It's generally regarded that Filmation's Masters of the Universe cartoon was the first half hour advert. Sure, it taught children to take care, not throw away grandparents, and that exploding pigs are bad, but really it was about getting little Damian to pester his parents to buy him Castle Grayskull (which they didn't - poor little Damian had to buy it for himself twenty years later).
Since then 99% of cartoons have been created purely to sell toys. But what about that other 1%? What about those cartoons that you wished and wished had toys to go with them but never did?
Here are some of them...
Mysterious Cities of Gold
If only the series had been more popular in America, the country which basically determines what gets toys. I mean, just imagine how fantastic a golden condor toy would have been!
When I win the lottery, the first thing I'm going to do - before all the boring stuff like buying a house and car and things - is buy the merchandising rights (they've got to be pretty cheap, considering its lack of popularity) and then employ someone to make me a toy line. I'll then have one of each toy manufactured, put them on a website, buy them myself and then declare the line as the Next Big Thing since they sold out so fast.
It's a plan that cannot fail.
Dungeons & Dragons
The best this cartoon had were PVC figures released only in Spain and Portugal. Where's my Tiamat toy?! Thinking about it, I think we did have a dragon years ago that looked vaguely like the dragon, but it wasn't official and there was definitely no Venger to go with it.
So many toy opportunities :'(
Legend of Prince Valiant
Probably any old knight toys would have done for this, but it took years to convince my dad to build a castle (his own fault - he refused to buy me one. What is it with him and castle-buying refusal?). The best we ever got merchandise-wise was the soundtrack CD and that was a nightmare to track down (though it's mine now, bwah-ha-ha!)
To be honest I never really longed for Raccoons toys. The cartoon was enough and it's mostly here on the blog as I wanted to listen to Run With Us. Tis awesome.