Are mech shows generally merchandised?

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Mafty
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Are mech shows generally merchandised?

Post by Mafty » Sat Dec 12, 2020 10:46 pm

It's often mention that Sunrise(and model companies in general) heavily gears Gundam toward model sales (apparently to the point of even changing storylines at times), so is this true of every mecha show? Because it seems like some shows from different studios (ie, Price of Smiles, Strain: Strategic Armored Infantry,) or even more obscure Sunrise works(Argento Soma, most of the units from Buddy Complex) never get models kits. Are mech models something only really popular shows get? Or does it depend on the company who produced it?

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Seto Kaiba
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Re: Are mech shows generally merchandised?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Sun Dec 13, 2020 12:31 am

Mafty wrote:
Sat Dec 12, 2020 10:46 pm
It's often mention that Sunrise(and model companies in general) heavily gears Gundam toward model sales (apparently to the point of even changing storylines at times), so is this true of every mecha show? Because it seems like some shows from different studios (ie, Price of Smiles, Strain: Strategic Armored Infantry,) or even more obscure Sunrise works(Argento Soma, most of the units from Buddy Complex) never get models kits. Are mech models something only really popular shows get? Or does it depend on the company who produced it?
As narrow as profit margins in the anime industry are, virtually every anime title produced is heavily dependent on merchandising in order to break even and turn a profit. It's not just model kits. We're talking character goods and soundtracks and toys and games and adaptations and all sorts of other stuff.

Normally, the studio will share concept art and final production model sheets for characters, mecha, etc. with their existing merchandising partners to see who's interested in producing merchandise for the new show, and draw up an initial batch of license agreements for merchandise to come out while the show is on the air. When it comes to well established franchises, one or more merchandising partners (e.g. Bandai) will be on the production committee and receive their license in exchange for helping fund production. This can sometimes affect the direction of the series itself if the toy partner wants to cash in on a particular trend, like Gakken did with MOSPEADA that led to the titular mecha being forced out of focus in favor of transforming fighters due to Macross's popularity.

These days, it's more difficult for an unproven original IP to secure significant merchandising deals before the series airs because of the rising costs of production and the risks inherent in competing with well-established franchises.

If a new, original IP does well it will usually pick up additional licensees after broadcast begins based on how well it performs in terms of average viewership. If a series does poorly, licensees who committed to it beforehand may be inclined to take a loss on the merchandise development they've already done and abandon planned products for the series like what happened to Southern Cross when its ratings tanked.



So when it comes to obscure or unsuccessful shows... the reason they don't have kits or toys is usually because the show did poorly and either lost, or never attracted, that kind of merchandising partner.
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Kuruni
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Re: Are mech shows generally merchandised?

Post by Kuruni » Sun Dec 13, 2020 7:59 am

However, not all merchandise series has a show.

Currently, Diaclone and Zoids Wild Senki only have short animation for promotion, and both give the vibe that they're just promoting toys instead of telling story by itself. However, both are also being proven IP and the brand are well recognized already.

I wonder how well Frame Arms kits did before they give extra push with Frame Arms Girls series. But by now FA is over decade old as well....
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MythSearcher
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Re: Are mech shows generally merchandised?

Post by MythSearcher » Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:31 pm

A "change the story" concept I can think of is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zillion_(TV_series)
In the original plot given in the early episodes, it is basically impossible to alter their guns(black box artefacts they obtained), but Sega's involvement made them changed their guns to match their own merchandise designs(which ironically, never got released in Japan) and retconned that the black box is only a part inside the gun and not the whole gun. This is actually a good change even for the anime though, the 3 characters can have custom parts for their specific roles and thus can have more freedom in formation(e.g. so you don't see a sniper using a handgun type weapon)

BTW, mecha is considered character in the anime industry, e.g RX-78 Gundam and Amuro Ray are two different characters. I don't think this is the case in the Western IPs other than the heavily Japanese involved Transformers.

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