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And yeah, Shredder joins with the TIGER DARK GUARDIAN to become the METAL SHREDDER. Still cool, but kinda average — yeah, Bebop had a whale, but when's the last time you saw a villain come at you with whale power? And nothing's trumping Rocksteady. I wish they'd made figures of those two, but alas, Metal Shredder was the only one of the three to be immortalized in plastic and shiny silver paint. For that reason, somewhere tonight, someone's crying.
Scary-Crayon's review of the part two of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles anime.
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In Merchandise-Driven 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 Dark Horse 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 toy store, mouth drooling and brow sweaty, you find out they don't have their 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.

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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 Tagalong 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 a large cast.

Why this happens varies. Sometimes a writer that's been banging their 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.

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In a boys' show, generally the Tagalong Kid, the armies of mooks, and in older series, the Token Girl will need to be created for the show, and in a girls' show it's the same for the villains in general.

This is not just any character who doesn't appear in their 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.

The inverse of this, a character who appears in the toyline but not in the fiction, is Toyline-Exclusive Character.

Compare Canon Foreigner.


Examples:

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     Anime & Manga 
  • 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 Dark Horse, so they switched places in later waves of merchandise. 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 has started to fade for some Pretty Cure villains, even occasionally ones who aren't cute girls, although their merchandise is usually exclusive to the Toei Shop or Precure Pretty Store. However, it was definitely the case when Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash★Star was airing. Michiru and Kaoru, that season's Dark Magical Girls, were made with very plain, non-toyetic designs because they were never expected to receive merchandise, so though they were very popular with fans, this plus the general poor ratings of the season meant it took a very long time for them to get anything.
    • The Pretty Cure franchise is hit with this with the S.H. Figuarts line. Currently, Yes! Pretty Cure 5 and HappinessCharge Pretty Cure! lack Figuarts, and Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash★Star took ages to get any. While Splash Star and Happiness Charge make sense, as they both were very unpopular when they came out, the original Yes! Pretty Cure 5 don't seem to have a reason.
    • Unlike the other cures on the KiraKira★Pretty Cure à la Mode team, Cure Pekorin did not get proper merchandise, since she was introduced a month before the start of the next series. Also, her transformation was not programmed into the Sweets Pact like on the show, instead playing a generic message from the Cures.
    • Non-character example: Cure Moonlight's Moon Tact from HeartCatch Pretty Cure! and Cure Pekorin's Candy Rod from KiraKira★Pretty Cure à la Mode never got made into toys because both of these items were introduced relatively late in the run of the show.
  • 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.
    • This has changed recently, as many of the anime cards finally got their release, even if it's already a decade since their debut.
  • Digimon Data Squad gave each of its four main characters' partner Digimon a Burst Mode to promote the Digivice Burst toy. Of the four, Rosemon doesn't appear at all in the Digivice Burst despite appearing in one of the other v-pets in the Digivice iC series.
  • Digimon Fusion 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 OmniShoutmon 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 is in the form of Fusion 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.
  • Bakugan:
    • 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.
  • Ojamajo Doremi:
    • Not counting the various figurines she recieved during the show's run, Pop Harukaze only got one doll during the Sharp season, which is one of the rarest pieces of Ojamajo Doremi merchandise even made, and a plush keychain during the first season. She did get more merchandise when the show celebrated its' 20th anniversary.
    • Compared to the other fairies on the show, Roro and Nini only got small candy toy figurines that came with figures of their respective partners, while Fafa and Toto didn't get any merchandise until the show's 20th anniversary.

