A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions

Sorry Uncle Sam, but Stranger Things 3 wins this year’s holiday. Because come Fourth of July, Americans won’t be watching fireworks over their neighborhoods, but across the rural sprawl of Hawkins, Indiana. It’s event television at its finest, especially for Netflix.

No kidding. The streaming giant is treating the forthcoming season like a summer blockbuster. One look around and it’s impossible not to see either a Demogorgon sundae or a pair of Steve Harrington sneaks. It’s like we’re back in the era of the ’80s blockbuster.

Of course, that’s the point. This season takes place in 1985, essentially the salad days of marketing tie-ins and summer blockbusters. What’s more, the action centers around Hawkins’ new Starcourt Mall, adding even more opportunities for nostalgic goods.

So, it’s clever planning on Netflix’s part to roll out such a colossal marketing campaign. It’s also a little fun, too, if only because so many of the tie-ins pair up with what’s happening in the series. After all, who wouldn’t want some S.S. Butterscotch from Scoops Ahoy?

Well, now you can over at Baskin-Robbins. Before you do, though, peruse our guide below of all the many, many Stranger promotional tie-ins available. We’ve included the Upside Down Whopper, a can of New Coke, and even tossed in that cool Lego set.

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Baskin Robbins

Stranger Things x Baskin Robbins

“I Am Going to Bring It Home!” Baskin Robbins really takes the cake this summer, no pun intended. In an attempt to capture the magic of Starcourt’s Scoops Ahoy, where Steve and Robin work, 31 Flavors is offering nearly just as many marketing tie-ins. For strictly ice cream, they have specialized sundaes (we’re partial to the gorgeous Demogorgon Sundae), pre-packed quarts (we have at least two U.S.S. Butterscotch’s in the freezer), and a cookie pie dubbed Byer’s House Lights (we’re waiting for the premiere).

On top of that, they also have a whole range of take-home promotions. Depending on the participating store, you can find Scoop’s Ahoy shirts, plastic tubs with iconography all over ’em, magnets, stickers, and, yes, a collectible Funko Pop. More specifically, a collectible Steve Harrington Funko Pop, who’s holding a Baskin Robbins banana split. In fact, speaking of Steve, each store has a cutout stand-in for primo Instagram selfies. Right on cue, this writer took one on the first day of this promotion.

Hawkins Lab Analysis: 11 out of 11

scoops ahoy A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions

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Bonus, XP

Stranger Things 3: The Game

“I Am Going to Bring It Home!” Years ago, Bonus XP created a 16-bit Stranger Things game that was so remarkable the Duffers hired them to make an official one for Season Three. According to its press release, the game is a “meticulously crafted Action Adventure RPG that pays homage to the 16-bit era.” The two trailers suggest a game as epic as the season, giving players a chance to control their favorite characters, be it Lucas or Hopper, Joyce or Eleven. Essentially, you’ll be joining The Battle of Starcourt.

Seeing how the OG game was such a blast, we’re confident Bonus XP came through again. After all, this is a season readymade for this type of game, given its scope and breadth of action, so they don’t need to derail too far from the story to make it fun. It’s also impossible to make a game out of this season without offering up a playable Steve Harrington sprite, so that’s another major plus. Grab it July 4th via Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Mac, PC, and mobile devices.

Hawkins Lab Analysis: 11 out of 11

stranger things arcade surprise A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions

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Burger King

Burger King x Stranger Things

“I Am Going to Bring It Home!” We’re disappointed in Burger King. Sure, the literal Upside Down Whopper is a funny joke, but it’s also remarkably lazy. At a time when so many mid-tier burger joints are jazzing up their patties, we’re surprised there isn’t at least something that distinguishes this Whopper from, say, a mishandled order. Maybe some maple syrup? Waffle fries at the very least? On the plus side, the vintage branding tickles that nostalgic bone, but we expected more from the King. A lot more.

Hawkins Lab Analysis: 3 out of 11

hopper angry A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions

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Coca-Cola

NewCoke Kit V6 Optimized A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions

“I Am Going to Bring It Home!” Coca-Cola probably doesn’t feel too nostalgic about the Summer of 1985. New Coke was a total flop and their efforts to sweeten their product against Pepsi melted in the hot sun. (Rest assured, Pepsi would get a crystal clear look at how this feels years later.) So, it’s kind of funny to see it make a comeback, but, hey, anytime to capitalize on a national event, right? This one’s smart, though, and given that New Coke factors heavily into Season Three, kids everywhere will want a taste.

