Movie merchandising is an accepted part of big-time blockbusters, but the 1980s really took this phenomenon to another level. When He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe showed toy companies what was possible by making a half-hour show just to introduce and promote characters for a toy line, they were desperate to get their hands on any existing intellectual property. As it turns out, not all movies make great toys.
It seemed like everything got a toy spinoff at that time, even R-rated films and movies clearly for adults or about characters who were bad. The answer was to sanitize everything in a cartoon spinoff and release it with a toy line. These days, the movies may be remembered, but not many of the toys.
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Of course the smash hit Ghostbusters would have a cartoon. Unfortunately, that name was already taken by another cartoon show, so The Real Ghostbusters and their line of toys debuted in 1986.1,10150Classic toy?
The Gremlins figures were made well and just as scary as their movie counterparts. Maybe a little too scary.81155Classic toy?
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Action movies with high body counts and hard R-ratings in the 1980s seemed to get children's action figures. 1987's RoboCop was no different, releasing a toy line and cartoon.660105Classic toy?
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After being the bad guy in the 1988 film, Beetlejuice became a good guy in the subsequent cartoon and toyline.767150Classic toy?