered that there are only three known to exist and that they have be sold anywhere between $7,500 to $30,000.
...darn!
Chris - September 2, 2013
anyone have a Stretch Armstrong X Ray for sale?