Awesome '80s-Inspired Gifts Fans of Stranger Things Will Love

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Netflix's Stranger Things is the surprise mega-hit of 2016. It’s an instantly addictive mash-up of sci-fi, horror and comedy, with a dash of coming-of-age drama thrown in for good measure.

The show is a neon-lit love letter to the movies, music and TV of the '80s, and gleefully wears its inspirations on its sleeve. We've pinpointed nine of the biggest influences on the show, and dug up an awesome, nostalgia-licious gift item for each, for yourself or your Stranger Things-mad loved one. Minor spoilers ahead, but nothing that'll ruin your enjoyment of the show – honest! 
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The Clash – Sound System Box Set

The Clash play a key role in Stranger Things. They're the band that Will and big bro Jonathan bond over, and their 1982 hit Should I Stay Or Should I Go is a recurring motif throughout the series.

If Stranger Things has left you hungry for more from the punk pioneers, then the band's Sound System box set is the best way to gorge yourself daft. Initially released in 2013, it contains almost every Clash recording ever, plus a DVD, stickers, prints, badges and dog tags, all packaged in a magnificently '80s boombox. Ace. 
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Aliens Statue

When it came to designing their permanently lurking monster, the Stranger Things team clearly looked to James Cameron's 1986 sci-fi horror Aliens – the sequel to 1979's Alien – for inspiration. From its appearance to its habits, the show's big bad 'thing' has plenty in common with Cameron's fearsome space-gits.

As pant-wettingly scary as the Xenomorphs of Aliens are, the Aliens statue is undeniably cool-looking, and worthy of a spot on the shelf of any '80s movie fan. 
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John Carpenter – Halloween/Escape From New York 12-Inch Vinyl

The spooky soundtracks of legendary director/musician John Carpenter were a key influence on the retro synthesiser tinklings of Stranger Things.

Two of his best-loved musical works – the themes to 1978's Halloween and 1981's Escape From New York – were reissued together earlier this year on a highly desirable John Carpenter mirror-sleeved 12-inch. If you're A) a record collector, B) a Stranger Things fan and C) a John Carpenter devotee – or you know someone who fits that description – then this is a must-have-right-now item.
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Millennium Falcon Drone

As befits a show that's centred around young boys and is set three years after the release of The Empire Strikes Back, the shadow of Star Wars looms large over Stranger Things.

The boys constantly make reference to George Lucas' beloved cinematic universe, particularly in relation to the telekinetic Elle. They see her as a real-life Jedi, while Dustin repeatedly frets that she's a Lando – in other words, an untrustworthy back-stabber. In one memorable scene, a bored Elle levitates Mike's Millennium Falcon toy, just for something to do – a feat that you can recreate at home with this extremely cool Millennium Falcon drone.
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E.T. Plush Toy

The references to Spielberg's 1982 sci-fi tear-jerker E.T. the Extra Terrestrial come thick and fast in Stranger Things. There's Winona Ryder's single mum struggling with two boys; kids riding around in packs on BMXs; a blonde moppet baby sister; government agents in hazmat suits; a lo-fi communication device; the E.T./Elliot relationship of Elle/Mike... The similarities are endless and 100% deliberate. 

If, like us, you're still pretty cut-up about E.T. zooming off back to his home planet, you can help to heal that heartbreak with an E.T. plush toy. It'll never leave you, although it'll also never make your bike fly.  
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Pretty In Pink DVD

Brilliantly portrayed by Joe Keery, obnoxious rich-boy Steve Harrington is just as much the villain of Stranger Things as the unstoppable monster or the sociopathic Dr Brenner. If the character feels familiar, that's perhaps because he's a dead ringer for arrogant playboy Steff McKee (James Spader) from John Hughes' classic teen romance Pretty In Pink

There are a lot of reasons to re-watch the movie, 30 years on from its release – the clothes; the songs; Mollie Ringwald at the peak of her Mollie Ringwaldness – but boo-ing and hiss-ing Steff is definitely the most fun of them.   
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'The Goonies' T-shirt

The parallels between 1985's The Goonies and Stranger Things are pretty obvious – an unsupervised group of kids head out on an increasingly dangerous mission that requires them to dig deep and draw on every scrap of bravery, ingenuity and determination they can muster. Plus, both sets of kids are, let's be honest now, kinda nerdy.
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Firestarter By Stephen King

If you've ever read Stephen King's 1980 bestseller Firestarter – or seen the 1984 movie adaptation, starring Drew Barrymore – you'll know that its plot informed that of Stranger Things: A young girl with telekinetic powers is imprisoned and controlled by a shady government agency. Sound familiar? It's one of King's most gripping and chilling early novels, and definitely worth a revisit – just be sure to seek out an original '80s paperback for maximum authentic retro-ness. 
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Stand By Me Poster

Rob Reiner's much-loved 1986 coming-of-age movie was a big influence on Stranger Things. A tight-knit gang of young boys escape parental intrusion to embark on an increasingly high-stakes adventure – that description could apply to Stranger Things as much as it does Stand By Me. The film's evocative (and wall-worthy) poster features one of its most memorable lines: “If I could only choose one food to eat for the rest of my life? That's easy. Pez. Cherry flavour Pez. No question about it.”
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