     Comic Books 
  • Several characters from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Marvel) did not have their own toy, 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.
  • Despite Hasbro and its subdivision Kenner doing action figures based on DC Comics during the '90s, quite a few characters were left out:
    • Despite most of non-Elseworlds figures being based on Knightfall, being mentioned on the file cards, and being one of the main villains, Bane himself never got a figure in the Legends of Batman toyline. The closest is the figure for the Batman & Robin toyline, which resembles the comic character rather than the film one. Additionally, despite getting three figures of his time as Batman, Azrael never got a figure of himself... well, as Azrael.
    • Similarly, despite the Superman: The Man of Steel toyline being being based on The Death of Superman (as well as the Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey miniseries and The Death of Clark Kent), Cyborg-Superman is the only one of the temporary Supermen not to get a figure, despite the Eradicator getting a figure, and Steel and Superboy getting multiple ones. Neither did Mongul, despite the fact he helped Cyborg-Superman.
    • The Total Justice toyline had a tie-in activity book which depicted characters who never got figures in the toyline; while the Blue Beetle figure would get released, and many others (Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Superboy, and Steel) would be figures in the JLA toyline, Oracle and Supergirl were never made into figures.
    • A toyline based on JLA (1997) , which would involve repaints of the Total Justice figures was made and would later incorporate Young Justice into this. However, Oracle again, Hippolyta, Aztek, Tomorrow Woman, Orion, Big Barda, The Ray, Lagoon Boy, and the female members of Young Justice never got figures. Box set would do exclusive figures based on the "Rock of Ages" arc, but likewise, despite most of the holograms of the "big seven" the Injustice Gang used, as well as Lex Luthor and The Joker, getting figures, the Wonder Woman hologram, the arc's true villain Darkseid (despite the JLA toyline mostly being repaints of the figures in Total Justice toyline, where he was the Big Bad), and Luthor and Joker's Injustice Gang cohorts (Circe, Ocean Master, Mirror Master, Dr. Light, and the mind-controlled Jemm) didn't.
  • Speaking of which, Secret Wars (1984) only existed to push a line of Marvel action figures from Mattel. Despite this, a lot of prominent characters from the series never got their own figures, including most of the Avengers and X-Men. What makes this so jarring is that a few characters who didn't appear in the comic at all like The Falcon, Baron Zemo, and Daredevil did end up getting figures. The disconnect between Marvel and Mattel was so great that Jim Shooter created Spider-Woman II, Volcana and Titania specifically because the toyline wanted more female characters, only for Mattel to then decide they weren't doing that, allegedly because they suddenly realised they'd need another mold (this is also apparently why there was no Hulk figure).
  • A downplayed example happened with the Madballs comic book published by defunct Marvel Comics subsidiary Star Comics that was based on the toyline of the same name. The main story of the seventh issue, which served mainly as an advertisement for the Madballs Head-Popping Action Figures, featured Snake Bait as one of the Madballs that got bodies. While Snake Bait was a Madball that already existed, given that the comic was based on the toys and not the other way around, a Head-Popping figure of Snake Bait was never made.
  • Bill Mantlo's Micronauts series for Marvel featured several original characters, as the toyline from Mego didn't have that many characters to begin with. The series was also integrated into the Marvel Universe's existing Microverse. The series not only outlasted Mego's Micronauts toyline, it outlasted Mego itself! And although Hasbro owns the rights to the toyline now and have licensed them to IDW Publishing, Marvel gets to keep the characters it created (such as Arcturus Rann and Marionette), and any characters that were already renamed and modified from the toyline (e.g. Bug, who was based on the Galactic Warrior figure), and Marvel renamed their Micronauts group the Microns.
  • Mantlo's ROM: Space Knight is an even more extreme example than the Micronauts above, as Rom was the only toy in his line. His foes, the Dire Wraiths, were merely described on his package as evil shapeshifters from a "dark nebula". The series expanded on Rom's history, made him over 200 years old, and gave him a homeworld, Galador. and a legion of Spaceknights, while the Dire Wraiths would be established as a Deviant offshoot of the Skrulls created by the Celestials. At the end of the series, Rom was given back his humanity, allowing Marvel to use him in the future without using his toy-based armored form (which is now owned by Hasbro). Marvel has even had him take the name Artour so that they can keep the character without using the Rom name.

     Film — Animation 
  • 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.
    • Malucia from Barbie and the Secret Door averts this for the first time; she's the first Big Bad to get her own doll. The cat burglar from Barbie Spy Squad continues the trend, also receiving a doll. However, she's not actually the Big Bad and makes a Heel–Face Turn.
    • Isla from Barbie: Princess Charm School lacks a doll because she didn't exist when the toyline was first created; when Delancey (who originally took her role) was retooled into being the Alpha Bitch, she was created to replace her role in Blair's group of friends.
    • Raquelle is a rare aversion to the "villains don't get toys" rule, as she's the Alpha Bitch bully in The Barbie Diaries and has a doll in the toyline. Played strangely straight for Kevin, who doesn't have a doll despite being Barbie's Love Interest (which typically get Ken dolls made of them).
  • Disney Fairies:
    • It looked like movie-verse's Vidia was going to be this way, until a doll finally came out for the third movie. Even the book-verse's 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.
  • The LEGO Ninjago Movie: Despite the fact that the fired generals play an important part in the second act, only the original General #1 received a physical minifigure of his fired variant.
  • The people doing the commentary track for Osmosis Jones admitted they had Thrax change a car to suit his appearance to sell toys of that car. It never happened.
  • In The Secret Life of Pets, all of the main characters have easy-to-find and abundant toys—except Tiberius. His lack of presence in the trailers and other advertisements makes it hard to know he even exists in the movie at all.
  • In-Universe with Toy Story. The two fictional Buzz Lightyear series feature a wide cast of characters. With Pixar seemingly barring elements from the cartoon from showing up in the movies and Lightyear coming out well after Toy Story 4 ended the mainline Toy Story movies, only Buzz and the Evil Emperor Zurg are seen as toys, with anyone else seen in either iteration of the Buzz Lightyear mythos nowhere to be found. They aren't even mentioned by Buzz or Zurg.

