Remember the good old days of cartoons based on Hasbro toys? Throughout the 1980s, G.I. Joe, My Little Pony, and Transformers dominated Saturday morning airwaves and helped push Hasbro past Mattel as the world’s biggest toy manufacturer. While both the toy and cartoon markets have become much more diversified lately, My Little Pony, G.I. Joe, and Transformers have all been rebooted in film and television and Hasbro remains a powerhouse in the toy and gaming industries. Hasbro is nonetheless digging up its past, teaming up with Netflix to launch a new series based on one of its most iconic classic toys: Stretch Armstrong.
In a press release announcing the deal with Hasbro, Netflix says the new animated series will be called Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters. This new take on the stretchy gel-filled doll reimagines Stretch Armstrong as teenage high school student Jake Armstrong who along with his two best friends is exposed to a mysterious substance which grants his the ability to stretch their limbs at will. The series boasts an impressive voice cast including geek icons Felicia Day (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Walter Koenig (Star Trek), Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead), Keith David (The Thing, Adventure Time), and noted voice actors Ogie Banks and Scott Menville.
Stephen Davis, Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President at Hasbro, says that Netflix is the perfect home for the classic toy and has the ability to bring the iconic doll to a whole new global audience:
Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters is the first Hasbro brand to receive a Netflix original series order. We have been waiting for just the right moment to re-imagine Stretch for a new audience and our friends at Netflix got it right away; they have been a tremendous partner. We have hit a superhero sweet spot, and with Netflix’s global reach, kids across the world will fall in love with its fun characters and action-packed storyline.
This isn’t the first time Hasbro has attempted to bring Stretch Armstrong to television or film; the toy giant greenlit a series of failed film adaptations throughout the ‘90s and ‘00s that considered Tim Allen and Danny DeVito for the title role, but couldn’t settle on a suitable script.
Netflix will debut 26 episodes of Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters sometime in late 2017.