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Why Does Disney Hate Muppet Merch?

Discussion in 'Muppet Merchandise' started by beaker, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Yeah I just don't get it. Not a single Muppet item at any Disney mall store, not even for the holiday season unless there happened to be a leftover plush from 2011. Not a single Muppet thing in Disney stores now. Nothing Muppety wise shown at Toy Fair 2013 save for a few tiny cheap items you'd find at Spencers. People claim there's a "lot of Muppet stuff" in stores...maybe in the UK. But in America I really haven't seen anything except the plushes at Toys R Us(which I agree are amazing)

    First it was "wait and see if the movie did well". It did. But nada in 2012. Are we going to have to wait to see if the Muppets 2 movie does well and then hope for holiday 2014 merch? Ive audibly heard parents and kids at Disney store ask where the Muppet merch was. Now maybe its all being hoarded for California Adventure, which I will be going to in May. But still...

    What gives? Is there any explanation?
    Mister Muppet and galagr like this.
  2. Mister Muppet

    Mister Muppet Well-Known Member

    I don't get it either you think Disney would be releasing loads of merch as the Muppets are now more known with the public now after the new movie and you'd think they would releasing a lot of stuff but hardly anything . I was also hoping for more Muppety things to be shown but once agian only a few items and by the way trust me ther is no more Muppet merch in the UK as there is in the America
  3. galagr

    galagr Well-Known Member

    It's because they're too busy making Toy Story and Cars toys that only sell to 2-9 year old boys. Because, you know, it's not like they have any other franchises with movies coming out in the near future.
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'm not buying the fact the Cars stuff is selling. I consistently see their stuff on clearance. There is some Muppet stuff, but it's not that great (except for the Funko toys and the PVC set at Disney).

    I don't see why they haven't expanded the plush line in Disney stores. They continuously sold out the past 2 years and they just restocked them last time I went. They have bean bag plush of characters no one gives a crap about that go directly to the clearance bin. We should have seen Muppet Bean bags by now at least.
  5. Mark Johns

    Mark Johns Well-Known Member

    It's not a bad thing that they aren't saturating the market with crap. But I can tell you nearly every weekend I go out to a store I find a new muppet item. Be it key chains, plushes, Ty beanies, iPod cases, headphones and a lot more. I think you just need to look harder.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'm on the fence about that. There is some pretty good stuff out there, but it's hard to find or seasonal. I really think things need to step up just a bit, but it could be far worse.

    Problem is, we're never going to see a Palisades like toyline again, and the way the toy industry is going we'd get an unsatisfying series one of main characters and one fan favorite (all characters we've seen before), and then nothing else.

    Something tells me we will have to wait until the next movie to see more stuff because that's the way movie merchandise goes. Hopefully by then, we'll see a bigger figurine set with more characters and more plush toys of characters they didn't make yet. But all and all, there is a lot to be desired. A Swedish Chef plush at Disney would sell out much faster than Scotty Dog from Lady and the Tramp or generic background giraffe from Lion King.
  7. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    I think Disney needs to revive somehow The Muppet action figures like Palisades quality, The Muppet Replicas, even something on the lines of the Fisher Price quality. I feel the Muppet merchandise from the 70s and 80s with the exception of the Palisades figures, Muppet replicas of course) were the best in quality. I love the old Muppet merchandise in terms of dolls and toy puppets when it was so good in quality, it looked very identical to the actual Muppets. Personally I'm very critical of merchandise.

    For example, I prefer these personally in my opinion

    And not these...
    Okay perhaps there is murchandise currently that aren't as bad. I started to notice some decent Kermit dolls coming out

    Still it's not the same in my opinion



  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry but...


    You know those Starbucks puppet things are like 3" right? You try sewing something that small and making it look good. Detail is lost on anything that small, and that's because at that scale, fabric doesn't bend and fold the right way. And that's where plush toys get their shape, bending and folding to give shape to basically a pillow.



    Really? That's a hideous Fozzie. And plastic head Gonzo? I have always hated plastic head plush. You might as well buy complete PVC figures if you want plastic. I had a Super Mario you could hammer a nail into the wall with his nose. Those are... okay I guess... no where near as good as Fisher Price's first assortment and not as good as most Sababa toys.

    The current Disney Store plush, minus Fozzie (can't see why they got him wrong, but I blame the eye and nose placement) are quite good. Animal is the first Animal that looks like Animal. Why his likeness is impossible to get down in a plush is beyond me. I've never seen a good Animal. And they use some quality plush fabric in those. I cannot gush enough about how perfect Pepe turned out. Not to mention how top notch their PVC set was. Disney has always had great PVC sets, albeit kinda messy on the paint in some cases. Their Chicken Little set was a work of art, and the Wreck it Ralph collections are certainly much better than the way overpriced Thinkway crap you can get at Target.

    I get that people are critical and everything, but when you're so hyper critical, you miss out on stuff. I don't think there ever will be a Kermit as good as Fisher Price or Macy's, but as long as it doesn't look like the Steiff plush... and that thing goes for hundreds because of the mohair it's made out of.
  9. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    I don't know what the answer is. Many less toys are being made these days. It's all about apps. The fact that Disney has teased many Muppet apps that haven't made it to market is a little troubling.