     Film — Live-Action 
  • It has become an ongoing point of criticism of the toy industry that female characters are often omitted from toy lines. Or, if they appear at all, it's in limited-edition release or very expensive prestige editions. A (very short) list of examples include the Gal Gadot version of Wonder Woman, who was omitted from most toy releases related to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Rey from The Force Awakens (toys featuring her didn't start to turn up until well after the film was released, even though she's The Hero), the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Black Widow, Alice from the Resident Evil films (also another instance involving The Hero), etc.
  • Star Wars:
    • The LEGO Star Wars line began in 1999 , but 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.
    • The original 1978-85 Star Wars action figure line did not include Grand Moff Tarkin, despite him being a major supporting character in the original film played by popular actor Peter Cushing. Tarkin eventually got a figure in 1997 as part of the 1995-2000 Power of the Force line.
    • One travesty (for fans) is that Kenner never made Bantha figures to go with the Tusken Raiders. It wasn't until 2007 that Raider figures got their mounts when Hasbro released them.
  • 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 and The Other don't have any actual figures of them in the aforementioned action figure lines. The Other is especially odd since Hasbro even bothered to make a Skrull warrior action figure, despite the Skrulls not appearing in The Avengers in any way. Oddly enough the Hero Clix line for the movie did the same thing, with several Skrull units but nothing from the actual movie.
    • In general, a lot of the characters from the live-action TV shows don't get figures, usually due to the shows being aimed at more adult audiences, or the characters eschewing toyetic costumes in favor of street clothes. For instance, as of 2017, Ghost Rider is the only character from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to actually have their own action figure (not counting the figures Coulson got for The Avengers).
    • Avengers: Age of Ultron has figures for everyone from The Vision and Ultron to Nick Fury and War Machine. In contrast, there's almost no merchandise for Quicksilver or the Scarlet Witch, who are two of the film's most important characters.
    • Due to complicated licensing issues, very little Spider-Man merchandise was released for Captain America: Civil War (an odd example since a deal regarding profits from Spider-Man merchandise sales helped lead to Disney and Sony making the deal to bring the character into the MCU). There was also absolutely nothing for Helmut Zemo, the movie's Big Bad.
    • A frequent criticism of Hasbro's Marvel Legends line (as well as the previous 6" movie figures in the same style and scale) is that movie villains tend to get ignored. Examples include Whiplash from Iron Man 2, Red Skull from Captain America: The First Avenger, Loki from Thor (though realizing this grave error, Loki was subsequently included in the 6" lines for The Avengers and Thor: Ragnarok), Ronan and Nebula from Guardians of the Galaxy (though Nebula later received a 6" figure in the sequel), Yellowjacket from Ant-Man and Kaecilius from Doctor Strange (2016). Interestingly, the Mandarin from Iron Man 3 was going to get a Marvel Legends figure, but it was scrapped for unknown reasons. These omissions proved significant enough that Hasbro later launched a special 10th anniversary line for the MCU, which finally included characters like the aforementioned Ronan, Yellowjacket and the Mandarin.
    • Korg from Thor: Ragnarok was left out of most of the film's merchandise, despite being one of its Breakout Characters.
    • Aversion with Black Panther. Klaue and M'Baku were initially absent from most of the film's merchandising, but after the movie became an Earth-shattering hit, Hasbro and other companies (such as Funko and Hot Toys) quickly started pumping out new figures featuring the characters that had previously been passed over.
  • Karg from Masters of the Universe never had an action figure made of him, although his fellow movie characters Blade and Saurod did. This was rectified in 2019, with him finally getting a movie accurate figure as part of the final wave of Masters of the Universe Classics.
  • The toyline for X2: X-Men United only featured a portion of the cast, meaning a lot of characters like Storm, Jean Grey, Mystique and Pyro were omitted anyway. But the real surprise is that Lady Deathstrike, a cool villain who was featured very prominently in all of the marketing for the film, didn't get a single figure to her name.
  • Small Soldiers, a film about action figures gone homicidal, had two major villains, Butch Meathook and Link Static, who were never released in real life except in the Burger King promotion. In addition, Troglokhan, the Gorgonite who was butchered by the Commandos and later rebuilt as Freakenstein, had no figures released in his original likeness.

