Netflix has developed a stellar reputation when it comes to original programming, producing such series as House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, and Master of None. As it happens, however, Netflix has extended its reach into a variety of kids' programming as well, and the streaming service has released news of a wave of new series designed for children. One in particular seems positively peculiar in what may be a truly awesome way, as it is to be based on a popular action figure. Yes, Stretch Armstrong is finally getting his own show.
Stretch Armstrong will follow the story of overscheduled teenager Jake Armstrong and his two best friends. When the trio are accidentally exposed to an experimental chemical in true superpower origin story style, they become Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters. The trio will work together as a team of unlikely superheroes who expand beyond the confines of their lives and embark on a series of adventures.
Considering that Stretch Armstrong has been billed as an animated action/comedy series for children, we can probably assume that those adventures won’t be too true to reality and will feature Stretch and his friends being yanked to the point of leakage.
The series has been ordered for twenty-six episodes and marks the first time that Hasbro Studios is creating original programming for Netflix. Sadly for those of us who can’t wait to see a streaming adaptation of one of our favorite toys from our youths, Stretch Armstrong won’t be debuting until late 2017.
While there's no news just yet regarding who will be cast to voice Jake and his friends, Hasbro and Netflix probably will not require any of the actors to be stuffed with corn syrup to tackle the roles.
Interestingly, this Netflix series is the second venture into bringing Stretch Armstrong adventures to life in the past decade. Back in 2009, Hasbro had plans to make a film based on the action figure. Although the project was eventually (and thankfully) scrapped, production went as far as to warrant an original 2011 release date and cast Taylor Lautner – yes, really – in the titular role.
It’s probably for the best that the Stretch Armstrong film fell through. I’m not sure that the world was ready for a live action big screen comedy about an action figure like Stretch. Toy-based movies may have found success with the likes of The Lego Movie and the Transformers franchise, but there’s only so much merchandising that could happen with Stretch Armstrong. The toy is far better suited for the animated Netflix series, which at least sounds curious enough to warrant sampling an episode or two.
The 2017 premiere date is still unfortunately far away, so we’ll have to wonder about how Stretch Armstrong will work for a while yet. Fortunately, Netflix has plenty of other great original shows to kill the time. Check out our list of the ten greatest Netflix originals for an idea of where to start.