Toyless Toyline Character
media it's typically pretty easy to set apart the characters whose toys are getting advertised. They're the ones that take the spotlight in any given story, save the day in the end, etc., or are otherwise just made to look cool by the narrative itself. They'll have more character development, more detail in their character model, more gadgets; everything about them screams
toyetic in loud plastic-mould colors.
But not this character. This is the Ensemble Darkhorse
of the toyline-driven media, that bursts into the scene like a Highly-Visible Ninja
with a rocket launcher and a banner reading, "Buy all our playsets and toys
" only, after rushing to the toystore mouth drooling and brow sweaty you find out, he doesn't have his own toy. Often they'll be The Ace
, appearing for a brief storyline, showing up everyone else, and then never seen again—not in the story and never
in the toy aisles.
Most of the time for a Merchandise-Driven
franchise the toys are either (a) designed first and the show/comic makers make a story around the characters, or (b) the toy makers and show makers work together, so everyone else is likely to be a Flat Character
, or even No Name Given
. Often there are actual limits set to how much attention can be given to these characters; a non-toy character that's not just a Tag Along Kid
being allowed to be prominent is next to unheard of.
It seems bizarre and even out-of-place—which is not to say unwelcome—when an original character does become important. They're not always recurring characters but they sometimes get more development and attention than characters that actually had toys, because there's usually Loads and Loads of Characters
Why this happens varies, sometimes a writer that's been banging his shackles against the wall long enough manages to loosen them enough to get creative and inject a character into the story for the character's own sake. Sometimes a Monster of the Week
winds up getting a little more attention than usual and starts looking toyetic
In a boys' show, generally the Tag Along Kid
, the armies of mooks
, and in older series, the Token Girl
will be need to be created for the show, and in a girls' show it's the same for the the villains in general.
This is not just any character who doesn't appear in his story's toyline. Also note that with many long-running franchises, sometimes toys will be made of these characters and marketed to collectors. The point isn't that no toy exists
, but that when the media was made, the character wasn't being used to advertise one.
If a major female character from a Merchandise-Driven
series ends up as a Toyless Toyline Character, it's probably because of The Smurfette Principle
See also Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer
Examples are sorted by where the character appeared. Franchises spanning more than one media category, like Transformers
and G.I. Joe
, have more than one entry.
Compare Canon Foreigner
Anime & Manga
- Artemis, Navi, and Star Upper from Beast Wars II and Rage from Beast Wars Neo. BWII and Neo actually invert this, being principally made up of characters adapted from toys that had no representation in Beast Wars previously.
- In the beginning of Yes! Pretty Cure 5, Nozomi, Rin and Urara were predicted to be the biggest hits because they were the youngest characters; therefore, they were introduced first and got their toys first, and Karen and Komachi got their toys either late or not at all. However, Rin proved to be unpopular and Karen somewhat of an Ensemble Darkhorse, so they switched places. This is most prominent with the second season's merchandise; Rin and Komachi got their dolls late, they were never given trading figures, and their articulated figures can only be bought as a set from Toei's own shop.
- This phenomenon has appeared in the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and card game, as well; there are a ton of cards shown in the anime (and mangas) that were never made. While some of the more obvious ones won't ever be made due to being overpowered Game Breakers or having supernatural conditions in their texts (like "The soul of whoever loses this Duel is forfeit to the winner"), some of them are legitimate themes that would have been a blast to play, like the Armor cards from the DOMA arc that were sadly never developed.
- Game breaker cards would also be useless for another reason, they would dominate against almost anything, but usually the hero beats the card through a technicality, a technique that someone in the real world could also use.
- Digimon Xros Wars posits a strange example: the series was always quite clearly Merchandise-Driven, with the main character's Combining Mecha forms clearly designed for the purposes of easily combining toys, and such toys accordingly ensued. Midway through the series came OmegaShoutmon and ZekeGreymon, two Digimon who combined into Shoutmon DX. All three mons were obviously designed in such a way that hypothetical toys of the former two could be easily combined into a Shoutmon DX figure, yet no such toys of the characters ever materialised despite all three characters being very important.
- The same in relation of Gumdramon and his combined forms.
- Of course, the bulk of the merchandise are in the form of Xros Loader and the arcade card game Digica Taisen, with the combining toys merely just a bonus. With that said it is clearly a waste not to see well-defined figures for the various mecha characters.