     Literature 
  • In the Star Darlings franchise, Tessa, Astra, Adora, Gemma and Clover don't have dolls, and Piper only has a Wishworld outfit, not a Starland doll. Cassie has only a Wishworld outfit in the US, but a Starland doll with her pet Itty in the UK only.

     Live-Action TV 
  • 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 Nejiranger/Psycho Rangers were to Denji Sentai Megaranger/Power Rangers in Space, the idea of not having figures for them is infuriating for fans.) Though this happened less when Bandai America started doing their own molds.
    • 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 or Dino Thunder's Pachycephalosaurus Zord, which are required for major Megazord formations.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Various belts and items from movie-only characters were never released in toy form, such as the G Den-O Belt and the Aqua Driver. Partially subverted in the case of Kiva-la's belt; Kiva-la was released, but only as a standalone toy and not as a belt.
    • The Tire Koukan line left out a handful of Shift Tires and Kourin Signals, and two of the three Tire Blendings used by Drive's final form (including his main one). Plus some forms and Riders that only appeared in the movies or DVD specials. Other "gimmick figure" lines had similar lacks.
    • The Bottle Change Rider line had only seven out of Build's sixteen Best Matches and only one of his five Hazard forms (though it did come with parts to turn it into another Super Mode that used it as a base), plus two other forms. Cross-Z got his second form only (his default form and two other super forms were left out), Grease's super form was left out, and neither Mad Rogue nor any of Evol's forms were released.
  • Hazard, from BattleBots, never appeared in any of the toylines, despite being a three-time middleweight champion.
  • Being that The Noddy Shop is a series about toys in a toy shop that come to life, one would expect there to be merchandise of said characters. Out of the characters in the show, only the characters in the Noddy's Toyland Adventures segments got toys, with the toys from the Framing Device segments only getting a series of stickers, a puzzle set, and a calendar. The characters were also printed on the boxes of various other merchandise despite not being made for those particular lines, such as a toy car series and Play By Play's plushies of the Toyland Adventures characters, and cameoed in the Noddy annual for 2000.
  • Thunderbirds: Tin Tin, her father Kyrano, and grandma Tracy never received a toy figure, while every other main character or frequent supporting character did. Downplayed with Thunderbird 5; there are some toys of this Thunderbird, but notably fewer than of any of the other thunderbird vehicles. Several lines of Thunderbird merchandising released over the years completely omitted the space station, often in favor of Lady Penelope's FAB 1 car (most likely since Thunderbird 5 never participates in any action, limiting it's play value). There are also various pod vehicles that appeared in only 1 episode, and thus never received a toy.
  • The onee-sans in Inai Inai Baa! used to get a lot of merchandise back in the day (specifically during eras from the Kana-chan era to the Koto-chan era), but once the merchandise decided to just focus on Wanwan and U-tan, they barely got any merchandise, only appearing as images printed on the bonus gifts that come with the magazines and in coloring books. The only onee-san to get merch once Koto-chan left was Yuki-chan, who got an Air Friends doll.

