The Netflix trailer for Stranger Things 2 leaves us with nothing more than vague hints, and a killer remix of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. Anything else that’s hit the ‘net is likely just pure speculation… and so is this. Much like trying to see the future in a pile of tea leaves, this is an attempt to figure out what’s going on in the upcoming season with nothing more than things that happen to be on my action figure shelf. Chances are awfully good that my guesses connect with reality at no two points. (Actually, I can’t even guarantee one point, but it is fun to guess, right?)
First things first: this is also a bit of an under-the-radar review of Funko’s new box sets of Stranger Things action figures. You may rest assured that my verdict is that they’re awesome…though they’re rather delicate in a few places. Take time and care removing them from their packages, especially the surprisingly delicate Demogorgon. But do the figures hold any clues for the second season? Don’t ask me – ask them. Continue reading →
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been looking at your forlorn, staffed-only-by-Stormtroopers vintage Kenner Death Star playset and you’ve been thinking to yourself, “Hey, you know who would look good in the gunner seat of that top-floor cannon? The Demogorgon would.” Fortunately, Funko, the makers of the Stranger Things vinyl pops, hears us. Coming this August, Funko is rolling out two boxed sets of action figures based on the addictive Netflix show…which means you can sit down with the gang to watch the new season this Halloween and look nervously over at Will Byers and wonder “is he okay?”
The accessories are to die for: Lucas has his slingshot. Eleven has some Eggos, as she should. The Demogorgon…well…that’s scary enough without accessories.
These figures are in the “Star Wars scale” (assuming 3 3/4″ as the height of an average adult male), so they are most definitely compatible with your existing collection. They can hang out with Twiki and catch a ride in Luke’s landspeeder…and they can hide out while Batman fights the Demogorgon.
These are the Stranger Things we’ve been waiting for…now we just have to wait…patiently…possibly in a cupboard with a string of Christmas lights. Or maybe that’s just me.
Brace yourselves, soundtrack fans, because this summer’s going to get just a little bit expensive if you’re into vinyl. If you’re not into vinyl…sorry, it’s still going to be expensive. There’s good stuff on the way. Starstuff.
Even though it had a digital release shortly after the series premiered, Intrada Records is releasing the first volume of Alan Silvestri‘s astronomically awesome music from Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Best of all, even if you’ve already done the download thing, Intrada’s CDs contain bonus tracks not included in the digital edition.
Slightly more down-to-earth are a couple of new Tadlow releases, Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic (the last film scored by the late, great Elmer Bernstein of Ghostbusters fame), and a fresh new re-recording of Dmitri Tiomkin‘s score from Duel In The Sun, getting an epic 2-CD treatment.
Like Tadlow’s recent re-recording of Jerry Goldsmith’s music from the classic Thriller TV series, Duel In The Sun was painstakingly recreated and digitally re-recorded by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Nic Raine.
Now, while you’re listening to the rousing notes of Tiomkin’s masterpiece brought back to life, prepare your wallet for an epic July. I’m giving you a heads-up so you can start saving a few bucks now for what’s to come.
July will see the release of Walt Disney Records’ Legacy Collection release of Robin Hood, scored by George Bruns. Something tells me, however, that you can probably expect to hear Roger Miller sing a song here or there as well.
For decades, the only way to get Silent Running was to track down the original vinyl LP, consisting of Peter “P.D.Q. Bach” Schickele‘s moody score and Joan Baez‘s folksy contributions; late last year, Intrada made many a Silent Running fan happy by finally giving this soundtrack an official CD release after more than 40 years (and by the way, the CD’s still available). But now Silent Running is headed back to vinyl, with Varese Sarabande pressing a new run of green LPs befitting the movie’s environmental themes.
Is that all? Grab some Pop Tarts and brace yourself, for that is not all.
Lakeshore Records is rolling out deluxe LP pressings of both volumes of Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein‘s moody, Moogy music from Netflix’s Stranger Things. Now, if you’ve been visiting the Retroist for the past year or so, you know we love us some Stranger Things around here, and I think we’re in agreement that this package does not disappoint. Volume 1 and Volume 2 can both be pre-ordered from Amazon ahead of their July 14th release, but be prepared for a Demogorgon-sized price tag for the sheer amount of Stranger Things goodness you’ll be getting.
