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Is there a reason why Disney dislikes releasing Muppet DVD's?

Discussion in 'Muppet Merchandise' started by beaker, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    That's the thing that bugs me. The nicheness of the collector's market. Indeed there are times when something can succeed based on nostalgic property that has not even so much as a new series in the works. That sort of stuff can do quite well in comic shops and stores that cater to collectors both casual and more moderate. I'm speaking of course in general. Nice to know that Hanna Barbera merchandise featuring Hong Kong Phooey and the Flintstones can still be released, even though both cartoons don't have a single thing in production, and even the DVD's are long since gone. Especially since the era that grew up with the Flintstones outside of cereal and vitamins is getting older. But it's those more sturdy retail giants that are the problem. Movie merchandise is disposable, it can sell really well before the film's release to after it's on DVD and can be cleared out for turn around. Unfortunately, that pressure is exactly what makes toy companies have to embrace movie merchandise. That's one of the reasons Transformers Animated ended early. Wal*Mart wanted more movie TF merch. Same deal with the Green Lantern animated series. Wal*Mart refused to carry a toy line because of the movie's failure.

    As far as Muppets are concerned, I do think that they can survive in a purely nostalgic context without a movie. Disney seems to be wembling about which context they want to keep them in. I think they tied too much to the movie success, when t-shirts and plush toys can still sell to those who prefer the older projects/the casual "I remember them" crowd. They've been too cautious in between films, and I think that hurt them in the long run.

    As for the merchandise we've had, I'm 60- 75% satisfied. I'm in the minority, but I really don't care to see another action figure series. I hate to say Palisades nailed it and no one should ever do one again. But rather, I just don't see a successful one with characters that haven't been released yet. I'd much rather see collectible smaller figures, like PVC's. But ones that are either released single or in pairs. Maybe a set. Smaller, cheaper figures would ensure more character coverage, and not the same Main 5 we always see. I kinda wish there were more smaller things like party supplies and kiddy stationary and the like. But the only thing I'm really disappointed by is the lack of a Disney Store bean bag line up. Then again, there wasn't one for several other movies either. Not even Wreck-it Ralph, except the really poorly selling Sugar Rush characters. Sigh. Not even a smaller Baymax or Fred. But there were new Muppet Pez, including never before made Animal. Kinda wish they had a new Gonzo to go with the new Fozzie. Other than that, small things like Keychains would be nice. I like the Hallmark line of products.
  2. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    Seriously, a muppet variety show could work, and if that neil patrick harris variety show is successful, then maybe it well make NBC, or another network want to test the waters with a new muppet variety show, I mean big stars would give every week a ratings boost.
  3. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Dude, is there any Funk license or IP they CAN'T get? Heck, finally we'll get a Snuffy action figure kind of sort of oddly in scale. Tho whats up with the black eyes on every Funko figure? hehe. Whats your take on the Re-Action figures? Im super stoked for the Seinfeld figures coming out soon.

    OH SNAP! Gravity Falls figures ARE coming out! dudddde. score http://i.picresize.com/images/2014/07/27/AvWci.jpg
  4. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Let's be honest. Forget TMS 4-5. What are the literal chances a new Muppet tv series on tv will happen in the next few years? Or that broadway play we keep hearing about? Or a broad new action figure line? I feel like Disney didn't like the BO for MMW, and it stopped everything in the tracks. Which is bizarre as MMW was THE MOST Muppet film since 1984's MMW in my view. But you know, the public by and large is kind of...dumb.

    Maybe I'm wrong..maybe tomorrow I'll log onto muppet mindset and there will be this colossal mindblowing epic announcement by Disney detailing an exhaustive amount of big new Muppet projects/products/stuff, and it will all come to fruition. And holy goodness it will be amazing.

    JV wrote "I am still disappointed in the lack of products they put forth for the 2011 film."...oh gosh, and the 2014 film. And this was after we were promised THAT if 2011 was a success, we'd get a bunch of merch next go around. Well, 2011 was a run away success, and...tumbleweeds.
    Muppet Master likes this.
  5. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    As someone who has worked in product design for various brands I'll tell you it all really comes down to retail interest and there's really little of that in stores for anything that doesn't have a current project and this includes the Muppets. I wish it were different. And when a store does stock Muppet items, they don't always sell as quickly as they should. Merchandising is tough. Willing something to be because we wish it to be so doesn't change the way things are. It takes someone like a Palisades Toys to take the gamble and want to do something different. That's why I'm pleased with the attempts by Funko, Diamond Select and MiniMates. That's impressive in this market.

    As for the Hannah Barbara licenses, they're fun but they really aren't circulating as much as you'd think. The license to make those is also likely much cheaper than the one to make anything Disney-owned. Warner Brothers wants to make as much money as possible on them and so they have a few choice products that have been lingering for a while. I wouldn't say they're doing poorly, but they're not the sort of investment most toy companies would want to make. Keep in mind that items that have been out for over a year are considered clearance items. No business really wants to make toys for the secondary markets.
    Duke Remington likes this.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    That's what I pretty much understand. Retailers only want movie tie ins because they make more money and they can clear them out no problem if the movie's a flop. When it's a hit, it takes a chunk out of any other version of that property. Wal*Marts wanted Transformers Movie merchandise that killed TFA and delayed the heck out of TFP. I'm glad Hasbro did the smart thing and premiered the Robots in Disguise line just after Christmas, after interest in the Age of Extinction movie toys were starting to cool down. They're actually bumping the movie merchandise off of shelves instead of the other way around.

    Yeah, that HB stuff doesn't really seem to fly, but I give them credit for keeping the brand up. Flinstones are known for vitamins and cereal (of which they're not even in their own commercials anymore, luckily they're still on the box). This stuff would have been prime 90's-00's nostalgia dollars, but unless it's Scooby-Doo which always has a show or movie in production, there's such a disconnect. Hong Kong Phooey is not well known (though, in my experience, his stuff is the first to disappear off store shelves), Yogi's been forever assigned to that movie, yet his cartoon isn't gaining any popularity, and I'm sure no one under the age of 30 knows about anyone else. But the thing is, they keep putting some stuff out there, even though the base for that is small.

    And yes. Funko's been doing a great job, especially with niche movies that would otherwise never see a toyline. The key aspect is releasing toys as brands, and not by license. The stronger, more noteworthy licenses (Marvel, DC, Disney) manage to help keep the nostalgic 80's movie figures (the upcoming John Huges line up) and lesser known movies that appeal to older collectors (BoxTrolls, which actually disappeared as quickly as they were released) in production. Not to mention their other product lines of blind box figures (would you believe that TMNT has 3 blind box lines all at once, and the Funko one seems to be the most solid selling?), stylized plush toys, and Kenner style retro figures. I mean, we're getting Dark Crystal figures that would more or less be similar to the line we never got! Wish they'd get the Pop treatment too.

    But yeah. Here those kinds of line manage to hit collectors twice. One for collecting characters, one for collecting the overall product line. And there is an intersect. Much smarter than just disconnected toy lines.
  7. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    There's really no disconnect here. People don't buy large quantities of Muppet toys are nostalgic merchandise enough for retailers to want to stock them. That's the truth. And that's what having a current project on the big or small screen alleviates.

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