Ah, I see now. I'd just never really heard of a show that was so reliant on merchandising. I was under the impression that that was usually just a little extra that didn't really impact the mothership element of the franchise one way or the other.
No, this has pretty much been the norm for animated shows for decades now. That's why so many cartoons in the '80s were basically half-hour toy commercials like He-Man
and My Little Pony
and Pound Puppies
and crazy-awful things like Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors
. All of those were built around pre-existing or simultaneously developed toy lines in order to promote them. And even those few shows that weren't based on toys to begin with were pressured to write in vehicles and equipment that could be marketed as toys -- which is why The Real Ghostbusters
had a mini-copter in their early episodes, and why the Gargoyles
acquired a helicopter in their first season even though they had wings of their own.
Heck, the long-running Power Rangers
franchise, now nearing its 20th anniversary, is an adaptation of an even longer-running Japanese franchise that's co-produced by the toy company Bandai and basically exists to sell merchandise, which is why every season features new Rangers with new costumes, equipment, and giant robots.
Does Nikelodian rely on toys like this? Because I've never seen any Korra toys in the stores, and I want to make sure I shouldn't be worried about it's future.
I don't think Nickelodeon is as strict about it as Cartoon Network is. And the Avatar franchise is so prestigious and acclaimed that I doubt they'd ditch it.
There was an Avatar: The Last Airbender
toy line, but it was an abomination because it completely excluded the female characters
, even though they were consistently the most kickass and powerful fighters on the show. Given that kind of mentality, it's no wonder they haven't found a toy-company partner for Korra