Stranger Things have happened in show merchandising before
There’s been a lot of talk this past week about the new season of the Netflix original show, Stranger Things. Interestingly, much of the conversation has been focused not on the return of those adorable kids or the true explanation of ‘the upside down,’ but on the handful of merchandise tie-ins that Netflix has launched to coincide with the show’s release.
Stranger Things Monopoly, anyone? Or how about a knitted Christmas sweater wrapped in those alphabetised fairy lights?
For a brand whose product is built high on foundations of streaming technology, Netflix’s roll-out of physical products may be a leap, but it’s a natural next step.
In this instance, of course, they’ve cleverly selected nostalgia pieces in line with the show’s period. And with fandom surrounding hit shows reaching new heights, Netflix is only doing what the major TV networks did during the previous TV boom periods.
These days, every time Netflix behaves exactly the way terrestrial TV used to behave, it’s seen as a fresh move.
In the sixties and seventies, stores were awash with TV tie-in books, trading cards, clothing and posable plastic replicas of every cartoon character imaginable. It rarely made the news. These days, every time Netflix behaves exactly the way terrestrial TV used to behave, it’s seen as a fresh move. Something new. People write articles about it, like this one.
Back in the day, I used to have a Six Million Dollar Man action figure, Muppet Show board games and a Dastardly & Muttley shirt that was rarely out of my mum’s wash cycle. If you’re too young to remember some of those shows, jump online and buy your Stranger Things Visual Print Raglan T-Shirt and wear it with pride. I might just do the same.
The real storyline here is, of course, that of a heavyweight content brand potentially morphing into an equally heavyweight retail brand. All eyes will be watching this particular show to see if it makes it to a second season…