Cash Cow Franchise

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A kind of franchise that's been so popular for so long that they seem to be grandfathered into the industry.

You know the ones we're talking about: You've seen the TV advertisements, watched the shows, played the video games. Your parents knew about them when they were young unknowns, and they're still turning a profit today. And not just any everyday profit, either—they're raking in a windfall!

A Cash Cow Franchise may enjoy great success and popularity, but it also draws detractors and complaints about everything from the Merchandise to the marketing.

Compare Long Runners (franchises that last a long time) and Franchise Zombies (which continue well past what the creator intended).

Examples of Cash Cow Franchise include:

Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Gundam, inspiring spinoffs, video games and toys since 1979.
    • This especially applies the model kits. There are more grades, variants and designs that one can count.
  • Mazinger Z: Much like Gundam, since its inception in 1972, it has spawned one dozen of different manga versions, sequels, spinoffs, Crossovers, video games and toys, and it does not stop.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion is still creating new merchandise and sparking hot debates over a decade after the end of the original series.
    • Not to mention about a million different spin-offs and "reinterpretations" of the original, each with a completely different ending. As if the viewers weren't confused enough....
      • In fact, they're currently producing a tetralogy of films retelling/reinterpreting the series in its entirety (or what can be fit into four 90 minute films).
    • Don't forget the figures, figurines, statues, and any other tiny form just about anything from the series, all of which could go from 20 to 300 USD.
    • Current estimates put Evangelion as being one of, if not the, most heavily merchandised animated works in history.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!!, while not quite as long-running as some of the other examples, has generated considerable attention, especially with its tie-in collectible card game which is in the Guinness Book of World Records (circa 2009) for best selling TCG worldwide. Apparently, card games really are Serious Business.
    • Besides the two most known spinoffs, GX and 5D's, 4Kids! Entertainment tried its own very spin off with "Capsule Monsters", giving the name of a game played in the manga (very known among the fans - to the point that in Japan it also had its own video game - since it introduces Mokuba and for being an evident spoof of Pokémon) to a bad conceived rip off of Pokémon and Saint Seiya.
    • And we shouldn't forget Yu-Gi-Oh! R, that (basically) tells the "untold story" of Pegasus' adopted child and his revenge against Yugi & Co.
  • Naruto. There's just something about ninjas...and yet despite maintaining decent rating through the majority of Filler hell, Cartoon Network cancels it with about ten episodes left before the Time Skip. Which is even weirder considering that (at least relatively speaking) it's EVEN MORE popular in America.
    • It's back now, it shows on Disney XD (no seriously).
  • One Piece. Its newer volumes continue to top one another as the highest selling book in Japan, and beat Dragon Ball to the title of best selling manga series of all time. Although it should be noted that it has around 15 more volumes than Dragon Ball, and Dragon Ball was selling at a time when manga wasn't very popular outside of the Far East.
  • Likewise to the two examples above, Bleach seems to be heading this way, both in popularity and success.
  • Suzumiya Haruhi is especially notable for the sheer number of Radio Dramas, Image Songs, and merchandise for a show that for a long time had only fourteen episodes (though there's also the Light Novels). Though it was probably at least partially due to a dedication to a polished level of quality, the main reason for the second season not coming out until three years after the first was most likely because they wanted to milk the first for as much as they could.
  • The Dragon Ball franchise has proven to be almost as unkillable as the Saiyans themselves. You've got the manga, multiple anime series, action figures, a trading card game, scads of video games, a Live Action... "adaptation"...there's just no stopping 'em.
    • Dragon Ball Kai, a condensed Recut of the more-than-fifteen-years-old anime, began in Spring 2009, and it regularly garners ratings on par with One Piece.
  • Toei Animation usually has at least one of these in the Magical Girl genre running at any one time:
