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Anyone Find The Lack Of Muppet Merch Disturbing?

Discussion in 'Muppet Merchandise' started by beaker, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    I had predicted, or at least feared we wouldnt get any merchandise. I mean people are getting excited over Muppet nail polish, rubber bands and "snuggies"...that shows you how hard up people are for *any* merchandise. I was surprised they released a beaker, walter, and pepe plush. I think the Walter plush is the only movie specific thing released. At LEAST with past films, we had quite a lot of movie fast food tie-ins.

    Im not sure if it's a disrespect of the Muppet fans or more of the same old thinking of how Muppets is some niche core they can brush over. Im not a big fan of Disney, and Ive sadly even lost my enthusiasm over Pixar. But even so, it was sad seeing Disney make the Muppets their main movie of the season, yet all you saw was princess stuff, cars, etc and then a tiny little end cap of mostly lame Muppet stuff(the plushes were the only cool thing...the rest was badly photoshopped crap slapped onto mugs and recycleable bags)
  2. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    i'm perplexed. Once again, we did get a healthy amount of items, not just snuggies. However we did not get a windfall. Few things are getting a windfall.

    Star wars toys may not excite the people here, but they rake in a lot of sales from faithful customers of all ages. Disney's Cars and Princess items are very, very, very big business all year-round.

    The Muppets will just take a little longer for general retail interest. That will come with the success of the movie. Such general retail interest has nothing to do with Disney and everything to do with people who want to pay for the license to make their products. If anyone's embarrassed, it's the companies that passed on an opportunity to partner with Disney to make some Muppet stuff. I'm sure they're making plans now.

    Also, keep in mind that products don't spontaneously happen. They can take 4-12 months from conception to store shelves depending on the type of item. I hope they'll do something with the DVD push. We'll see. I just don't see the point in complaining. I think the point is that there just aren't figures. That's 99% of the gripe and I'm disappointed in that too.
    theprawncracker likes this.
  3. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    The Targets I was at were clearing out the larger playsets, but not the smaller 4 dollar carded figures. Even then, it's seasonal clearance. Even the solidly selling Sonic Generations figures were on clearance, to which, there was only a Tails and a Sonic left, and when I went to grab the Tails after deciding to get him, the Sonic was gone. Still, the Smurfs movie toys did gangbusters in late July/August when they came out. But the Playsets didn't move that much.

    Still, I feel the Muppets could pull that off, small, carded, minimally posible figures that go for 3-5 bucks each. It would be the best way to get as many characters as possible if nothing else. Kids would snap up that kind of Muppet figure.

    That's basically the market the retailers felt the Muppets could crack... generic crummy general retail merchandise. We're getting bandaids and kids books and stuff like that... it's only on that foundation that we'll get something grander in the long run. Sure, it's a shame that Arthur Christmas has a huge, full line of TRU exclusive merchandise... action figures, smaller figures, plush, ornaments... but NO ONE was biting. On the one hand, how sad is it that a 50+ year old franchise can't crack the market and a throwaway holiday movie can, but on the other hand, what if we had excellent Muppet toys sitting on the shelves on deep clearance with no one touching it.

    Sure, I think they were FAR too cautious on this end... but no one actually buys merchandise anymore other than collectors. Everything has to be digital crap.

    That said, there's no excuse that they didn't release the unfinished iPhone apps to co-incide with the movie.
  4. a_Mickey_Muppet

    a_Mickey_Muppet Well-Known Member

    Jamie, brother.......Beaker and Tooth WILL and always will whine as far as im concerned about "oooh not enuff stuff boo hoo!" on the MC boards. We did get a healthy amount of items like you said (ive also seen em myself & bought some!) but they rather pout "oh well i wish Mcdonalds had toys" or "its not enuff for me" and blah blah blah...I take it Beaker that DOESNT know how Disney stores are run ( LOVE "Nightmare before christmas") and they always have "a little area in a corner" of "Nightamare stuff"! Christ dude!!! :rolleyes:

    i swear SOMETIMES when i see they post whiny crap like this i wanna leave the MC boards....but i aint gonna! :scary:
  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Don't lump me in with that. I completely understand BOTH sides of the problem. Merchandise doesn't move the way it used to, and things have to be different and done smarter.