Want an even stranger blast from the past?
July will also see (sadly, no pre-order links available at press time) a cassette release of music from Stranger Things, complete with a cardboard sleeve and inner artwork mimicking the look of a VHS tape. This release will be exclusive to Urban Outfitters, and might come in a little bit cheaper than the LPs. If you’ve been wanting your Stranger Things soundtrack in a more novel format, this is your summer – remember to crank it up to Eleven.
On that note, let’s have a little more Duel In The Sun, courtesy of Tadlow Records and the City of Prague Philharmonic. The summer of soundtrack music is here, and it’s only going to get stranger.
Most fans of Netflix’s Stranger Things would naturally agree that Millie Bobby Brown was the breakout star. Her performance as Eleven certainly blew us fans away and that is fact. In addition however I will claim that Shannon Purser’s role of Barb is Stranger Things most memorable character.
I would say that in addition to a great character, it was Purser’s bittersweet performance, that has garnered such fans. So much so that I am quite excited to announce that those geniuses at ThinkGeek have released a new book. Patterned after the global phenomenon of Where’s Waldo line of object-finding puzzle books. Where’s Barb? gives us a Stranger Thing’s twist!
Where’s Barb? images courtesy of ThinkGeek.
Here is what ThinkGeek has to say about Where’s Barb?: “The 1980s hold a lot of great childhood memories for us. It was a time when phones were still tethered to our wood-paneled walls. A time of Choose Your Own Adventure books. Of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Of Cabbage Patch Kids and Trivial Pursuit. And in the late 80s, we were introduced to a phenomenon known as “Where’s Waldo?”
It seems only right that a series which so effectively evoked the atmosphere of the 80s, Netflix’s Stranger Things, would team up with the creators of Where’s Waldo to produce this crossover, Where’s Barb? Search the little town of Hawkins for Barbara Holland. Maybe she’s studying with Nancy. Wait. Why’s her car a couple of blocks from Steve’s house? The police are pretty sure she just ran away. But is that her Trapper Keeper peeking out from under that bush? We promise searching for Barb will be hours of fun for the whole family!
I direct you to any of the ThinkGeek links if you too feel like ordering a copy of Where’s Barb?
Of course you crafty folks already know this is but an April Fool’s Day joke. However, this is ThinkGeek, so you can in fact hop on over and vote for it to become a real product. Not only that but also you might want to check out the Bicycle Horn of Gondor first…of course you can vote for both! In other words, share this with your friends so we can get Where’s Barb? actually made!
It is no big secret that Stranger Things kind of took off like wildfire here at the Retroist Vault. There are quite a few reasons why it managed to entrance us all. Naturally the easiest aspect of the series that attracted us was how it was a massive love letter to the 80s. From film posters to toys and music – it reminded us of the time most of us grew up in.
Of course there was also the fact that it boasted a terrific cast. Stranger Things wouldn’t have been even half as enjoyable if not for the actors. While Millie Bobby Brown was the breakout star with her portrayal of Eleven. There was Finn Wolfhard as Mike, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas, Noah Schnapp as Will, and Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin as well. Each and everyone of these young actors brought memorable performances. In addition to the work by the supporting cast like Winona Ryder, David Harbour and so many others.
Furthermore there was the Lovecraftian horror meets Ridley Scott’s Alien by way of The Thing. Which presented more than a few scares throughout the Netflix series!
Another thing that creators Matt and Ross Duffer peppered throughout Stranger Things were nods to Star Wars. Which makes a ton of sense for children growing up in the 80s. I mean with Mike and his group who play Dungeons and Dragons. It’s not that hard to see them being fans of the Star Wars series as well, right?
Thanks to artist extraordinaire Michael Maher Jr. we can now see how the kids from Stranger Things would look in the Star Wars universe. Moreover perhaps that would now be the Stranger Wars films?
Image courtesy of Michael Maher Jr.
While I do love the idea of Finn playing Han and Noah as Luke. It really is Millie as Princess Leia and Gaten as Chewbacca that really makes it fantastic. The fact that in Maher’s Stranger Wars artwork Chewie is wearing Dustin’s hat – just a cherry on top. I wonder though…would Ryder and Harbour’s characters be R2 and Threepio?