    Let's be honest. There are many products featuring Muppet clip art slapped onto them, but there aren't enough Muppet-specific products for my taste. Some of the products in stores now...

    • T-Shirts
    • Books for young readers
    • Muppet Hot Wheelz
    • Re-issued comics (for the mainstream that missed out on the Boom run)
    • Plushes and Beans
    • Shoes
    • Costumes
    • High-concept vinyl
    • Wall-sized stickers
    • DVD & Blu-Ray (Muppet Movie Blu-ray coming this year)
    • Bedding
    • PVC set
    • Muppet Star Wars (in parks only, but that could change now)
    • Various knickknacks
    That ain't bad. It could be better.
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    My sentiments exactly. There's some stuff out there, there just needs to be more in specifics. We all would like to see DVD release of the TV shows and specials (though, as Disney hates to even release its own specials period, that's going to be a mean task), but nothing's coming out of that except the first movie on Blu.

    I'd say we need some sort of toy line, but toys don't sell like they used to. I really think T-shirts and other clothing needs to be stepped up a bit. I haven't seen any new shirts in months.
  11. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    They really need new licensing art too. What they have is good, it's just been reprinted so many times. I'd also like to see them clean up or recreate some of the vintage images and reissue them.
  12. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    I'm a little confused on what you mean. In general I agree, I've seen this really cool Kermit figure in 2010 that was 12 itches tall with a rubber or fabricated collar. I'd love to have that on my desk someday. :)

    I hope I didn't seem hyper critical in my post. I apologize if there was any kind of misunderstanding. I do respect everyone's opinion and I was just expressing mine on how I much prefer the older merchandise which seemed to look more like The Muppets then the current merchandise. I noticed you mentioned how you don't like the sculpted plastic heads on plush, I personally like that sort of thing. I feel that sculpted heads and hands give a more detailed look to them.

    I guess I'm more old school classic Muppets when it comes to everything. Not that I'm not open to new stuff. But I just disagree with how everything is made of plush more like Kermit's eyes are not plastic anymore. I noticed that with toy merchandise in general but It must be a safety issue like you were mentioning how the Super Mario doll can be used as a hammer. lol So I guess I'm a bit critical when it comes to current Muppet stuff, even the film work with CeeLoo and the Queen music video. I'll just keep that to myself. I know that there's people who disagree and like the new stuff and that's okay, I respect people's opinions. So I agree to disagree. Again sorry for any confusion or misunderstanding. I'm just very old school. lol
  13. Convincing John

    Convincing John Well-Known Member

    Same here. There have been a couple of really good articles on Tough Pigs about that. We've all probably read the one about "flat head Kermit". There's another one about that one Chef picture. I saw that photo on the new Hot Wheels car. (facepalm).

    Fozzie wears a white tie with red polka dots...not a blue scarf.

    Statler and Waldorf look good, though they should make more poser photos of them than just the "shrugging" and the "back to back with folded arms" ones. It wouldn't take too much to pose Statler about to hurl a Muppet tomato at Fozzie or Waldorf dozing in a chair.

    Too bad they don't have someone like Louis Mitchell on Disney's team. (Louis does, among other things, Sesame Street poser photos). Check out Sesame merchandise. The character photos on the merchandise look like they should...and Louis even included Telly on that Google doodle for Sesame's 40th. Telly! How cool is that?

    Disney's got a lot more dough than Sesame Workshop. Certainly they care about Mickey and the gang looking like they should on merchandise. Why don't they care about the Muppets the same way and hire someone to photograph them right?

    Disney employees might be reading this thread right now. So, I say to them: "Read the Tough Pigs articles linked above. Muppet fans care about what their merchandise looks like. At the very least, get rid of that infamous Chef photo!" (Sheesh).
    jvcarroll likes this.
  14. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    Completely agree!!! In all fairness, there are several Swedish Chef pictures for licensors to choose from. They just all pick that same one. Disney needs to yank that page out of their book! :hungry:
  15. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    To be fair, they did shoot a lot of new poser photos that are just starting to appear on merchandising... but it's time to throw all the 1990's stock art out.

    Look at these Valentines:


    I really should make a Muppet wiki account. I could do so much better with a photo of those. It's too tiny. I have a box next to me right now...

    The Piggy, Kermit, and Pepe appear to all be new. The new Kermit doesn't look anything as dead eyed as the one used on another Valentine. I don't know if I've seen that specific Fozzie with a rubber chicken before. But the overly reused pictures stand out like a sore thumb. Gonzo with Chili Pepper suit again? That same pile of the main 5 with dead eyed Kermit? Disney shows they can and have reshot posers to look consistent to new puppet designs. Why aren't we seeing more of them, and less of the completely over used 1990's stock art? I hope by the time the second movie comes out, we'll get new poser photos of everyone to completely and hopelessly overuse on products.

    I mean, that's not even the only die cast toy car with that Chef pose on it.
  16. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Totally agree, I'm sick of the late 1990s / 2000s stock photos that are being used all the time and reissuing vintage stock photos and illustrations would be much better. Especially the Puppet Heap Miss Piggy that's shown in the previous photo. her head is too small and round. Some of the 90s photos I don't mind, it's just the ones that are used all the time for calenders and stuff. What happened to the Muppet parody calenders? I love those. :)

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