- In the New Vestroia season of Bakugan, all of the main Bakugan evolved into new forms as their Mid-Season Upgrade. However, no toys were released of these new forms. Kind of awful considering that these were essentially the main characters.
- Bakugan has been notoriously iffy about producing figures of their characters. It was a bit of a problem in the first series when several of the Bakugan that appeares late in prominent roles got no figures, got worse in New Vestroia with the aforementioned Mid-Season Upgrade problem, got a little better in Gundalian Invaders until the later Battle Gear and Super Assaults fell away and became sparse, and then got worse again with Mechtanium Surge, effectively killing the line.
- To add insult to injury, several of the Bakugan which were missed in New Vestroia later got a Japan-Only release, with Spin Master's habits of plowing forward with no regard to the past meaning that the rest of the world would have to scour ebay for them.
Film - Animated
- Several characters from the G.I. Joe comic, most notably Kwinn the Eskimo and Dr. Venom.
- Kwinn the Eskimo eventually did gain a figure but it was many years after the character's debut and last scenes in the comic. Ditto for Dr. Venom (who was a convention exclusive). But we are still waiting on Billy and on Bongo the Balloon Bear.
- The Baroness was a character in the comics and show long before getting her own action figure in 1985.
- The Transformers Generation One comics had a few more, such as Scrounge, Blaster's unfortunate little buddy from issue #17 and Jhiaxus, a major villain from the Transformers Generation 2 comics. Emirate Xaaron, from the UK comics and the latter parts of the US Marvel issues, wasn't based on a toy, but is pretty easy to make as he is mostly a gold and orange Megatron. That said, he'd make a lousy toy - he hasn't transformed in so long he theorizes the shock from merely attempting it could kill him! (He would've made a perfect Action Master, though.)
- The villains from the Barbie movies rarely have toys made of them. When they do, it's only when they were brainwashed and good all along, such as Princess Graciella from Barbie: A Fairy Secret.
- Disney Fairies: It looked like movie-verse!Vidia was going to be this way, until a doll finally came out for the third movie. Even book-verse!Vidia gets the merchandise shaft a lot, though she does have a doll (uber-rare), some art set thing and a one-coin figure. However, this aversion to Vidia was later abandoned; now she gets lots of merchandise, and it's hard to remember the time where she didn't.
- Straight examples from Disney Fairies include The Season Ministers, Bobble, Clank, and the bird of prey.
- Terrence also later got a doll in the toyline, which was included in a playset.
- Transformers: The Movie:
- Arcee, the Affirmative Action Girl, who would stay for the rest of the cartoon's run and remained one of the primary main characters (in a show with Loads and Loads of Characters) despite not having an equivalent toy. To this day, there hasn't been a transforming toy of G1 Arcee that turns into a car — though both Animated and Prime had namesake characters who did have their own toys.note
- The Big Bad of the film, Unicron, a giant robot that transforms into a planet-eating planet, had his toy trapped in Development Hell. And perhaps luckily so, considering how little the prototype resembled the character. Despite this, he remained a recurring villain in the next season, and his head still orbited Cybertron as a Continuity Nod. We finally get a toy when Transformers Armada makes him the final enemy and says this Unicron is one and the same as the old one, unlike everyone else.
Live Action TV
- Alice from Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen.
- In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Mirage/Dino only has a die-cast, non-transforming car toy (because Mattel holds the rights to Ferrari - said robot's alternate mode - toys) and a miniature Cyberverse figure; sadly, the latter's only a repaint of Sideways from Revenge of The Fallen and looks nothing like Dino in either mode.
- It's strange to think how often this happens with the movie characters, seeing as when the first film came out, almost every vehicle that had appeared in it received an actual, transforming robot figure. And there were plenty of toys that weren't even based on anything that appeared in fiction at all. Yet many unimportant or background characters, such as the ancient Primes, the garbage truck Decepticon, Igor, and numerous other Decepticon soldiers never got any toys even in the expanded toy-lines.
