How far can Stranger Things go with merchandising?


With a Stranger Things video game in the works, we have to ask: how far can the show go before it turns into the ’80s franchises it already emulates?

Spaceballs as a movie mocks pretty much every single thing about Star Wars. But, as it does that, it also takes a moment to take a shot at the other products that a pop culture phenomenon can produce. “Merchandising!” Yogurt exclaims.

Considering that Stranger Things sets itself in the ’80s (and takes plenty of nods from the pop cultural zeitgeist), one has to wonder about if it will take nods in terms of what else it can spawn. At this point, we know that there will be Stranger Things books and now, per our sister site Netflix Life, a game from Telltale Games.

Now, we say all this knowing that pretty much other major franchise is merchandised to here and back — you name it, and there’s merch out there for you to rep — but for Stranger Things, it almost seems like it’s too early or somehow leveraging itself pretty heavily, as if it knows that it’ll be here and gone like so many of those ’80s movies and shows that turned into cult classics.

Remember: we’ve only had this show for two years at this point. There are only two seasons. Season 3 is even in production already, and there are plans to end it instead of letting it run indefinitely!

It seems pretty well-established as part of our pop cultural lexicon without the need to remind us that it exists over and over again with games based on Eggo waffles and now Telltale.

Next: Possible influences for Stranger Things 3

At some point, one has to wonder if hype is being manufactured as opposed to being naturally created. Stranger Things famously started as the latter. Does it really need the former now with merchandising? Probably not.