     Toys 
  • 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. Of course, this being LEGO, filling in the gaps for oneself through building is encouraged. In fact, some of the side characters got their official toy depictions through contests held by LEGO, where the best design would go on to become canon; and many more minor characters (including most Dark Hunters and many Rahi beasts) were outright created by fans in this way.
    • In a lot of cases, characters have been through transformations, but only one form of theirs gets a toy:
      • Lhikan spent the majority of the saga as a small Turaga elder, but his only toy is his heroic Toa form. There actually was a goofy-looking promo mini set that kinda resembled Lhikan's Turaga form, and for a long while fans used it as a stand-un, until Greg Farshtey officially canonized it as the set representation of Turaga Lhikan, eight years after its initial release.
      • 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, although his Toa-state hasn't actually had any importance. A year after their debut, two Toa sets came out that looked suspiciously like them, but these were the Toa forms of two separate, likewise mutated characters instead: Iruini and Norik respectively, from the then-released smaller Rahaga set-line — meaning that the other four Rahaga's Toa forms also ended up being toyless.
    • Indeed, there were multiple obvious design similarities between the mutated Nidhiki and Toa Iruini and Turaga Dume and Toa Norik that were "written off as mere coincidences" — and in the case of Norik's mask, it was explained that it got reshaped to look like the type of mask worn by Dume note . However, Greg Farshtey later confirmed that the idea of Toa Iruni being the set of Toa Nidhiki was discussed "for all of 35 seconds", that he didn't think a Toa Dume set was ever discussed, and if the set had ended up being Nidhiki, it's entirely possible the mask could have ended up being redesigned.
      • 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, due to spending those years as a mysterious unseen presence. A proper Mask of Life would not be made until 3 years after it's introduction. note 
    • 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.note 
    • 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.
    • Averted with Nektann, who had simply been an offhand reference in the story lore; but when a new Piraka toy was made that didn't match any of the existing Piraka, Nektann was an existing character of the correct species so LEGO said the toy was him.
  • BIONICLE (2015):
    • Ekimu got released in the second wave, though he was an important character before that.
    • Book-exclusive characters like Bingzak, Harvali or Axoto didn't get sets. Nor did the red Skull Spider from the promo comics, since the only available colors are blue, silver and bright green. The Ice Shadow Trap wasn't ever sold either, but its appearance from the cartoon can easily be replicated if one has the necessary Lego pieces.
    • Makuta is an interesting case: he's had at least two canonical forms shown off in media, his standard villager form (which had two distinct designs, one in the webisodes and comics, and one in the cartoon) and his enormous "shadow titan" form. Lego released a designer video showing off two other possible titan Makuta forms along with a prototype version of his mask — none of which got released as toys due to the line getting Cut Short again. The titan's cartoon design can however be constructed out of various other Bionicle toys (sans his mask) and a good approximation of his villager form can also be built since its mask was released.
    • Subverted with the six ancient Protectors. Technically never released as toys, but they look exactly the same as the six actual Protector figures.
  • Hero Factory, 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).
  • Ever After High:
    • Ever After High has several, oddly enough. Between some excellently-designed Backgrounders (who aren't even named), and the occasional named character with some importance (Melody Piper went two years without a doll; Hopper Croakington and Humphrey Dumpty never, ever received them), you'll find a lot of fans clamoring for dolls. Male characters especially suffer from this — Daring Charming was a character of great importance to the plot from the beginning (he was the most high-end of the male Royals, Dexter's brother, and believed to be Apple's betrothed in the future), yet didn't get a doll for the first three years of the franchise. Key villains like The Evil Queen, The Cheshire Cat and The Red Knight also go without dolls.
    • Moreover, various movies and shorts give huge chunks of the cast new dresses... but only a handful of these are ever made into dolls. "Thronecoming" gave us only a handful of dolls, with a half-dozen getting designs in the episode. "The Dragon Games" featured plenty of new dolls in sporty gear... but another chunk of the cast never got any. Faybelle Thorn got a new look in "Epic Winter", but her outfit was palette-swapped from Apple White's doll — Apple barely appears in that movie.
    • As mentioned, many "backgrounders" have designs on par with the toy characters but they're never even named. Several feature completely original designs (not generic ones or reused assets) but are still nameless extras. Only a handful of backgrounders, like Lilly-Bo Peep and Rosabella Beauty, make the leap to being actual characters. For example, there's one long-haired boy in a gothic-looking suit, a girl in a golden Indian-inspired dress, a girl with distinctive pink-and-purple hair, and two girls (probably twins) with similar green-and-black striped hair. It's been stated that a few of the backgrounders look so elaborate because they're designed either after staff or people that the staff know.
  • Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls has a few characters like Milky Way's little sister and Pluto's band-mates who exist as official art but have no toys.
  • Barbie: Barbie's parents only exist in books. They've never appeared as their own dolls.

     Tabletop Games 
  • Back in the day, Warhammer 40,000 rulebooks had stats for units or special characters that didn't have their own official model yet, leading hobbyists to convert their own Ork Battlewagons or heroes like Nuadhu "Fireheart" of the Eldar in the meantime. But then other miniatures manufacturers started selling models for such units, prompting GW to take legal action - and unexpectedly lose. The company's controversial response was to drop any model-less units from the rulebooks altogether, which infamously Nerfed the Tyranids for almost a year by taking away their ability to field (Organic) Drop Podsnote  and axing over half of the Dark Eldar special characters.
    • This sometimes overlaps with Unseen No More. An arguable example of this is Szarekh the Silent King, who while being alluded to in the Necron lore for a long period of time, did not get a miniature until 2020. More traditional examples include background characters such as the High Lords of Terra (barring Morvehn Vahl, an instance of Remember the New Guy? in 2021).

