Patent#4,169,336 lists the toy genius, James O. Kuhn (father of the Easy-Bake-Oven) as the inventor of this new and unusual toy introduced by Kenner Toys. (Mr. Kuhn passed away in 2005 and you can click here for a nice write up about the toy maker.)
James (Jeep) O. Kuhn
A crazy thing, is that Stretch Monster was almost a cute Stretch Giraffe instead. The patent shows a design for a stretching giraffe and here’s a photo of the head sculpt prototype from Stretch Armstrong World of the proposed Stretch Giraffe. Luckily the giraffe was scrapped, which is a good thing since Stretch Giraffe Week would probably not be all that great.
Now it’s a mystery on who designed Stretch Monster, but I’m guessing this person might’ve been influenced by another stretching super villain and that’s the Super Skrull. Take away Stretch Monster’s fangs and give him pointy ears and wha-la, you almost have twins.
The party for Stretch Monster only lasted two short years as he was replaced by Stretch X-Ray, the see-through alien invader. Monsters kind of fell out of favor with toy companies as pop culture became space-crazy thanks to movies like Star Wars and Alien.
Of course, us kid’s had stars and lazer beams in our eyes and we quickly forgot about our fun stretch pals and started playing with little 3 3/4" Star Wars figures. Looking back, I’m amazed that Kenner didn’t turn some of the Star Wars cantina creatures into stretch figures. I think that would’ve been an obvious choice for the toy company. Go figure! (No pun intended.)