Posted on January 04 2016 by Jon Lett
Have you ever been in a toy store, merchandise store, or any outlet, really, and noticed a severe lack of Zelda products? You would not be the only one. It is not exactly difficult to find some good Zelda merchandise, but it would not be a stretch to call such items scarce. Sure, you can go to a store like Gamestop to find your fill of figures and whatnot, but it is a shame to go to Wal-Mart and not see as many products based on our favorite Nintendo games, like Zelda, as there are for, say, popular cartoons. Why might this be? Should there be more Zelda-based mass-market items availablew in stores?
Join the discussion after the jump!
I think that, if anything, Zelda would not be the first series Nintendo would, or even should, choose to make a whole line of products and toys out of. There is no question that Zelda toys and such would sell well, or whether it is popular enough, but rather, it would likely benefit Nintendo to choose something else. Super Mario products are already showing up every now and then, from various kids’ toys, to McDonald’s toys appearing in Japan. This is not unexpected as Mario is basically Nintendo’s mascot. Zelda, on the other hand, while being almost as old, is not as popular. I imagine that this is partially because Zelda has recently proved to be a great marketing tool for the slightly older players in Nintendo’s fan base. The kid’s product market is the bigger enterprise, but it would be hard to have a series produce good sales on products for literally all ages. So, while Mario items are sold primarily in the kids’ toy stores, Zelda items seem to be acting as the better outlet for teen to adult consumers. Hyrule Historia and other books, expensive, high-quality figures for collectors, Symphony of the Goddesses concerts – these do not seem like something a child would be as interested in, but they do seem like fantastic items for us older folk, and while Nintendo is all about being “everyone-friendly”, the mass market outside of actual games, for them, is more focused on kids.
In the end, this is not a terrible thing. In reality, there are still child-focused Zelda products, from plushes to amiibo (even if I do love both those things), but I appreciate that Zelda fans that are older are being just as catered to as the new players these days, and based on recent business endeavors, as well as current rumors, Nintendo may just be using that mindset to make the 30th anniversary one heck of a good time. They may not be “mass market items”, but we have all seen the soon-to-be-released Zelda trading cards, lunch boxes and such that Nintendo is planning to release this year, and no matter the age, these are some items that are sure to be received well by buyers.
What do you guys think? Why might Zelda be unlikely for mass-marketing, and is it a good or bad thing that it isn’t? Drop a comment!