     Video Games 
  • 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.
    • The Imaginators line solved this, with many of the new characters being released being bad guys from the game before, Trap Team, including Kaos, Chompy Mage and Wolfang.
  • Due to its Contested Sequel status among the fans, it's relatively rare for characters from Street Fighter III to be featured in merchandise for the series. The main exception is Ibuki, who has Ensemble Dark Horse status. For instance, she and Remy were the only characters from III to be featured in SOTA's beloved Street Fighther action figure line.
  • Despite coming out with five video games (three for DC Comics, two so far for the Marvel Comics heroes, LEGO has only managed to come out with actual mini figures of the primary heroes (and villains) in both universes. Several heroes (and villains) that are shown in the video games have yet to have actual figures made of them.
  • Despite being one of the title characters, no toys have ever been released for Kazooie of Banjo-Kazooie. Banjo got one toy release based off of his Diddy Kong Racing appearance, but because Kazooie was not with him in that game, she was not included. Interestingly, there had been plans for a Banjo-Kazooie toy to be released, but it fell through and only the finished, painted prototype (which ended up selling on eBay for a cool twenty thousand dollars) was made.
  • Practically all the official action figures and model kits for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance revolve around Raiden. This is likely due to the game's development having been outsourced to PlatinumGames, resulting in all of the game's original elements being co-owned by them. Since Raiden was an established character from previous Metal Gear games, the rights to his character are fully owned by Konami, making him exempt from any co-ownership. Want a Raiden figure? You have your choice of Play Arts, Revoltech Yamaguchi, Hot Toys, and Gecco (with some of these being available in recolors as well). On the other hand, if you want a Bladewolf to accompany your Raiden, then tough luck. Want a Jetstream Sam or any of the Winds of Destruction for your Raiden to face? Too bad. The only non-Raiden merchandise based on MGR was a pair of Dwarf Gekko figures sold by Sentinel Toys, which were enemy mechs previously introduced in Metal Gear Solid 4.
  • The various DLC for Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth - Hacker's Memory included Super-Deformed versions of Alphamon, Omnimon, and Gallantmon based on the NXEDGE Style figures released around the same time. The DLC also included similar versions of Crusadermon and Leopardmon despite them not having figures in the toyline, but by virtue of being important players in Cyber Sleuth's story.