    I could care less about Nail Polish, Snuggies, and feetie pajamas, BUT they're not made for me, they're made for a more general retail. THAT'S who we have to hit up for merchandising, and as far as that stuff goes, it proves the market is slowly starting to get saturated. The Valentines, kid's books, sippy cups and Bandaids are proof they're branching out. Will I buy any of those? Maybe the Bandaids and the Valentines... but it really shouldn't matter if these things appeal to me if the general public buys them. Heck, if the general public buys that stuff, it sets up a foundation of more merchandising, INCLUDING some collector's friendly stuff.

    That said, the toy industry is a freaking mess anyway... even if we had something new with the Muppets, they'd find a way to screw it up somehow.
  6. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I must admit to have seen the nail polish display in store windows a lot while walking from place to place. I wasn't even looking for it. I'm sure others have seen it and are buying the product even though I passed on it.

    My guess is that Disney did shop The Muppets film products around to manufacturers and retailers and many passed on making Muppet things. I hate hearing how Disney somehow dropped the ball. They have done so much right with this film. Not all of the design was to my liking, but it worked! They dominated Film, Television, Tee Shirts, Radio, and live appearances like the Lighting of the White House Christmas Tree! There are products. It's a solid C effort. I'll admit that, but there is much stuff and more likely to come.

    Disney did what they could in their stores. Kids and adults alike could have their choice of Muppet plush, shirts, Vinylmation figures, mugs and other items under their Christmas trees. I think this does boil down to Muppet figures. Not a lack of product. Figures.
    theprawncracker likes this.
  7. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I came to understand that too. Disney hit the market first with products the nostalgia crazed general public would buy. The kid's stuff had to come out closer to the movie's release. The toy companies would rather jump on some throwaway CGI film than something that has a stable presence before and after a film, that's not Disney's fault.

    Heck, the plush toys at the Disney Store were the third top seller at Disney locations right after Princesses and Cars, right above more Princesses and more Cars. Now, The Disney store is seasonally clearing out half the Cars stuff, The Muppet section (at least at the store I was in) was coffee Mugs, a few shirts, and a lone Fozzie. I think that while Disney had a nice presence in the stores, they underestimated how well these would do. Even the Lion King Plush didn't move that fast (I blame the fact they had the generic giraffe). That's a good thing that leads to more Muppet Stuff down the line.

    Plus, every time I go, Muppet Vynalmations are the only ones that actually sell.
  8. Writersright

    Writersright Member

    I'm surprised that we didn't get to see a tie-in video game. Disney loves to release games to tie in with movies, although the quality of these games is disputable. Still, a psn/xbox live remake/port of RaceMania with online functionality would be pretty swell.
  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I don't know if the Little Big Planet costumes counted or not...

    But The Muppets never had any really good video games. It is strange there's no tie in... even Up got a game, and that was a very under-merchandised movie. There's rumblings that one's going to happen on the horizon, even though we haven't had any word other than a voice recasting of incidental roles. There's going to be a Muppet expansion pack for Disney Universe. That's all I know.

    I do think we should have got a re-release for digital download of the Muppet Racemania game. Maybe a couple others. I don't see why they couldn't also finish the 2 iPhone apps they announced a couple years ago.
  10. Oxyriffs

    Oxyriffs New Member

    I don't care whose fault it is I am just very sad that I can't add to my collection.
  11. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Something occurred to me.

    It isn't so much Disney dropped the ball (I've never been one of those people), but I feel they (as well as retailers, who technically are more at fault) grossly underestimated how well Muppet merchandise would do.

    Everywhere I've been that carries some of the Muppet stuff either has 3 or fewer left on the shelves. I saw a lone box of the Bandaids when it looked like no one was touching the Cars ones. Unless the Valentines were short packed, the places I've seen carry them only have one or two boxes left....There was an ad banner a couple days ago that said the Pepe plush from Disney was going on Amazon for 99 bucks!

    On the plus side it means we don't have a sad clutter of unwanted, unsellable Muppet merchandise (like several kids movies I know), but on the negative side, there should have been just that much more, especially along the lines of Christmas products.

