by Saidah Hawkins | staff writer
The Netflix original show that stole the hearts of many as it paid homage to 1980s classics like Spielberg’s ET and Gygax and Arneson’s Dungeons and Dragons, Stranger Things, made a comeback with its second season last Friday.
Upon the release, some binge-watched the whole thing on Friday night, while others took it one or two episodes at a time to refrain from freaking out over Dustin’s smile or the well-being of Will Byers. Others waited until Halloween night to gather around a bowl of popcorn with friends and gasped and cackled at the jokes and suspense on their TV screen. There are even the people putting it off until Thanksgiving break because they have too many shows to watch right now. Regardless, they all have one thing in common — they are a fan, and this is for them.
When it premiered during the summer of 2016, the show instantly gained a large following; and as a fandom grows, it’s demand for merchandise grows along with it.
Now the show has its second season out — Stranger Things 2 — and unlike the first season, there wasn’t much of a cliffhanger. Everything you’d expect or hope to happen, happened; but of course the Duffer Brothers leave us on what seems like an everlasting note of ‘What now?’ or ‘What does that mean?’.
In addition to an odd ending, more clothes, toys, and trinkets have come out; almost to distract us from the impending anxiety loomed over our heads at the odd ending.
Hot Topic began selling Stranger Things merchandise during late November of 2016 — T-shirts with logos and Hawkins Middle strewn across the front — and recently gained even more merchandise with the premiere of Stranger Things 2. With the installation of Stranger Things merchandise the pricing remained the same and left some fans disappointed, but not surprised. The new content looks a lot better and more appealing than your average logo and school name.
However most recently, Target and Netflix have teamed up to sell Stranger Things merchandise through retail; simple and more affordable than your local Hot Topic.
Target has and always will be looking for more ways to to get people into their popcorn-scented stores with diversified products to sell. Mark Tritton, Target executive VP and chief merchandising officer said in a Mashable blog post last month that more Netflix themed items are coming soon.
“Netflix and the wildly popular programs they create have become part of our culture and our guests’ everyday lives,” Tritton said. “This unique partnership offers guests access to merchandise they’ll find only at Target, and while we’re getting started with Stranger Things, our plans to expand deeper into the Netflix lineup will provide guests with ongoing newness and even more reasons to shop with Target.”
Netflix VP, Shauna Spenley, stated that Netflix was very excited to create the partnership in the same Mashable post.
“We’re excited to connect fans with the shows they love,” Spenley said. “The launch of our ‘Stranger Things’ merchandise with Target is part of a broader marketing approach that reflects the overall Netflix experience.”
Spenley isn’t the only one excited about the new merchandise that’s hitting arguably everyone’s favorite retail store. Picture it: what’s usually sold on Amazon or Hot Topic in your local Target? It seems unbelievable, but it’s here and the fans are here for it.
This partnership was created to bring Stranger Things merchandise closer to the fans and easier to access. Not only is Target supplying apparel but even an Eggo card game, keychains, bracelets, hoodies, mug, shot glasses, and Funko! Pop action figures that feature Lucas’ iconic Rambo and the Demogorgon’s toothy face will be available to the masses. Who needs to play Uno or Go Fish when you can cast your family and friends to the dangers of the upside down?
This partnership isn’t only for Netflix VPs and Target officials; it’s for the fans that didn’t have a ride to the mall, but had to go to Target for a carton of eggs; it’s for the fans that may have not had $35 but maybe even $15; it’s for the fans that aren’t even fans but want to have a pink monster with a mouth for a face on their dresser — it’s for us, it’s for everyone.
So get outside, call that uber, or ask your mom for a ride, and get yourself on over to Target and buy the ‘Justice for Barb’ T-shirt you know the world deserves.
“We couldn’t imagine a better partner than Target.” Spenley said.