  • Saint Seiya, especially with their never ending supply of high priced action figures, going as far as to even adapt filler characters. The fact that a new series of OVA called "The Lost Canvas" has started as well doesn't help either. Actually, the main protagonist of that series, which is a prequel set several centuries before the main series, has already been conceived as one of these action figures, foreshadowing a long way to go before they run out of ideas for characters. Even if they do, they come up with variant figures like "damaged" armors or just casual clothes.
  • It doesn't quite push huge piles of money these days, but Voltron (or the Lion version, at any rate) still sells a lot of DVDs and Voltron.com and retro retailers like Hot Topic still do a reasonably brisk business selling merch. Back in the mid-80s, of course, Voltron was an unstoppable juggernaut and only really started to lose steam when faced with a somewhat more coordinated effort from Transformers Generation 1 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987 (and when "Vehicle Voltron" confused some viewers).
  • K-On!, a previously mildly popular manga by Kakifly, simply exploded on the scene when Kyo Ani made it into an anime series. There's no escaping its presence throughout Japan, with stores even selling guitars using the show's imagery. Anybody who hates the show is advised to avoid Akihabara for at least a few years.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima is headed this way, with all the spinoffs, video games, toys and other merchandise being created to advertise the manga. Ironically enough, their has never been a successful full adaption of the series into an anime before.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica, since its debut in Winter 2011, has quickly become one of these for both Studio Shaft and Nitroplus, spawning a manga adaptation, two manga spinoffs, a novel, loads and loads of merchandise (both official and non-official), and a PlayStation Portable videogame adaptation. All the Blu-Ray volumes in the series have sold more than 415,000 copies altogether in Japan, and a movie trilogy is currently in the works. Why even bother explaining it all here? these links will help you see how big this series has become.
    • Note that like Evangelion, Madoka Magica is also a deconstruction.
  • Yet another Toei Animation example: Digimon. Inevitable given it's pretty much an anime based on toys, but it was a significant cash cow both in Japan and overseas back in the early days. It did experience a significant slump in this status for few years after Digimon Tamers, with its merch sales generally lagging along with interest in the anime...until Digimon Xros Wars came along, breathing new life into the franchise and its money-printing abilities, and reviving it from a pretty sticky spot.
  • If you want the almighty example of this Trope, it's Pokémon. What was meant to be a one-hit wonder exploded into decades of video games, trading cards, and an anime series lasting over 700 EPISODES!! That's almost double the life of The Simpsons, undergoing the transition from cel animation to digital animation and outlasting so many of its own art directors, Ash has received a physical redesign!! To put it into closer perspective, if one were to watch the show from start to finish, It would take almost two weeks nonstop.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Iconic superheroes such as Superman, Spider-Man, the Hulk and Batman enjoy insurmountable global commercial success spanning generations from various toys, video games, films, TV series...all this despite the fact that a vast majority of their consumers have never for one day held a comic book.
    • Don't forget Wolverine. His least best known superpower is the ability to appear in and boost sales of any comic he's in - simply by appearing on a cover. That and the fact he was the center of all three X-Men films and his own spin-off, got his name as a prefix to the new cartoon, pretty much made the Hulk a guest star in the Hulk vs. Wolverine animated feature, the upcoming anime and constantly having his "mysterious" past retold. Although with Wolverine at least, there are signs that the appeal is slowly but surely beginning to wear off.
    • Marvel and DC seem to have based their entire recent business models on this trope.
    • Of all these franchises, maybe Batman better defines this trope. Two separate movie franchises with a total of 6 movies (and one upcoming) in the span of 20 years, not to mention numerous animated series and animated movies, and all the corresponding merchandise and toys. Most of them were met with success.
  • Though they've largely faded from their original format, Disney's mascot characters have secured successful comic series, with wide arrays of spin-offs and sometimes even graphic novels, in countries other than the US (Italy and Brazil in particular).
    • Especially Donald Duck, who for several decades have been more popular than Mickey Mouse in Europe and Latin America.
  • Tintin : Still the most succesful European comic in the world.
  • Asterix: Also an internationally popular European comic , but mostly in Europe, Latin America and the francophone world. It even has its own theme park!