     Western Animation 
  • Sparks, Big Lob and Pythona in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. Sparks appeared in a couple of episodes during the first season as a communication officer for the Joes before retiring from dutynote  (and being replaced by Breaker and Dial-Tone). 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, with Pythona following in 2016.
    • The short-lived mid-'90s G.I. Joe Extreme spinoff had action figures planned for Mayday (the Extreme Team's token female) and Quick Stryke, as well S.K.A.R. members Wreckage and Rampage. The unpopularity of the Extreme series resulted in these characters being shelved from the toyline, although prototypes have been known to exist.
  • Neither Squeaky Cleen nor any of the female characters (Mainframe, Nightshade, Ms. Demeanor and Mirage) from C.O.P.S. (1988) were action figures to start with. And we do mean "start with"; like Transformers and G.I. Joe, the toys came first.
  • Strawberry Shortcake:
    • The Peculiar Purple Pieman Of Porcupine Peak 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 cartoon though he does appear in the IDW comics. 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 Lizard Man 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. She and Crita then got their own figures years later.
    • 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 spent 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), and the two Evilseed's. Filmation Count Marzo, and the others are still waiting, though.
      • With the end of the Classic line in 2019, the chances of them having figures are unlikely now due to Mattel revoking Super7's licence and opting to do a new line of 5 inch scale action figures that harkens back to the original toyline with added articulation.
  • 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, Cyborg Fish Person Mako, or Mecha-Mooks Groundborg and Seaborg. An interesting case happened with Sixth Rangers Rex Charger and John Thunder: they were intended to be in the second wave 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.
  • For Littlest Pet Shop (2012), there are way fewer toys of Vinnie than any of the other main pets. While at the beginning of the show, the characters for the toys were created independently of the show except for Penny and Zoe, from late 2014 and onwards, Hasbro made a greater attempt to match the Littlest Pet Shop toys to the characters from the show. However, in these some lines, such as the official plushes and the capsule-based squishy figurines, Vinnie is left out entirely with the exception of a few collectors' sets.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987):
    • In the 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, although the main cast is well represented in the toyline.
  • 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, most famously with First Born (from Rescue From Midnight Castle) and Fiesta Flair. Fiesta Flair from G3 is an interesting example. She was never put into the toys and her design was reused for Candy Apple but she appears prominently in specials, even as a cameo in G3.5 long after her time. Danny, the brother of human protagonist Megan Williams from My Little Pony 'n Friends and The One Guy along with Spike, never had a toy either.
    • Then they fully embraced this trope for the G4 adaptation, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
      • 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 twelve dresses introduced in an episode all about dresses, six 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. In 2015 Rarity and Rainbow Dash were finally released in their Gala outfits as Fashion Style dolls and in early 2017,Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash (again) were released as regular sized Playful Ponies in their Gala dresses and can be paired with a special Rarity playset based around Canterlot Carousel. Build-a-Bear also sold the Gala dresses for their line of My Little Pony plush dolls.
      • Naturally, the show's large Periphery Demographic fandom, frustrated by the lack of official toys from Hasbro, has 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 Breezie versions of the Mane Six and the colorful changelings both seem to only have been put in the show to advertise toy designs, but neither of them actually made it to the shelves. Not even Ocellus got a toy: instead it was the rest of the Student Six and Cozy Glow.
    • Although Photo Finish & the Snapshots from My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks have recieved a full trio of dolls, and most of the humanized background fan favorites have also appeared in said toyline (even a few that aren't in the film), Trixie's bandmates remain toyless.
    • Some of the characters from My Little Pony: The Movie only got collector's toys (the Storm King and Grubber) or had only one toy made of them (Capper and Queen Novo), while Verko didn't get any toys.
  • 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.
  • 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 (2011) 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.
  • Four of the main villains in Silverhawks (Pokerface, Melodia, Timestopper, and Yes-Man) were unrepresented in the toyline for whatever reason.
  • Out of all the characters in Mixels (a show that's actually concurrent with a toyline, thanks to both LEGO and Cartoon Network working together to make it), some of the only characters to lack a set are Major Nixel (The Dragon) and Muscle Nixel (one of his minions, only seen in the Calling All Mixels app game). In comparison, King Nixel got his own set in Wave 6. This was eventually extended to even more characters in the "Every Knight Has Its Day" episode, which introduces more background Mixels from currently-introduced tribes. Perhaps most bizarre of all is that the main protagonists of the finale never got any set at all!
  • Every character in Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, save the villains. The toyline consisted entirely of vehicles with swappable parts, with the good guys represented as the "Lightning League", and the bad guys as the "Monster Minds". But while the Monster Minds were sentient plant based beings that could take the form of vehicles, the Lightning League cars were just cars driven by the protagonists of the show, none of whom received toys. There was a generic "driver" figure, but he doesn't represent anyone from the show. Mattel planned to make action figures of the series' main cast, but they were never released.
  • On most merchandise of The Flintstones, Betty Rubble will not be present because she is far and away the least popular main character. She didn't even appear in the Flintstones vitamins until 1995, over 25 years after they were first introduced (she replaced the Flinstones' car)
  • Jem:
    • The Stingers were created to sell toys, as parents thought The Misfits' dolls were too scary. The Stingers' toys were never created due to the cancellation of the series.
    • Regine and Astral were meant to have dolls but the franchise was canceled before they could be released.
