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Advertising Only Continuity
Merchandise-Driven shows need to have toy commercials. Otherwise they wouldn't be able to sell toys to the kids. But the toy manufacturers need to know what the characters look like, as well as the very basic premise, months in advance, so they can create the toys and have them on the shelves by the time kids see the series. The problem is that the plotline probably wasn't included.

The issue is that between the constant rewrites and the meddling executives, a change in the story is made.

It could range all the way from a small but easily made mistake based on Common Knowledge, to something that would hit the Fandom Berserk Button on the media's forum. But either the advertiser(s) didn't notice or didn't care, or they don't think the kids will.

This will probably involve Fan Myopia, but please try to make it understandable to even non-fans.

Examples:

  • The existence of Environment Specific Action Figures often causes this to happen, where the merchandiser uses some Misaimed Marketing and seriously doesn't consider the plot. Such as The Flash using a Flashmobile, or Batman wearing a green costume in Gotham city.
  • In one of the earliest Power Rangers toy commercials, they had Zordon call for the rangers to morph by saying, "It's Transforming Time!"
    • Another example from the original series was a tie-in comic for Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers used the pilot's name of Zoltar instead of Zordon, spelled Rita Repulsa's name with a second s and gave them all different last names (although Word of God would not confirm their last names till years later).
  • A Power Rangers Zeo commercial gave the villain's name as Queen Machina instead of her husband, King Mondo, and had them operating out of the original command center when they were actually operating in the underground Power Chamber.
  • A Power Rangers Time Force one had the Big Bad, Ransik, searching for them with a Time Machine when it was the opposite way around, and the rangers constantly mentioning the evil Cyclobots as the reason they went back in time. (In the actual show, Cyclobots are Ransik's Mecha-Mooks.) And in the toy commercials during the series, Ransik has a never-elsewhere-seen sidekick instead of any of the other actual villains.
  • Big Bad Beetleborgs had a commercial which claimed that the bad guys and the borgs were aliens from another planet, when they were actually kids who wished to become the comic book heroes, the Beetleborgs.
    • Another Big Bad Beetleborgs commercial had generic mutants represent their enemies.
  • Most BIONICLE ads and promos fall under this, particularly the Toa Mahri ads that showed some sort of machine attaching their masks and gills before they go underwater. While one of the books explained that the machine was just cleaning them up, the Toa Mahri's gills are supposed to be a permanent anatomical feature, and they couldn't even breathe air at the time the commercial took place, yet their submarine was clearly filled with air. LEGO released numerous other online animations and games that more often than not took a very Broad Strokes approach to the story, likely confusing many kids in the process, because the actual story was only told through the books and comics at that time.
  • Happens all the time in Transformers. Sometimes it's relatively minor, like a movie Jazz figure recolored as an homage to G1 Jazz being explained in his bio as having been revived by Ratchet, or Beast Machines quietly expanding the small band of surviving Maximals. Other times it's more complex, like how the early Beast Wars toys' bios set up the series as a direct continuation of G1 on modern-day Earth, with Optimus Primal and Megatron being the same characters as G1 Optimus Prime and Megatron (which would later be contradicted by the TV series). In extreme cases, such as the current Kre-O sub-line, on-package bios and commericals may be the only fiction available.
  • A lot of the marketing for Digimon The Movie refers to the Digidestined being kidnapped by an evil Digimon, which is a subplot from the third movie (The film was edited together from three Short Anime Movies) which was cut from the final product.
  • The commercial for a line of "battle-scarred" Gundam action figures featured the RX-78-2 getting rescued from the Zeong by... the GP-02 Gundam Physalis, which wasn't built until some three years after both of the former units fought each other, to say nothing of what happened with the GP-02 itself.
  • After the success of Aliens , many different alien related action figures were released with little or none connection to the original film, such as different alien/animal hybrid, but the most ridiculous example was the Alien King, how it's involved in the alien reproduction system is a mystery.

    Toy Tropes*batteries not included

alternative title(s): Plot Sold Separately
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