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Analysis / Merchandise-Driven

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In Merchandise-Driven shows, the manufacturers of the product the show is based on, often control the show in many ways possible in order to sell more, here are some tropes associated with this effect.

Loads and Loads of Characters

Having a huge cast of characters in the show, means there will be more characters available for toys.

Gotta Catch Them All

Perfect for a merchandise line focused on collecting.


Minimalist Cast and Economy Cast

The opposite can happen, sometimes, stories will be focused only on the few characters who have toys.

The Worf Effect and Badass Decay

In order to make the new character seem very cool, they first appear defeating strong foes, but when their toys are no longer being sold, they became easily defeated.

Sixth Ranger

A great way to add another character to the toyline.

Spotlight-Stealing Squad

Characters whose toys need to be promoted are given more prominence in the story.


Cut Short

When the toyline is discontinued, so is the show.

Plot Armor

Characters who sell lots of toys and currently have toys in stores aren't allowed to die.

Red Shirt

Characters whose toys were discontinued, or never had toys to begin with, are prone to this.

Dropped a Bridge on Him

Toys of the character are no longer in production, so this character is swiftly removed from the show.

Chuck Cunningham Syndrome/Demoted to Extra

In order to keep characters who don't have toys anymore away instead of killing them.


First Law of Resurrection

Killing a character in such media is not always meant as a way to sell toys, but if his toy goes back into production, he will come back from the dead no matter what.

Continuity Snarl

It can happen thanks to frequent demands for the story to be focused on toy sales instead of being coherent.


Example of: