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* Takua in ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'' started out as the FeaturelessProtagonist of a little-known Game Boy Advance game. After he was again the main character in a very successful online game (moving from AFGNCAAP to having his own identity only at the very end), his popularity exploded. In 2003, he was the star of his own DirectToVideo movie where he became Toa Takanuva and was released as a toy set ''twice'' (once as Takua and once as Takanuva). Then he and the other 2002-2003 characters returned in 2008 (complete with new toy figures), with Takanuva being the star of the first Level 3 Readers book and having an [[CharacterBlog online blog]] that narrated the events of the final (regular) book. And his was the largest figure. He was released again as a ''Stars'' commemorative set in 2010.
** Also of note are the Toa Inika. When the story moved to a brand new location (Voya Nui) in 2006, Franchise/{{LEGO}} decided that, rather than create six new Toa characters, they would just take probably ''the'' six most popular Matoran characters (Jaller, Hahli, Hewkii, Kongu, Matoro and Nuparu) and turn them into Toa, via [[LightningCanDoAnything space lightning]].
*** The game that made them all so popular was the ''Mata Nui On-Line Game'', whose developers were given instructions to keep the story focused on the side-characters, since {{LEGO}} [[WhatCouldHaveBeen intended to feature the main toy characters in a movie and PC game]]. Following this order, they built up this entire little community and gave some quirky side-characters (most of which [[ToylessToylineCharacter didn't have toys]]) enough screen-time to leave a lasting impression on the fans. Aside from the ones already mentioned, these include the oddball, [[GassHole farting]] Kapura, the [[DumbMuscle dimwitted but strong]] Taipu, the lofty sculptor Hafu, [[IronicFear agoraphobic tree-dweller]] Tamaru, and the [[TheQuietOne taciturn]] Kopeke, who was later made Chronicler (after Takua and Hahli had become Toa) in a fan-poll.
** Equally significant is the [[SixthRanger 7th]] [[AxCrazy Piraka]] [[CloudCuckoolander Vezon]], a character who was an accidental clone of one of the other [[EliteMooks Piraka]]. He was the 2006-2007 BigBad, but was just [[CloudCuckoolander so wacky]] that fans loved every appearance of his, whether he was drafted to free an offscreen former BigBad who defected pre-series, or simply went on madcap interdimensional adventures.
** A very minor on-line game character, called Tiribomba, developed a small following, despite having done absolutely nothing to contribute to the plot. The reason for his popularity lies in his ''wicked awesome'' name.
** [[EvilOverlord The Barraki]] as a group quickly shot to this position in comparison to the other {{Quirky Miniboss Squad}}s released before hand, partially due to the fact they completely broke the mold of having the same body type and each had a unique build to them, and partially because their [[AGodAmI backstory]] and connection to Makuta made them compelling villains. The fact that they were not affiliated with [[JustAsPlanned Makuta's plans]] at all but were running against them and [[spoiler:even had intentions for the Mask of Life that extended beyond just gaining power and even successfully getting it at several points]] made them even more interesting, to the point they were brought back in the web serials.
** Among the members of the [[BrotherhoodOfEvil Brotherhood of Makuta]] revealed during the Karda Nui arc, two of them rose to prominence among the fans: Makutas [[MadScientist Mutran]] and [[NobleDemon Krika]]. The former became loved for his...surprisingly [[CloudCuckooLander eccentric]] [[DeadpanSnarker personality]] and the latter for being [[AntiVillain the one Makuta who actually had a heart]] and was essentially TheWoobie among the group [[spoiler:especially after his RedemptionEqualsDeath]].
** All the promotional Good/Bad Guy freebie sets are generally seen as "SoBadItsGood", but the 2006 version in particular became especially well-liked, partly due to embodying all that's wrong with these toys, and party for his appearances in the popular ''Reviving Bionicle'' FanFilm comedy series. So much so that [[MemeticMutation he's become a meme]] years after the toy line had been canceled, and fans have been creating or even army-building their own versions of the Guy.
* The Alley Viper figure from the original ''Franchise/GIJoe'' line has a huge cult following amongst GI Joe fans, to such an extent that it was quickly re-released within two years of its initial run in circulation.
** Same with the Crimson Guard figures; this was most notable during the ''GI Joe Vs Cobra/Valor Vs Venom'' years, when Hasbro built a new Crimson Guard mold and opted to not release as part of the regular series, opting to make the figure a Toys 'R Us exclusive. To ease fan anger, the figure was largely released in a series of army builder sets, meaning fans buying the figure could build their own units without having to buy multiple figures.
* Mimic, a garish green unicorn from the 1980s ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'' line, reportedly did poorly in sales in her initial run. On today's second-hand market, prices soar. It's been speculated, though, that Mimic's poor initial sales are what made her so hard to come by, and are the ''reason'' for her value today. (Another likely reason is her odd color scheme, since there are very few green ponies.)
** Firefly may be the queen of this trope. From the moment she was introduced, she was arguably the most popular of all the ponies. Even though she wasn't in much of the series, having one TV special before getting the BrotherChuck treatment, and having a reoccurring role in the British comics, she was depicted on a ton of merchandise. When ''Rescue from Midnight Castle'' was rereleased on video in the 1990s, it was renamed ''Firefly's Adventure'', [[WolverinePublicity even though Megan is really the main character]]. Lauren Faust even based Rainbow Dash's personality on her. (She would have been Firefly [[WritingAroundTradeMarks if not for copyright issues]]).
** Wind Whistler is the second most notable generation one pony after Firefly herself. Her [[TheSpock stoic and logical personality]] contrasting with the happy-go-lucky others made her reactions to their usual antics hilarious to watch. Having a good amount of sarcasm and pointing out FridgeLogic at their expense.
** Generation 1's Fizzy, with her bubbly personality, pretty much shares her popularity with Wind Whistler above.
** Minty from the third generation line stood out as TheDitz, in an already eccentric cast of ponies. Her obsession with mints and collecting socks were seen as particularly endearing.
* In the [[WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine Thomas]] Wooden Railway range, the Troublesome Brakevan [[note]][[NonIndicativeName which is actually a salt wagon]][[/note]] sold poorly during its market run from 1993 to 1996, and was not very popular with other design personnel, [[WordOfGod according to Roy Wilson]]. [[VindicatedByHistory As time went on, it became popular]] among adult Thomas Wooden Railway fans and collectors, perhaps due to its rarity, and its prices have soared on secondhand online retailers. Some TWR fans have even made their own custom models of it.