- The LEGO toyline for the Star Wars movies which began in 1999 skipped many rather important characters for several years. Scout Troopers were the first imperial soldiers with Stormtroopers first appearing in 2001 and even then in very few sets. The Star Wars Icon Yoda first appeared as a figure in 2002, Lando in 2004 and Mace Windu in 2005. Nute Gunray and Palpatine/Darth Sidious as non-Emperor, the main antagonists of the Prequels, were skipped until 2009, when they only got figures in the style of the "The Clone Wars" CGI Cartoon. A Life Action version of Gunray was made however, but the ultimate evil is still left out.
- Also weird is LEGO's selection of which clone troopers should be released as figures. From the special colored legions only rather obscure ones get chosen like the 327th Star Corps (the yellow ones from episode 3 which killed the blue alien chick on the jungle planet with half a minute screen time), the Shock Troopers (red ones which followed Palpatine around in three scenes) and the 442nd Siege Battalion (green ones which didnīt even appear in any of the movies, comics, games or books). The 212th Attack Battalion and 501st Legion are very popular by being directly under the command of Obi-Wan and Anakin, but they are chosen not to be released.
- The 501st, and as I recall, the 212th have minifigs now. Several sets have the 501st and I think the Republic Gunship has the 212th.
- There have been tie-in action figure lines to the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but characters like Peggy Carter and the Howling Commandos, The Other, and SHIELD Agent Phil Coulson don't have any actual figures of them in the aforementioned action figure lines.
- In Power Rangers, most of the toy molds are carried over from Super Sentai, so if a character wasn't in Sentai, a toy might not exist. Also, it's reversed in the cases of some characters and concepts that were major in sentai but only slipped into a little of Power Rangers' sentai footage and got toys brought over. "So the pod people from that one episode get toys but Astronema and the Quantrons don't?" is a cry heard in more than one PR series. This applies to villains a great deal, as while all six Ranger suits must transfer over, a villain is more likely to get a total costume overhaul. And even then, many are the villains without toys on either side of the Pacific for some reason. Who are your Ranger figures supposed to be fighting? (Although it should be noted that Sentai is guilty as well. Considering how important the Psycho Rangers were to Megaranger/Power Rangers in Space, the idea of not having figures for them is infuriating for fans.)
- This has also happened with Zords. Sometimes it makes sense—the Mighty Mammoth from Ninja Storm/Hurricanger wasn't released because it would be pretty big. But there's really no excuse for not releasing Wild Force's Elephant Zord, Dino Thunder's Pachycephalosaurus Zord or Mystic Force's Centaurus Wolf Megazord. The former is required for a major Megazord formation, while the latter is a main villain's mech which appears in numerous episodes! And they even released the good guy recolor!
- Various belts and items from Movie Only characters from Kamen Rider films they didn't release in toy like. G Den-O Driver, Kamen Rider Aqua/Poseidon Belt and Subverted in relation of Kivaara belt, Kivaara will be release recently, except will be didn't have a belt, but have a sounds of transformation.
- BIONICLE itself was primarily a toy-line, and the story got second billing. As such, any originally non-toy story-only character had to be very lucky to receive a toy.
- At this point, at least half the cast are lacking toys, and that number is only going to climb with the toyline terminated. Which is really, really saying something. Most don't even have any sort of illustration for their appearance. Of course, this being LEGO, filling in the gaps for oneself through building is encouraged.
- This even applies to characters at different points. Notable examples are Toa Lhikan, Nidhiki and Turaga Dume from the Metru Nui Saga:
- Lhikan spent the majority of the saga as a Turaga, but his only toy is his Toa form. There actually is a figure some like to call Turaga Lhikan, and sure enough, it has the colors and mask of Toa Lhikan... but it was just a goofy-looking promotional exclusive mini-set. It's up to the individual whether one uses it as a stand-in for Lhikan's Turaga form or just a non-canon jumble of leftover LEGO parts.
- Nidhiki was mutated from a Toa into an insectoid creature sometime before the saga, so his toy was that of his mutant self, but he is largely featured in stories before his mutation. Turaga Dume is another important character, and although his Toa-state hasn't actually had any importance, the designers have in fact created special edition sets for both Toa Nidhiki and Toa Dume... but the Story Team decided to make them the Toa forms of two separate, likewise mutated characters instead: Iruini and Norik respectively, from the then-released smaller Rahaga set-line. The obvious design similarities between the mutated Nidhiki and Toa Iruini and Turaga Dume and Toa Norik were then written off as mere coincidences, or in the case of Norik's mask, it was explained that his mask got reshaped to look like the type of mask worn by Dume. Also? This meant that the Toa forms of the remaining four Rahaga characters likewise ended up being toyless, because there were no plans to make more than just two such special edition Toa.