  • Sky Commanders is yet another example of this trope overlapping with The Smurfette Principle. Each faction had one female member (Red McCullogh from the Sky Commanders, Dr. Erica Slade from the Raiders); neither of them made it to the toy line, even as a prototype from the unproduced second year of figures.
  • Challenge of the GoBots had some notable GoBots who did not get their own toys.
    • When the Guardians visit the slums of Old Gobotron in "Lost on Gobotron", they encounter a local bigwig named Wrecks. They invite him to return with them, but he says he's needed where he is.
    • The episode "Steamer's Defection" had the titular character, who turns into a steamroller and ends up defecting from the Renegades to join the Guardians.
    • Downplayed with the Renegade Snoop, who did have a figure planned for release, but did not see the light of day in the American market and was only publicly released in Australia's Machine Men line as well as Europe's Robo Machine line.
  • For the 2015 reboot of Danger Mouse, there are toys of Danger Mouse, Penfold, Greenback, Nero, Stiletto and even Colonel K, but no toys of Professor Squawkencluck, Jeopardy Mouse, other Danger Agents or other villains.
    • In the episode "Danger Fan" Penfold, Colonel K, Squawkencluck, Greenback and Stiletto are shrunk down and put in packaging similar to what the real-life action figures come in. If that's anything to go by, it's possible there was a Squawkencluck figure planned at one point.
  • The Inspector Gadget action figures made by Tiger Toys in 1992 included Penny and Brain, Dr. Claw and MAD Cat (showing Dr. Claw's face for the first time) and multiple different Inspector Gadgets that all did different things, but there was no Chief Quimby figure, even though they even included a generic MAD agent.
  • Rose Petal Place had the villainess Nastina get a toy, but her lackey Horace didn't. Also, the second special introduced six new characters who were planned to be made as toys but it never materialized.
  • Peppermint Rose's beetle villains never got toys, nor did Dimmy the wizard or Petalpuff the dragon.
  • While all four (later five) of the Extreme Dinosaurs became toys, only two of their archenemies, the Raptors, did. Spittor, the Raptors' resident Evil Genius, never got a toy, and neither did the recurring human and alien characters.
  • Lady Lovely Locks never made toys for Hairball, Duchess Ravenwaves' lackey, or Shining Glory, the powerful wizard. Longcurl the mother dragon is an interesting example as while her babies got toys, she didn't.
  • In late 1997, McDonald's released Happy Meal Toys for 101 Dalmatians: The Series, consisting of little flip-cars where when you flip one character down, another one comes up on the other side of the car. While most of the main and supporting animal characters (plus Cruella) were part of the set, Whizzer, Patch, and Mooch were not included. It should be noted that the Happy Meal toys were some of the only toys released for the series.
  • While most of the characters from Rugrats got plenty of toys, Kimi only got two Burger King toys and a doll of her in a wedding dress. This even extended to the product line for All Grown Up!, where she only got one doll.
  • Daisy the Diesel Railcar from Thomas & Friends oddly lacks a Trackmaster/Plarail toy. She also hasn't had any merchandise from 2009 to 2022, which is odd considering she appears much more in the newer CGI era than the model era.
  • The only Atomic Betty characters to get toys were Bettynote , Noah, Penelope, X-5, Sparky, Maximus and Minimus.
  • Herself the Elf didn't make toys for the villains, King Thorn and Creeping Ivy.
  • PJ Sparkles didn't have toys for Mrs. O'Malley, the Cloak, Betty, Peter, or the unnamed Twinkle Town residents.
  • Ninjago has so many that its wiki has a category page for them. Notable examples include Misako and Dr. Julien.
  • Dinofroz is a weird case: while the blindbag figure series featured almost every dinosaur and dragon character from the show, the larger figures only featured the main heroes and the main villains... except for Eric/Pterodix, who got nothing.
  • Puppy in My Pocket: Adventures in Pocketville, which is also one of Mondo TV’s many works, is also a weird case. None of the human characters aside from Kate has gotten a doll, not even the children that received Chosen Pets. However, usually the more prominent Pocketville characters have their own toys, as more minor characters such as Holiday, Steel Wool, unnamed chickens, Milo, Ellie, Dr. Schwartzer, an unnamed lion cub, Andre, the three Puppy Trotters, the two bear chefs, and more do not have their own figurine.
  • The Inhumanoids toyline notably lacked figures of Earth Corps allies Sandra "Ms. Navigator" Shore, Anatoly "Tankmaster" Kieve and Brad "Sabre Jet" Ambruster, Sandra's brother Blackthorne Shore (in spite of freeing the Inhumanoids in the first place and having his own armor) and the Inhumanoids Gagoyle and Sslither, although most of them were planned for the second year before it was canceled.
  • The Captain Planet and the Planeteers figures from the '90s had all the Planeteers (even the female ones) and even Captain Clash, but no Gaia. Likewise, almost all the Eco-Villains were represented, except Zarm & Looten Plunder, with the latter's main henchman Argos Bleak getting a figure in his place (also making Bleak one of only two henchmen note  to get a figure). Years later, they released some additional figures based on "the New Adventures of Captain Planet" but only had the Planeteers and three different Captain Planet variants although at least Ma-Ti's pet monkey got a figure.
  • Many of the characters introduced to the Teddy Ruxpin franchise in The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin did not have any toys made of them. It doesn't help matters that Worlds of Wonder, who made the toys, went bankrupt shortly after the show's conclusion.
  • Elena of Avalor's toyline had almost if not all of Elena's dresses up until Season 3, likely as Disney saw the show as a failure and is also notorious for lacking merchandise for its cartoon shows.
  • Star Wars Rebels only had figures for the Ghost crew, Agent Kallus, the Grand Inquisitor, Vizago, Wullffwarro, Ahsoka, Darth Vader, Seventh Sister, Fifth Brother, Captain Rex, Fenn Rau, and Darth Maul.
  • Star Wars Resistance only had figures for Kaz, BB-8, Yeager, Bucket, Synara, Torra, Major Vonreg, and Commander Pyre. The crew has voiced disappointment in the lack of Tam and Neeku figures, leaving Team Fireball incomplete.
  • Action Man (1995) had figures for every main character except for Jacques and Ursula.
  • The only characters of Action Man (2000) to get their own toys were Action Man, Dr. X and Professor Gangrene, with no figures made of Grinder, Fidget, Rikki, Tempest, Asazi or Quake.
  • DuckTales (2017): Mrs Beakley was the only one of the then eight main characters not to get any merchandise. Della, the show’s ninth main character after Season 2, was due to get a figure in the cancelled second wave.


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