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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

Coca-Cola is bringing back a drink it iced more than three decades ago, and we have "Stranger Things" to thank.

The soft drink giant announced Tuesday that New Coke, an extra-sweet version of its signature drink that famously tanked in the 1980s, is making a limited return to promote the new season of the Netflix sci-fi hit, which is set in 1985.

A limited number of 12-ounce cans will be sold starting at 5 p.m. on Thursday. Fans craving a taste of '80s nostalgia (and a jolt of sugar) can get some if they buy at least two bottles of "Stranger Things"-themed Coke or Coke Zero in 8-ounce bottles at the company's online store.

There also will be "upside-down" vending machines filled with New Coke in select cities starting in New York on Thursday. (In "Stranger Things," the Upside Down is an alternate dimension that parallels the real world.)

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But don't plan on sipping the throwback cola all summer. Just 500,000 cans will be available between the online store and vending machines, the company told The New York Times.

The third season of "Stranger Things," which will be released on July 4, is set in the summer of 1985 and includes a few appearances by New Coke.

New Coke joins Trapper Keepers and He-Man dolls as the latest nostalgia item to pop up on "Stranger Things." Netflix

The character Karen Wheeler, played by Cara Buono, can be seen sipping one poolside in a trailer for the new season.

The company said it had to retrieve the recipe from a safe and took six months to re-create it, while also resurrecting the design of the old cans.

The return comes 34 years after Coca-Cola pulled New Coke off shelves after just 79 days.

At the time, the only other alternate Coke flavors were Cherry Coke and Diet Coke.

A change to the core formula had fans howling in protest and caused some hoard cans of the traditional stuff like it was fine wine.

Coke fans were not having it when New Coke replaced the traditional formula for a brief period in 1985. Corbis via Getty Images

The era of New Coke fizzled out on July 11, 1985, when president and CEO Don Keough said in a televised press conference that they were bringing the classic recipe back.

"Some critics will say Coca-Cola has made a marketing mistake, and some cynics will say that we planned the whole thing," he said. "The truth … is we’re not that dumb and we’re not that smart."

The new-old soda may find a friendlier audience in today's market, where a host of different flavors like vanilla orange and blueberry acai are welcomed.

"No one would have ever thought we’d produce New Coke again after what happened in 1985, but we all agreed that if we wanted to partner with Netflix and Stranger Things in a truly culturally relevant way that would resonate with our fans – and theirs – then we had to make the New Coke story come to life," Oana Vlad, director of Coca-Cola Trademark, said in a news release.