Alpha 7 Alpha 8 ?
When God created the Heavens and Earth...
it is said He also created the Alpha 8 ?
The very first stretch figures to be produced from 1976 through 1979 were the Stretch Armstrong, Stretch Monster,Stretch X Ray, Stretch Olivia Octopus,Stretch Ollie Octopus,Stretch Serpent and Denys Fisher Stretch Incredible Hulk. Together they form what I the Stretch King have dubbed the Alpha 7. "The Alpha and The Omega", "The Begining and The End" of the first original line of Stretches.An incredibly unattainable collection for one main reason,The Serpent! Of all seven stretch figures, "The Serpent" alone makes it almost immpossible to complete the Alpha 7 collection.Although there are only 15 Hulks in existence today, there are only 2 Serpents.What are the odds of you finding one? Zip! Nada! Zero!Only recently have I the Stretch King discoverd the most unbelievable stretch find in the history of stretches.I was contacted by a collector who bought out some old kenner stock and inside the box on the bottom sat a green alligator,yes,the stretch alligator was found and I have it.This is the only stretch alligator ever found and it is in fact a prototype never before seen by the public.This is why I now have upped the Alpha 7 to the Alpha 8.However from a collectors standpoint,one must know that the Alpha 8 collection is immpossible because there are no known other alligators. this prototype has an unpainted head and has numbers written inside the neck of the head whcih I the Stretch King am the only one to know what these numbers are and what they stand for.Here you will see a bit of history on each of the Alpha 7/8 Stretch Figures.I hope you enjoy a look into what I believe is the only collection you will ever need.
Warning! This Page may be hazerdous to collectors and may trigger an uncontrollable urge to obtain the Alpha 7. Side affects of this page are: Constant searching on ebay, Blisters on fingers, Divorce, loss of all social contact and sudden urgency to remortgage your home.Other side affects may include persistent eye twitching, stiff neck and butt sores.
When James O. Kuhn invented the Easy Bake Oven in 1963, one must have known this guy was headed for stardom.I mean come on! Baking a cake with a friggen light bulb! This guy definitly could think outside the box.From the inception of the Stretch Armstrong idea to actual commercial production, covered a period of two-and-a half years.January 1974 to June 1976. In 1976 a patent for the Stretch Armstrong Figure was filed at the United States Patent Office and the Stretch Armstrong Figure was born! Stretching his way into thousands of kids hands all over America,Stretch Armstrong was King.The Stretch Armstrong Line brought in sales of over 50 Million dollars over the period of 1976 through 1979 and to this day these very same original figures are being resold to vintage toy collectors all over the world for hundreds and even thousands of dollars per figure! Remember the origianl Price of a Stretch Armstrong? $19.89! Now thats some serious inflation! Stretch Armstrong was born in 1976 the Bicentennial year of our great country and just think about what one will be worth in 2076.Wow!,a 100 year old Armstrong figure.Better buy one for your Grandchildren.Although he is very rare relative to his origianl production numbers of 40,000,Stretch Armstrong is still very attainable and is one of those toys you've just got to have.Stretch Armstrong, he is the A in Alpha.
The Almighty X Ray is the apitimy of cool. I mean the X is a Mans Stretch. Everything about this Stretch figure says,tough,cool,bad ass.Kinda reminds me of my 1981 Corvette with all the curves and that great shiney surface.Its one of the Stretches that you love to look at especially in mint condition like the one above.Stretch X Ray started off as a non transparent figure with a proposed name of Stretch X. Thats right, the X ray was to be called simply X untill one of the Kenner Employees mentioned it to his son who gave him the X Ray idea which he then brought to Kenner who approved it and gave him his transparent skin and guts. At the same time kenner was working on the X project they were also proposing a Stretch Alligator which never made it past the drawing stage.Luckily,the X Ray was the deciding choice.Stretch X Ray is a bit more scarce than the Octopis however it can be found.Finding a totally Mint example can be tough as the skin on these x Rays tend to cloud up from handleing.X is also very very difficult to find in a tottaly soft state. I have seen only 3 totally soft X Rays in all my years of collecting.There are two box versions for the X Ray, one showing the kid stretching it and the other with just the image of the X Ray which is by far the coolest of the two boxes especially because it resembles the rest of the Alpha 7 boxes that also show just the figure.The United Kingdom also produced their Stretch X Ray version under the Denys Fisher Toys name using the Stretch Armstrong Body.A very rare version with only about 5 known to date.The X Ray Coffin and the Monster Coffin are one in the same as one can see where the Monsters ears would normally fit are empty voids in the coffin.I was lucky enough to somehow locate Leonardo DiCaprios personal stretch X ray that he bought as a kid which is now part of my personal collection and will remain there as I will never sell it.The X Ray really reflects the feel of the 1970s both in its design and box graphics,not to mention that cool funky head. the X ray is GRRRREAT!