    But if this is any indication, we might just get more and better Muppet stuff throughout the rest of the year. I'm hopeful we will. I stress this post is written with optimism.
  12. Writersright

    Writersright Member

    The Netherlands get hand puppets but unfortunately, except for Kermit, Fozzy and the Swedish Chef, they look pretty bad. Statler and Waldorf especially look horrible:

    [​IMG]
  13. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    That Gonzo looks pretty good to me... better than the Disney Plush (only because of those crazy Family Guy eyes it had). Unless it looks worse in person.

    I don't see how something like those wouldn't have done well over here... the FAO Schwartz puppets were selling well at the TRU locations that have FAO stuff (there was only a lone Animal). It really seems like if there was just a little more, figures, general retail plush, and cheap Christmas stuff, it wouldn't have bogged anything down. Again, all understanding is they wanted a life long brand, and that comes with a slow building up. In that aspect they did well... but Muppet stuff seems to be flying off the shelves everywhere I go, while Cars 2 stuff just sits there.

    I was able to pick up all 3 sets of Cars 4 pack Squinkies for a kid nephew for like 3 bucks after Christmas. not each... all 3 sets. And the removable top Pez too.
  14. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Im weird, I LOVE the look of all those:) Ive ordered exclusive to Netherlands Muppet merchandise on ebay in the past
  15. DarthGonzo

    DarthGonzo Member

    You'd think the one place you'd find a lot of new Muppet merchandise would be at the gift shop at the MuppetVision attraction at the Hollywood Studios park in Orlando. I was just there a week ago and aside from the film's soundtrack you'd have no idea the Muppets had just mad a movie. Generic t-shirts, Kermit dolls (no other characters, just Kermit - 10 years ago when there were NO new movies coming out you could have gotten Scooter, Rizzo, Bean...) and those Star Wars tie-in action figures. That's pretty much it. Not the Disney store dolls, not more unique merchandise. It honestly felt like that movie hadn't even come out.

    I'm not buying excuses that it's still "too soon" or "Disney is being careful". They just don't care and they don't see the Muppets as being the sort of franchise that require a huge merchandising push. People are getting excited over bandaids? Really? If that's all there is to get excited about this soon after the movie's release then that's pretty sad.

    "Muppet Domination" was only as strong as the movie's publicity campaign. Now that it's over - and lets, face it the movie wasn't a HUGE hit and didn't REALLY have that impact people were expecting - I think we'll be back to business as usual with Disney very soon.
  16. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    They're too busy with Cars stuff. Cars and Princesses are all they really care about (still better than Tween Pop Divas). And guess what? The Cars stuff (like all movie merchandise) is sitting the heck on the shelves and no one's actually buying it.

    But the thing is, it isn't JUST Disney, it's the retailers. They're the ones that rather had one shot movie merchandise for crap films like Arthur Christmas and Happy Feet 2 (and like I said, NOT selling). Whereas any Muppet merchandise that hit zoomed out of store shelves.

    Also, there's nothing wrong, far from it, if we get mundane stuff like Bandaids. I do NOT see any toy company coming in and giving us another Palisades like line. But we could at least have had a small posible figure line like the Smurfs have.

    Still... Disney seems to be licensing the heck out of the Muppets overseas... the puppets I just posted have their own commercial..

    panmanthe2nd likes this.
  17. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Well exactly. It's no shocker Disney has never, ever seen Muppets as a respectable proper brand. Um lets see, 2004-2011...and the ONLY good merchandise weve gotten were the mugs, pook a looz, big plush and vinylmation. For the movie all we got were tacky lame print mugs and recycleable bags. The kiddy shirts were kinda cool(the illustrated ones) but other than that it's been tumbleweeds.

    And yikes, I woulda thought WDW would have a TON of park exclusive merch!

    But yeah, "Muppet Domination" only went so far as Disney's concern for opening weekend box office.
  18. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    LOVVE that Dutch commercial! And I actually dig those puppets too
  19. DannyRWW

    DannyRWW Well-Known Member

    I want those puppets :(
  20. panmanthe2nd

    panmanthe2nd Active Member

    COOL Dutch commercial!!! And yes the Muppet puppets are also cool!


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