- The six Barraki figures and the Karzahni set also show them in their mutated states. At least for Karzahni, we have a picture of what he looked like pre-mutation — disregarding the colors.
- Certain characters would be introduced long before a toy was available to them, despite their significance to the plot. The Big Bad himself didn't get a toy until 2 years after the story had started, and a proper Mask of Life would not be made until 3 years after it's introduction. note
- Because of the large number of side stories within the canon, LEGO never had any intentions on making a toy for everyone. Instead many of the side characters got their official toy depictions through contests held by LEGO, where the best design would go on to become canon. The Dark Hunters, with a handful of exception, are all made up of only fan creations, as is most of the Order of Mata Nui.
- Mata Nui's original Great Spirit Robot form has no toy representation, despite being probably the most important character in the story. Given his design, though, he was probably never intended to have one, a fact which hasn't kept it from being heavily featured in the later media.
- Some toyless characters were originally supposed to have toys — two of the comics give us a good idea of what the Baterra would have looked like as a set for instance —, it's just that the line got Cut Short before these could have been released.
- Nektann had no toys, until someone came up with the idea to give this name to the "Piraka" set form the Stars line (where Piraka wasn't an actual name, it only meant "thief and murderer"), instead of making it a new character.
- Hero Factory, its successor, is somewhat better with this with its significantly smaller cast, and most of the toyless characters are minor support staff for the protagonists who aren't all that important (though, their designs in the TV series are such that it's virtually impossible to make a decent scale model of any of them, no matter how expansive your stock of LEGO is).
- Monster High has a few.
- It's hard being a character in the Skylanders franchise if you're not one of the eponymous Skylanders. While the Skylanders themselves are arguably the point, being as they're toys you can bring to life in a video game, there are plenty of non-game-related toys... and those still focus primarily on the Skylanders. Want a figure of the main villain, Kaos, and his sidekick Glumshanks? Want one of the iconic villains, like the Chompies? Heck, want the Skylander's primary sidekick throughout the series, Flynn? Aside from a few rare occurrences (like Happy Meal toys), the non-Skylanders characters tend to get the shaft. Heck, Flynn's ship has a playset, while he's usually overlooked.
- Transformers Kre O includes several background characters based on Transformers who haven't been released as Kreons. A case frequent enough to qualify for this trope is Sideways.
- Sparks, Big Lob and Pythona in G.I. Joe. Sparks appeared in a couple of episodes during the first season as a communication officer for the Joes before retiring from duty, while Big Lob and Pythona were exclusive to G.I. Joe: The Movie.
- Sparks and Big Lob were eventually made into collector's club exclusive figures in 2007 and 2010 respectively. We're still waiting for Pythona.
- Neither Squeaky Cleen nor any of the female characters (Mainframe, Nightshade, Ms. Demeanor and Mirage) from COPS were action figures to start with. And we do mean "start with"; like Transformers and G.I. Joe, the toys came first.
- The Peculiar Purple Pieman Of Porcupine Peak from Strawberry Shortcake in the second generation line; though he seems not to fit, being a villain, back in the 1980s, he was represented. He's not even mentioned in the third generation. First-generation characters that appeared in the animated specials but not the toyline include T.N. Honey (Big Apple City) and four of the Berrykins (Meets the Berrykins introduces ten of them, but only six became toys).
- Despite showing up in the first special in 1980, Plum Puddin' didn't get a toy until 1984, by which time he had become a she (According to Hasbro, this is because dolls of Huckleberry Pie didn't sell very well).
- Masters of the Universe
- He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) had a few characters who were introduced apparently to promote new action figures, but said figures never materialised - Strongarm and Lizardman for instance. The Sorceress and King Randor didn't receive action figures until the final wave despite being major characters in the cartoon.
- The New Adventures of He-Man had important supporting characters who didn't make the cut into the toyline, like Mara and Crita, the main females from each side. Mara even got a prototype before the toyline cancellation.