Basically the history of the Olivia Octopus is the same as the Ollie Octopus except for one thing,The Olivia Octopus was produced in fewer numbers that the Ollie Octopus and was less successfull than Ollie in sales numbers and popularity.Olivia was released a few months after the Ollie and sales started off slow but drastically picked up by Christmas of 1978.Olivia's pink girly color was obviously targeted toward the young girls of the 70s which drastically limited its overall appeal to the masses.Olivia is identical to the Ollie in every way except the Pink color and its green box. Today Olivia has the same appeal to the female gender as it did back then as most of the Olivia Octopis are purchased by woman with the exception of some male collectors who are trying to obtain the Alpha 7. Because of Olivia's lower production number relative to Ollie's.Olivia today is much more rare than Ollie and is valued about 100 dollars more.
The Denys Fisher Stretch Incredible Hulk is truley one of the greats! Produced by Denys Fisher Company in the United Kingdom and licensed by Kenner, the Denys fisher Hulk is a Kenner Stretch Figure through and through. Although the Hulk was not actually made by Kenner, it was made with original Kenner Stretch Armstrong Mold.Thats right, the Hulk and Stretch Armstrong bodies are one in the same except Denys fisher added a little Mean Green Color to the skin.The Box graphics and Instruction sheet are also exactly like the origianl Kenner stretches having the same letter type and images.Really the only thing missing is the word Kenner on the box.Even the neck flange came straight from the Kenner design patent. So you see, the Stretch Hulk is a Kenner figure whcich is why it is included in the Alpha 7.Denys fisher purchased rights from kenner to produce the Hulk in there Giant Thorp Arch Estates factory.Kenner had plans to produce the Hulk as their final stretch figure but because they felt the stretch era was comming to a close, they decided to allow a foreign country toy comapany namely Denys fisher to give it a shot while still retaining royalties from every Hulk sold.Origianlly the Hulk was thought to have been produced in a limited numbered quantity because a white tape with the number 351 /1259 that was placed on the top of the Hulk box sealing the lid closed.The first of the 2 numbers was said to be the number of the Hulk that was produced and the last number(1259) was to be the total production run amount or 1,259 Hulks.After many years of searching out the truth to this, I finally stumbled upon another collector who also had the very rare number tape on the top.Incredibly, his number was the same number which removes any doubt that the Hulks were in fact seperately numbered or tagged.However, it still is possible that the last number may hold true that only 1,259 Hulks were produced.The more likely senerio is that this is simply a catalog number.Whatever the truth is,one thing is for certian,the Denys Fisher Stretch Hulk is incredibly rare as only 15 Hulks have been discovered to date over an 8 year search.Owning one third of the Hulk's in existence today,I have to say that they are one of my favorite stretch figures. The Hulk will always be extremely valuable as even in this extremely bad economy, 2 of the 15 Hulks have recently achieved prices into the thousands.
The Stretch Monster, Wow, what an incredible toy. Im not sure if its his deep green color, that amazing monster face or the precicely etched scales.Whatever it is, the Monster has it.Origianlly designed to be a Stretch Giraffe, the idea was abandoned partly because of packaging issues and also because Kenner felt Stretch Armstrong would look pretty silly kicking a giraffe's ass. Thankfully,Kenner decided to go with the mean green Monster for the Armstrong sequel.The Monster was produced in about the same quantitiy as the Armstrong figure and was extremely successful as most every kid couldnt wait to see the Monster and Armstrong Lock up in a battle to the finish.When the Monster first hit the stores,Kenner knew they did somthing right.Stores all over were sold out and they couldnt keep them in stock as backorders came in by the dozens.I personally rememebr seeing that last Stretch Monster on the shelf as I ran toward it and practically knocked down the entire toy rack!.The Monsters awsome scales are a most pleasing form of art to say the least.He is simply perfect in his design.Each scale was origiannly carved by hand on the very first clay Monster model.The above photo is a true Kenner Stretch Monster displayed in his incredibly rare green stro coffin. Even today,over 30 years later,the monster doesnt look dated.Stretch monster was created to be the perfect Stretch Figure that was way ahead of its time.Although the Stretch production ended in 1979,Stretches were still available in stores in 1980 when sales finally began to diminish.The Monster was mostly unaffected by slow sales because most of them were already sold by the end of 1979 leaving very few leftovers.The Monster is another of the Alpha 7 that is still very attainable and now is the time to grab one as our economy sinks into a disasterous black hole, many collectors have found themselves reselling there beloved stretch figures in need of immediate cash to pay off credit cards and mortgages that they should have never even qualified for. If you dont have a Monster,your missing out on one of the greatest toys ever made.