Like any good marketing campaign, Coca-Cola has been having a little fun in the Upside Down. They’ve dropped themed vending machines in random locales across America. They’re offering all kinds of vintage shirts. They’re even shipping out specialized black boxes that collectors have already ordered for future stocking. All in all, it’s a clever tie-in that has also given us this incredible commercial featuring Dustin and Steve…

Hawkins Lab Analysis: 9 out of 11

new coke steve dustin A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions

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Eggo

Eggos x Stranger Things

“I Am Going to Bring It Home!” Stranger Things and Eggos go together like Jonathan and Nancy. Ever since Eleven ate the frozen waffles in Mike Wheeler’s basement, the show has been married to the stuff. Now, you can’t search Stranger Things without at least one image involving the branding. That’s why this marketing tie-in is the work of a mouth breather. Duh. Obviously. Why hasn’t this happened already? Well, better late than never, and like Coca-Cola, Eggos are also heading back to the ’80s.

“Stock up for the big 4th of July bash 1985-style,” their website reads. “Order the Limited Edition 1985 Eggo Box from AmazonFresh now while you still can!” Don’t have AmazonFresh? Get ready to chase ’em. “After the 4th of July, keep the retro Eggo celebration going. Hunt for the rare Limited Edition 1985 Eggo Boxes in select stores across the US, beginning in July, while supplies last.” Fact: Collectors love to hunt, so don’t be surprised to find fans slumming it in the frozen section this summer.

Now, if only they brought back Apple Cinnamon Eggos.

Hawkins Lab Analysis: 7 out of 11

eleven eggo gif A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions

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Funko Pops

Stranger Things 3 x Funko

“I Am Going to Bring It Home!” Funko makes a little Pop figure for just about everything these days, but Stranger Things remains one of the more sought after IPs among collectors. For Season 3, they’re actually timing the release of the Pops to the premiere of the series, which means fans can clutch their Magnum P.I. Hopper or their Scoops Steve while watching all the action go down on the Fourth. Not that this writer does that.

Again, it’s all about the chase, and there are already a few exclusives. Target has a glow-in-the-dark Will the Wise, which reads like candy to collectors, while Baskin Robbins has the aforementioned Steve variant. There’s also a Camp Nowhere Dustin roaming around Walmart. Beyond that, Funko has a range of dolls and minis coming down the road, including this Steve plush that will absolutely, 100% find its way on to my couch. It’s for decorative purposes, though. Sincerely! C’mon, people.

Hawkins Lab Analysis: 11 out of 11

stranger things toys A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions

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H&M

h m stranger things 1 A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions

“I Am Going to Bring It Home!” Part of the fun of this entire marketing blitz is how companies have taken particular segments of the new season. H&M, for instance, headed straight to the Hawkins Pool for their own campaign. It’s a wise move, too, considering so much of Season 3 revolves around the watering hole. Without spoiling too much, it’s where the villainous Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) works, only he’s hardly a bully to the mothers, who all watch his hunky moves with hungry eyes.

So, if you’re looking to ape Billy’s style, H&M is where you want to go. They’ve got shirts and gear that are seemingly ripped straight from the screen, in addition to a healthy allotment of Stranger Things-stamped water ware. (We’re partial to the pair of rosy red shades and the Demogorgon shirt, the latter of which now belongs to New Music Editor Lake Schatz.) What’s more, it’s incredibly affordable, so your wallet can stay outta the deep end, which is something we can’t say for another clothing promotion.

Hawkins Lab Analysis: 10 out of 11

billy stranger things A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions

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Lakeshore/Legacy Records

Stranger Things 3 Original Score

“I Am Going to Bring It Home!” Once again, Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon of S U R V I V E returned to compose another block of essential electronic music. Like their past four releases — we’re including Season 2’s spinoff album Halloween Sounds of the Upside Down — the 41 tracks that make up the Season 3 score work just as well off screen. “Starcourt”, “You’re a Fighter”, “Rats”, and “Aftermath” will brilliantly soundtrack your day, whether you need some tension, some action, or a little heartbreak. You could also pair it with the soundtrack if you need a little more ’80s pop in your life. Who doesn’t?

Hawkins Lab Analysis: 11 out of 11

steve harrignton A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions

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Lego

lego stranger things A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions

“I Am Going to Bring It Home!” It was only a matter of time before Lego turned Upside Down. The blockbuster blocks traded imagination for IP ages ago, so Stranger Things is a fitting addition to their evolving roster. Their first crack is the Byers’ Residence, which also doubles for the Upside Down Byers’ Residence as you can see above. To be fair, it’s a very elaborate setup, though fans have already complained it’s wobbly and prone to falling apart. That’s not good for everyone, especially not for all the Mrs. Wheelers out there looking to keep a clean ship. Even so, the possibilities for this partnership is endless, and we’re just waiting for one gigantic Starcourt Mall playset. Please?

