In a Merchandise-Driven
work, there is often a scene or sequence where various characters/toys are introduced in rapid-fire succession. This will usually include a brief description or a short demonstration of each character/toy's abilities/gimmicks.
Unlike a commercial, where such a hard sell is expected, the Product Promotion Parade occurs in the body of the story/episode/issue itself. This usually happens in an Anvilicious
plot-derailing way that leaves no doubt that the only
purpose for the scene you just saw was to sell stuff.
May happen Once an Episode
, only in the premiere, or on special occasions, depending on the work and the needs of
marketing. If the cast is small enough, it may be an Action-Hogging Opening Title Sequence
or part of an Avengers Assemble
A subtrope of Product Placement
and a variant of Intro Dump
. The commercial cousin to Big Lipped Alligator Moment
and Manatee Gag
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Anime & Manga
- Halfway through the Pokemon 3 cartoon short "Pikachu & Pichu", the characters run into a back-alley clubhouse inhabited by various never-before-seen Pokemon species. The mons spontaneously break into a two-minute song-and-dance routine to introduce themselves.
- Similar sequences appear in the other Pikachu shorts as well, such as "Pikachu's Vacation" and "Pikachu's Rescue Adventure".
- However it may have been presented elsewhere, the "Pokérap" introducing various Pokémon was soon removed from the Finnish showing of whatever Pokémon anime series apparently for being too much like this, ie. a commercial being presented as if it were part of the content.
- One infamous scene in Transformers: Robots In Disguise consisted of Scourge describing the abilities of other Decepticons. While some of these may have been legitimate, there's simply no other reason for him to say "Rollbar is all-terrain terror."
- Happens several times in Marvel's various Transformers comic book series:
- In issue #1 of the original The Transformers limited series, after the Autobots and Decepticons have been reactivated on present-day Earth, each faction gets an oversized Wall of Text panel so everyone can introduce himself and his powers. Note that this first happens◊ while the Decepticons were in the Autobots' base, and both factions had just reawakened and everyone was very vulnerable.
- The Headmasters limited series did this several times, one for each of the factions' sub-lines (Headmasters, Targetmasters, etc.).
- Parodied by IDW in their Transformers comic here.◊
- Spoofed in the Chocobots strip in The Simpsons comic, which provides the page image.
- One of the most reviled examples is found in Eight Crazy Nights, an animated film that isn't based on any previously existing property (although the title comes from a song). "The Intervention Song" is supposed to be a moving, heartfelt scene where we learn the Jerk Ass main character's very sad backstory... and it is utterly disgusting in a way that's hard to describe. It really needs to be seen to be disbelieved.
- Spoofed in Spaceballs, where Yoghurt has a scene talking about all the movie's merchandise to the movie's main characters.
- Transformers has the scene where the Decepticons scattered across the world discover Megatron's location and converge on said location; which has the purpose of listing off the toys available in the movie's toyline. Even earlier when the other Autobots arrive on Earth and Optimus Prime lists off their names and attributes. At least in the Decepticons' case, Tropes Are Not Bad.
Live Action TV
- Spoofed in one FoxTrot Sunday comic. Jason draws a Slug-Man comic strip where each panel is a naked plug for a different Slug-Man toy, playset or vehicle, complete with a list of accessories and suggested retail prices.
- Homestar Runner: Cheat Commandos viciously parodies this. Their theme song is "Buy all our playsets and toys!" (The toys, at least, are real, albeit as static, accessory-less figurines.)
- The season premiere, "More Than Meets The Eye", has a scene where the Autobots prepare to confront the Decepticons at Sherman Dam. Jazz calls out each character by name, who transforms on cue, just because.
- The second-season episode "Dinobot Island Part 2" has a scene in the Ark where various (new) Autobot characters introduce themselves by successively offering to help Teen Genius Chip Chase solve the episode's Negative Space Wedgie.
- The Battle of Autobot City in Transformers: The Movie quickly introduces the new Autobots. Megatron also gets a new army of Decepticons upon being rebuilt into Galvatron.
- Beast Wars did this to in the pilot episode. The small cast size made this bearable.
- M.A.S.K. did this as part of Matt Trakker's Avengers Assemble in every episode.
- The opening title sequence in Thundercats is one of these.
- Mighty Orbots: Simultaneously played straight and averted. Played straight in that the premiere episode has a scene where each of the robots is introduced, with a narrator describing their personalities and powers. Averted in that Mighty Orbots toys were never actually produced (production plans fell through).
- Several episodes of My Little Pony And Friends consisted of nothing more than the Ponies dressing up in different costumes for no purpose other than to show off said
- Happens regularly in the various Strawberry Shortcake specials:
- Housewarming Surprise opens with a slide show of Strawberry's recent vacation and all the friends she made during said vacation.
- In the second special (...in Big Apple City) there's a trip to Spinach Village in which Strawberry meets a bunch of new friends.
- The title of the third Strawberry Shortcake special (1980s version) was Strawberry Shortcake: Pets on Parade, and that's what they and their owners literally do in one musical number.
- The title characters in Meets the Berrykins get individual rhyming introductions from the Berry Princess.
- The 1990s X-Men introduction shows each character of the main cast, their name, and their signature power. It finally ends with a Mirrored Confrontation Shot with the Brotherhood of Evil (so you know which toys to buy for the X-Men to fight of course!)
- Spoofed in The Simpsons as part of a larger spoof of Merchandise-Driven kids' shows, The Mattel and Mars Bar Quick Energy Choco-Bot Hour. The group's leader tells them to "put down those fun Mattel toys, we've got work to do!" This is followed by An Insert showing the characters' hands as they place the toys very carefully on a blank background to show kids what they should ask their parents for this Christmas. This also qualifies as Biting-the-Hand Humor, since Mattel was the first company to make Simpsons toys.
- Care Bears had several sequences wherein new Care Bears and Care Bear Cousins were introduced. This is especially noticeable in the movies that were released in the series' heyday; but still comes up in later works.