Lets go back to 1978 and reminise about the hundreds of Stretch Octopis we all saw on the shelves in those days. Can you remember? I sure do. Kenner was pumping out thousands of these Ollies in hopes of what would be a stretch grand finale' as kenner began talks about ending the stretch figure production by the following year.The Ollie Octopus and Olivia Octopus were targeted toward a younger age group and specifically girls with the pink Olivia.Ollie was technically released before the Olivia however they were both availble in stores by mid summer of 1978 once production got into full gear.Good ol Ollie was sold in every major department store that year and gross Octopi sales accounted for almost 10% of the fifty million dollars kenner pulled in on Stretch Armstrong and his entourage. Kenner literally put Ollie and Olivia high upon a styrofoam pedestal with a protective styrofoam shrowed that contoured the Octopis shape perfectly.You gotta love kenners packaging, its almost as cool as the stretches themselves.The Octopi buds were still available in 1980 along with the Serpent making the Octopis the longest sales run of all the stretch figures,however Kenners overproduction numbers of the Octopis led to a massive surplus on store shelves which cost Kenner in the long run as they had to honor their sales agreement and accept returns which etched away some of their profits. but in the long run, the Octopis were a hit.Today the Octopis are coveted among many collectors and especially female collectors who once owned the pink Olivia back in the day. The Octopis are very cool.Would love to see them wearing a pair of sunglasses!
The Serpent! Where do I begin? This stupendious stretch figure is the rarest, most elusive figure of all the Alpha 7 as well as all the stretch figures in the entire Kigdom. Stretch Serpent was released in about September of 1978 and was an instant dud!The Serpent bombed and sales were nearly nonexistent. I can actually remember seeing the serpents on the shelves of Hills Department Store in Buffalo New York and thinking to myself what a cool looking toy,and what great box graphics! Unfortunatley I, like most everyone,for some stupid reason did not buy one.The Serpents lingered on the store shelves that year and into 1979.By Christmas of 1979 they were all but gone, not due to sales but to their extreme failure.Many of the Serpents were sent back to Kenner for credit and many were merely thrown, damaged or misplaced in the Department Store wharehouses and back storage rooms. Its difficult to assertain just how many Serpents were produced but a good estimate may be around 5,000 to 10,000.This is only about 12% to 25% of the over $40,000 Stretch Armstrong produced.I cannot see Kenner producing more Serpents than the demand for them as Kenner learned their lesson in overproduction that very same year with the Octopis which were released a few months before the Serpent.The Almighty Serpent didnt make it passed the first production run,however some Serpent Stragglers were still seen on shelves in 1980 therafter decending into the deep dark abyss of obscurity only to resurface over 25 years later in the most scarce number of 2.Today,the only two Stretch Serpents in existence are located in Medina New York and The United Kingdom.
The Kenner Stretch Alligator! Yes,you are seeing what you think your seeing,This is the most obscure and unbelievable stretch figure of all time.The Kenner Stretch Alligator recently surfaced from the bottom of a cardboard box filled with old kenner toys a collector purchased from a vendor.Upon inspection of the toys he had bought,he noticed this alligator under all the other toys which was not supposed to even be there.Talk about luck! This collector searched the web and of course came upon Stretch Armstrong World were he found the only information on this alligator available to mankind.Yes,Stretch Armstrong World told him that he had somthing of great importants and huge historical value.The Stretch Alligator existed only in our minds and on one single cartoon sketch inside the Executive Kenner binder that I have in my collection.The Drawing of the alligator is absolute verification that this is the Kenner alligator meant for full production but never actually made it.The Sketch depicts an exact copy of the alligator,every contour,scales on the back and even the head and snout look the same. My fellow stretchys,this is the kenner Stretch Alligator!On the back of the head just as the rest of the kenner stretches is embossed the words kenner 1979 and inside the neck written in black permanant marker are numbers and information that only I the King have all knowledge of.All I can tell you is that this is the Kenner Stretch Alligator and it was produced as the very final stretch in the line of 8 figures listed here on the Alpha 7/8 page.The Alligator is 16 inches long from tip of nose to tail making this the largest stretch figure ever produced.This stretch figure alone is valued at well over 15,000 making the Stretch Serpent and Mego Elastic Batman now second place in what is the most valuable stretch figure in the world!