- The 2002 series and its toyline had a lot of problems, and this was one of them. Among the characters excluded were Clawful and Stinkor (two of Skeletor's main henchmen), recurring villains Webstor, Evilseed, and Count Marzo, and nearly all of the Snake Men (who were the main villains of the cartoon's final season!). As a consolation prize, most of these characters were represented in NECA's later line of mini-statues based on the series.
- Generally speaking the Classic line spends a lot of its time correcting this, giving toys to either previously-toyless yet recurring characters from both cartoons (like Queen Marlena and Count Marzo) or one-off villains from the original series (like Icer, Fang Man, Batros, and the above-mentioned Strongarm). Evilseed's still waiting, though.
- The original Transformers Generation One cartoon had a bunch of characters who'd fit the bill:
- "The Search For Alpha Trion" was a second season episode that introduced Optimus Prime's mentor, Alpha Trion, and girlfriend, Elita One, both recurring characters without toys. Also worth mention from this episode are Firestar, Moonracer and Chromia, all three named fembots that take the spotlight for at least part of the episode.
- Alpha Trion, Elita-One, Chromia and Moonracer actually ended up getting exclusive botcon toys eventually (though Moonracer and Chromia have to share). We're still waiting for Firestar.
- Fan favorite Nightbird, a female ninja robot introduced in "Enter the Nightbird." Though she's never seen again after this episode she's not likely to be forgotten any time soon.
- Devcon, from "The Gambler" is also pretty popular.
- Deceptitran, the primary antagonist in "Sea Change".
- "Forever Is a Long Time Coming" gave us Beta.
- Carly, Daniel, and Sparkplug, of course, as well as Spike's younger self.
- Spike's eventual toy was the head of Cerebros, the head of Fortress Maximus. Younger Spike eventually was released with the redesigned MP-10 version of Masterpiece Optimus Prime.
- Third-party companies have attempted to fill in some of the gaps, though as they aren't licensed by Hasbro or Takara, they're not "official" releases. They also tend to have limited production runs and are sold for premium prices.
- Beast Wars:
- Transmutate didn't get a toy until the 10th Anniversary line, when you had to combine bonus parts packaged with other toys.
- Tigerhawk was forced to be Killed Off for Real after two episodes because they weren't sure they were making the toy (as in, weren't sure they weren't, either... and eventually did.)
- Blackarachnia was one of the first exceptions to the 'no girls' rule, but her toy was Tarantulas's painted purple. (Guess what color Blackarachnia isn't? At all? note )
- It was a long road for Transformers for the first female toy character to come along. First, again, in 1986 there was Arcee, who was a main character in Transformers: The Movie and season three, and would have been in season four. No toy of her was ever made. In 1996 there's Beast Wars, and we get Airazor - whose toy was made first. The decision to make her a "her" came later. She gets an upgraded, obviously-female toy, the first Transformers toy intended as female from the start, but the character never takes on that form in the show. And again, Blackarachnia's original form effectively doesn't get one at all. Finally, in 1999, Blackarachnia gets an upgrade, and that form has a toy. That's 13 years between the first female main character and the first instance of a female character having a toy in her likeness intentionally.
- The Vok, the mysterious aliens that were the focus of one of the main story arcs. Of course, as floating glowing skull thingies, there's not much about them that demands one.
- The Beast Wars version of Ravage had a toy, but it was never released in America. All we get are two black repaints of Cheetor that don't bear even a tiny passing resemblence to Ravage. (Worse, part of Ravage's new design is actually based on one of Cheetor's three forms. The American Ravage toys are based only on the other two forms.)
- It's worse than that; Hasbro was planning on bringing the Japanese Ravage toy (the one based on Cheetor's second Transmetal form) to the states as part of the new 10th anniversary line for the series, but it fell through because they lost the mold. As a final kick to the balls, however, this was after they used it to make a Botcon-exclusive Transmetals Tigatron figure. At least one of the Ravages we did get wound up being its own character in the comic books...
- In general, though, Beast Wars inverted this; the vast majority of the toys lacked any representation on the show. Besides Ravage, Depth Charge, and the Transmutate, the only non-main characters with toys to appear on the show are the Tripredacus Council, who looked nothing like their toys in their sole appearance.
