With his supple membrane filled to the throat with corn syrup, pliable Armstrong could - as his name implied - be stretched up to five or six feet... and remain at that size for a few moments, before slowly returning to his original flaccid dimensions. It was a simple but effective concept.
Indeed, he was even easier to manipulate than an apricot-skinned emotionally-volatile egomaniac with narcissistic personality disorder, who got voted into high office on the mistaken belief that he'd finally get the respect and validation he's spent his entire life craving, yet is so lacking any real convictions of his own that he'll do whatever the hell his advisers tell him to do, so long as he thinks it'll raise cheers from his voter base.
As Netflix prepares to launch a new Stretch Armstrong animated TV series, here's a gallery of classic Stretch Armstrong toys. What do you think the chances are that we'll get through it without making any suggestive jokes...? Mostly likely low.
All that remained was to see how far he could be stretched before rupturing (hell-oh!). Often this would require a friend to hold one end, while you did the pulling - so to speak - or you could try wedging his legs or head under something.
Fact of the matter is, once you'd satisfied your curiosity, you were either never going to play with Stretch Armstrong again because you'd done everything you could with him, or because you'd burst his flanks, and there was a clear, sticky, discharge seeping from his torso. As it were.
"Play with him one at a time" came a warning in later packaging. A warning which was ignored by every single child who ever owned one.
Indeed, the images on the packaging suggested nothing less than a grotesque reinterpretation of The Joy of Sex.
Though it's unknown what sort of creature X-Ray was, his organs - a hard plastic lump of indistinct shape - suggested that his physiology had no correlation to human anatomy. Stretch him widely enough and you could see his guts in great detail. WINK WINK.
Still... look at the lad in the yellow turtleneck on the box; he couldn't be happier.
"Work, turn to the left!
Work, now turn to the right!
Work, sashay, shante!
Work, turn to the left!
Work, now turn to the right!
Work, sashay, shante...!"
Hulk wasn't the only super-hero to get the stretch treatment; in the waning hours of the 70s, Mego produced figures based upon Spider-Man, Superman and Batman. Also; various Disney characters. Absurdly, a stretch version of the Fantastic Four's elastic-limbed Mr Fantastic didn't come along until 2005.
Eerie is one word for it.
Sold, as "The Loch Ness Creature", the Stretch Serpent suggested a Scottish trip for Mr Armstrong. Suffice to say, dressed like that he'd have lasted about five minutes on the streets of Inverness.
That latter saw Stretch shoe-horned into a number of roles which were ill-suited to a person with no bones - such as ninja, commando, Batman-like super-hero, scuba-diver and - not a lie - a cyberspace hacker, complete with a VR headset.
brand new concept for the Stretch range, Vac-Man contained grains produced from pulped corn cobs.
Stretching the figure, then removing the air using the pump provided (by sucking it out through his skull, - thereby becoming the first ever toy inspired by the arcane medical practice of trepanning), Vac-Man could be locked into position. Pressing a button on his head filled him with air again, and returned him to his original shape and size.
If you would like to see this not-really-safe-for-work image... press reveal. Get ready to s-t-r-e-t-c-h...!