Hawkins Lab Analysis: 7 out of 11

lego stranger things A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions

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Levi’s

Levi x Stranger Things

“I Am Going to Bring It Home!” On one hand, Levi’s more or less answers the question, “Where do I find their clothing?” On the other hand, they also take all of your money. Want that cool getup Eleven wears throughout Season 3? Be prepared to fork over a few hundred bucks. How about the jean jacket Billy seems to live in? Save up. Hell, even a fun Hopper sweater will cost you over $100 bucks. Those are some big city numbers for a little small town fare, and might be just enough to send you thrifting on Poshmark. Then again, you could always support your local brick and mortars by sorting through their racks. This writer has found too many Member’s Only jackets that way.

Hawkins Lab Analysis: 6 out 11

angry eleven A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions

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Major League Baseball

MLB x Stranger Things

“I Am Going to Bring It Home!” One of the stranger partnerships this season involves the MLB. All throughout June, stadiums across America have been celebrating “Stranger Things Nights.” The activations vary from city to city, though the Chicago Cubs recently hosted theirs this past Monday, and it was quite an event. Stars Dacre Montgomery and Cary Elwes appeared, exclusive merchandise was available, fanny packs were handed out, an ’80s cover band played, and vendors were even selling Eggo Waffle Chips. To top it all off, the iconic Wrigley Field sign was turned into the Upside Down using a special Snapchat filter. Sadly, the players weren’t permitted to use Steve Harrington’s bat.

Hawkins Lab Analysis: 8 out of 11

steve A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions

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McFarlane Toys

McFarlane x Stranger Things

“I Am Going to Bring It Home!” McFarlane can make an epic figure. They kicked the door down for horror and sci-fi merchandise back in the ’90s, and they’re starting to come back swinging. Their past couple of lines for Stranger Things have been nothing short of incredible. Eleven, Hopper, and the kids in their Ghostbusters costumes are all worth the shelf space. But for Season 3, they added articulation, and it’s turned Eleven and Hopkins into creepy mannequins. Fix that and we’ll come back.

Hawkins Lab Analysis: 2 out 11

jonathan stranger things A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions

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Nike

Nike x Stranger Things

“I Am Going to Bring It Home!” Nike is no stranger to a good marketing opportunity. (Okay, we’ll stop with the puns. Christ.) That’s why we’re not the least bit surprised at how cool their partnership with Stranger Things is this season. They’re offering a whole line of vintage sneaks and sports ware, and they even devised a cool backstory to go with it. The gist is that a bunch of Nike shipments were lost in the summer of 1985, and they’ve only since started to pop up. It’s a fun, easy story, right?

What’s not so easy is finding the strength to refrain from purchasing. Because really, these sneaks are great. They’re phenomenal even. They’re also split up into two separate lines, which should torture any self-respecting collector. Our advice? Choose wisely. When it comes to the “Hawkins High” Collection, the High Blazer Mids are the way to go. As for the OG Collection? We’re leaning on the Cortez, which even has the same colors as — you guessed it — Steve Harrington’s.

On June 27th, aka tomorrow, Nike releases the “Hawkins High” collection with the “OG” line to follow on July 1st. As the official site promises, each shoe comes with original-inspired Nike packaging and special edition pins. Though, if you’re not into the sneaks, you could always pick up a shirt, a hat, and a hooded sweatshirt with Hawkins iconography. Then you can sweat at the gym like Billy and Steve.

Hawkins Lab Analysis: 11 out of 11

billy steve A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions

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Schwinn

Schwinn x Stranger Things

“I Am Going to Bring It Home!” Back in May, Schwinn released another limited edition Stranger Things bike. This time, it was modeled after Lucas’ (Caleb McLaughlin) bike, and just like the first bike, it sold out almost instantaneously. They even hosted a contest where one winner could take home all the swag that gives Lucas his swagger. His headband. His slingshot. Even his He-Man action figure. Whoever won is the luckiest Dungeon Master out there. For you, though, eBay.

Hawkins Lab Analysis: 6 out of 11

lucas stranger things A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions

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Target

Target x Stranger Things

“I Am Going to Bring It Home!” Back in 2017, Target became the de-facto hotspot for Stranger Things merchandise, and that remains the case today. In fact, you could almost credit them for keeping the brand alive between each season. (Particularly the year-and-half gap between Stranger 2 and 3.) From lunch boxes to board games, pins to collective tumblers, the store has everything and anything Stranger Things. It’s almost impossible to keep up with all of it, which is why you shouldn’t.

However, you might want to stay clued in for any and all exclusives. One tie-in for Season 3 is a partnership with Funko that includes a couple of vintage backpacks and water bottles. Yeah, that’s not much, but what Target does have is variety. So, while you might not be hip to those things, a replica of Dustin’s trademark blue and red cap might catch your eye for the beach. Basically, if you’re a collector, and you love to search, you might want to aim for the Target. Ah, that worked out nicely.

Hawkins Lab Analysis: 11 out of 11

starcourt gif A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions

A Guide to All the Stranger Things 3 Merch and Promotions
Michael Roffman

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