- That was because they couldn't get the models finished before the episodes they appeared in were released; as a result, they were allowed to keep the characters' collective names, but were barred from using their individual names when referring to them. Also, in a bit of What Could Have Been, the toy-only character Wolfang could've been represented in the cartoon in Tigatron's place, but Lazy Animator Syndrome kicked in. CGI models ain't cheap (which is why BW had such a small cast and high body count.) so Tigatron, who is largely based on Cheetor, was given the role originally written for Wolfang.
- Beast Machines:
- Megatron's form at the end of the series. Like Ravage, Slipstream, and Emirate Xaaron, it would have been very easy to make one - it was based on Optimal Optimus, meaning that toy would only have needed a recolor and a new head. There is currently a smaller Optimal Optimus toy without a beast mode - even better for a Megatron makeover, as Megatron had gone anti-organic in Beast Machines and would have left out the beast mode.
- Botanica is one of very few main cast members in a Transformers series who was created without the intention for a toy to be made.
- Diagnostic Drone.
- From Transformers Energon there was Padlock. Of course, he existed just long enough to get shot in the back by Shockwave, thus spurring Wing Saber to seek revenge. Debatably, there was also Wing Dagger, but he was quickly reformatted into Wing Saber, who did get a toy.
- Though for once the human companion Kicker did get a toy, as did non-Transformer villain Alpha Q.
- The Transformers Animated version of Omega Supreme - very male, very Badass, very important, with plenty of screentime, hasn't gotten a toy despite much fan begging. Especially astonishing given the Tigerhawk situation: The toy company has infinitely more control than the writers with every incarnation of TF, and saying "Screw the arc you had planned, vaporize your important character because we're only pretty sure we're making a toy" is in fact not the worst thing they've inflicted on a series or comic. A toyless character being allowed as much screentime as Omega got (for non-social reasons) is perhaps unprecedented.
- The Constructicons (Mixmaster, Scrapper, and later Dirt Boss). They were actually cut out of the cartoon in Japan, based on the reasoning that the show shouldn't spend time on losers who don't have toys.
- Ramjet and Slipstream - who would only have required further recolors of Starscream, being clones of him. Inverted with Dirge, however: he is actually the only toy-exclusive character to be based on this series, and therefore the only character not to be mentioned in the Allspark Almanac. Oil Slick was intended as a toy-only character, but the show's writers gave him a small role in one episode once they learned of his existence.
- Ramjet got his own toy eventually, but no such luck for Slipstream — probably because it would require a slightly different mold.
- Sari, as well, despite being a Transformer. Also Thrust.
- Centurions has a few examples of this trope. Crystal Kane, the team's Mission Control, was never an action figure; neither were Team Pets Shadow the dog and Lucy the orangutan, or Killer Robots Groundborg and Seaborg. An interesting case happened with Rex Charger and John Thunder: they were intended to be in the next line of toys, but were cancelled together with the line. Even this new wave did not have the above mentioned Crystal, etc: however, bootlegs of her exist.
- In the Littlest Pet Shop (1995) TV series, Chet was the only one of the major characters who wasn't made as a toy.
- In its last two seasons, the Ninja Turtles faced fiction-only Big Bad Lord Dregg. Carter, the Turtles' equally toyless Sixth Ranger human ally, was introduced around the same time. Previously, even Burne got a toy.
- In addition, recurring baddies Lotus Blossom, Don Turtelli, Bezerko, Tempestra, and Big Louie missed out on plastic.
- The second series skipped over many important characters, especially in the last three seasons. This includes many characters and concepts developed in the cartoon SPECIFICALLY to be made into toys!
- Many characters and vehicles from The Real Ghostbusters, such as the Ecto-Ichi.
- Mira Nova, Commander Nebula, and over 3 quarters of the villains in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.
- The Smurfette Principle strikes again: Neither of the female knights from Visionaries began as action figures. They weren't even planned to be adapted to the toy line's (canceled) second year, which had original characters instead.
- Also from Visionaries: Merklynn, the powerful wizard who sent the knights on their quests, did not begin as and wasn't powerful enough to become a figure. At least Hasbro planned to include a holographic image of him in the unproduced Iron Mountain playset, but he was not planned to be a posable figure.
- My Little Pony:
- They occasionally dipped into this trope for background characters during the G1 and G3 eras. Fiesta Flair is an interesting example from the latter era. She was never put into the toys as she was full of Unfortunate Implications and her design was reused for Candy Apple. Despite this she appears in specials, even in G3.5.
- Then they fully embraced this trope for the G4 adaptation, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The only characters who appear (or will appear) in both the show and the toyline are the Mane Six (Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Fluttershy), Spike, the founding three of the Cutie Mark Crusaders (Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle), Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, Princess Cadance, Nightmare Moon, Queen Chrysalis, Manny Roar, Gilda the Griffon, Trixie Lulamoon, Diamond Dazzle Tiara, Silver Spoon, the Flim Flam Brothers (Flim Skim and Flam), Lightning Dust, Big McIntosh, Granny Smith, Applejack's Uncle Mosely Orange, nine more Apple family members (including Apple Fritter, Apple Bumpkin/Apple Dazzle, Red Gala/Crimson Gala, Golden Delicious, Caramel Apple, Apple Honey, Peachy Sweet, and Lavender Fritter), Shining Armor, Twilight Sparkle and Shining Armor's mom Twilight Velvet, Zecora, Cheerilee, the Cakes (Mr. Carrot Cake, Mrs. Cup Cake/Mrs. Dazzle Cake, Pound Cake, and Pumpkin Cake), Snips/Snipsy Snap, Snails/Snailsquirm, Peppermint Twist/Twist-a-loo, four of the Wonderbolts (Spitfire, Soarin, Misty Fly, and one who may be Breezie or Surprise), Steven Magnet the Sea Serpent, Hoity Toity, Photo Finish, Winona, Daring Do Dazzle, Smarty Pants, Sapphire Shores, and a selection of incidental characters (a limited selection, compared to the huge number of incidental characters that the show has).
- It gets even stranger when you realize that there are over 50 characters who have toys but don't appear in the show (mostly Palette Swaps of toy characters who do appear in the show).
- This even extends to accessories, like the 12 dresses introduced in an episode all about dresses, 6 of which make cameo appearances in other episodes and are featured again in the first Season Finale. You won't find those dresses on store shelves.
- Naturally, the show's large Periphery Demographic fandom, frustrated by the lack of official toys from Hasbro, have started making them themselves. A good plushie version can go for over a hundred dollars on eBay.
- This slowly began being remedied in 2012-2013 as some of the supporting and incidental ponies from the show finally made the jump to the toyline and a small number of ponies from the toyline (Blossomforth, Sweetcream Scoops, Sugar Grape, Lovestruck, Forsythia, Cherry Spices, Barber Groomsby, Tealove, Bumblesweet, and Diamond Rose) finally made the jump to either the show or the Expanded Universe.
- The main-trio of Star Wars: The Clone Wars got their costumes a Mid-Season Upgrade but so far only Anakin got his released as a LEGO figure with Obi-Wan and Ahsoka waiting until at least 2013. So far the Phase II style Clone Troopers are also absent and a figure based on Darth Maul isnīt planned either.
- Gloria Baker from M.A.S.K. is an interesting example. During the first three years, neither she nor her vehicle, the Shark, made it to toy stores. She finally got a figure for the Split Seconds line, but not with the Shark.
- None of the villains of Skysurfer Strike Force were made into toys, not even series Big Bad, Cybron and his team of Bioborgs.
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold was based on Mattel's toyline "Batman: The Brave and the Bold". The female heroes, amongst others, were not allowed episodes of their own because they did not have toys in the toyline, as only Batman, Plastic Man, Aquaman, Blue Beetle, Gorrila Grodd, Robin, Joker, and Bwanna Beast did. However, realistic versions of the females were available as DC Universe Classics.
- Lioness in Alpha Teens on Machines. To add insult to injury, her Psycho Rangers Evil Counterpart was based on a toy.
- In Stone Protectors, Opal was created for the show. She wasn't added to the second set of figures either.
- Green Lantern: The Animated Series is an extreme example of this trope, as no toys were ever produced for the show. The toys were pitched, but no stores wanted them, because they were still trying to get rid of toys from the Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern movie, which flopped horribly. The fact that the expensive CGI animated show had no toy line to support it financially is rumored to be a major reason the show was canceled.
- Never Made Toys is a website that based on this phenomena. It's primarily based on the 80's cartoons.