Film[edit | hide]

  • Star Wars practically wrote the book on cash-cow franchises. The original trilogy (1977-1983) started it, and a bunch of licensed books created a Star Wars Expanded Universe big enough to support all kinds of wacky fan theories. As of 2007, the films alone are worth roughly four billion dollars.
  • At some point before the end of the Cold War, James Bond became officially unkillable. Creator Ian Fleming wrote twelve novels and two short story collections. Since then there have been 22 "official" movies (and 2 unofficial ones), 26 more books by different authors, numerous comic strips, many video games, four "Young Bond" books, an animated series about "James Bond, Jr."...
  • The Pink Panther series yielded nine films over 30 years in its original run and the 2006 Steve Martin-led reboot yielded one sequel. Adding in the theatrical animated shorts based off the original films' title sequences (two different series: one for the Panther, one for Inspector Clouseau), the three made-for-TV series and three specials the Panther had after that, the Panther's ongoing appearances as a corporate mascot (Owens-Corning and more recently Sweet 'N Low), and miscellaneous merchandise, that's a lot of green for something pink.
  • Godzilla. To date, there's 28 of the original Japanese films, one American movie In Name Only, two different cartoon series, several comic book adaptations, novels, video games, action figures, and even a line of plushies. Not to mention that Legendary Pictures has been discussing with Toho Studios (the company that makes the Godzilla films) about yet ANOTHER reboot/remake.
  • Dracula: Even though several film directors have exploited this character he still managed to become the fictional character who has the most films made around him.
  • Friday the 13 th
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • Hellraiser
  • Saw lasted for seven movies. And then there's the video games...
    • Most slasher franchises fall into this. In the original series of each, there's 10 Friday the 13 th movies, 7 A Nightmare on Elm Street movies (There's a good reason why New Line Cinema was nicknamed "The House that Freddy Built"), an Intercontinuity Crossover movie for them, 8 Halloween movies, 4 Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies, and remakes of all 4 of them. You want series that are tough to kill? Jason has literally been to Hell and back, and they still make money off of him.
  • It's too soon to call whether The Hunger Games will become this for Lionsgate, but the studio's stock doubled in price the weeks after the first movie's release.
  • Ever since it started with Iron Man and (to a lesser extent) The Incredible Hulk in 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has quickly shaped into this, with each of its films being big moneymakers. For emphasis, when The Avengers was released, not only did it break numerous box office records around the world, it saved Disney[1] from a sticky spot after John Carter bombed months earlier and boosted both the film and comic book industries in the process, and even boosted sales of Shawarma thanks to a joke Tony Stark makes near the end of the film.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • Despite the original V. C. Andrews having died in 1986, romance novels written under her name have continued to be published on roughly a yearly basis since then.
  • Harry Potter anyone? Even with J. K. Rowling having finished the books and moved on to another series, yeah, it's not going anywhere for quite a while. To put in perspective just how HUGE a franchise this is:
    • The New York Times now has a separate bestseller's list for children's books just because the Harry Potter books kept taking up slots for months on ends
    • J. K. Rowling is the first (and so far only) author to become a billionaire due solely to writing. (Though she persistently insists that her personal wealth is drastically overestimated by the press)
    • In the space of a decade the eight Harry Potter movies became the most successful movie series of all time. When inflation is taken into account, they're still third - with only Star Wars and James Bond ahead of them.
  • Although not well known to the English-reading audience, the Perry Rhodan series has been published in Germany since 1961 (and translated into multiple languages) and has passed 2500 novellas and novels with associated comics, reference materials, music-inspired-by and other things. With the exception of one movie in 1967, it hasn't been on the big screen or television, which might explain its limited exposure in North America.
  • For most of its history, The Lord of the Rings was simply an intensely popular work of fantasy literature and the inspiration behind a great number of other successful franchises of geekdom. It was certainly popular enough to make the posthumous publication of The Silmarillion, and to a lesser degree the 12-volume History of Middle-earth, and continuing posthumous publications of material, an intensely anticipated event. Then, when the Peter Jackson films went into production, it was turned into a cash cow of Star Wars proportions. With the two-part Hobbit being released in 2012 and 2013, alongside the continued success of the LOTR MMORPG, this cash-cow will certainly be around for the next few years.
  • In a slightly different niche, there's Conan the Barbarian. Robert E Howard wrote just shy of two dozen Conan stories in his lifetime. After his death, L Sprague De Camp and others wrote dozens more, and since then there's been two successful comics series (one with Marvel Comics, one with Dark Horse Comics), two animated series, two Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, a the pseudo-prequel Kull the Conqueror, the MMO Age of Conan, and a handful of other games featuring everyone's favorite Cimmerian.
  • Twilight quickly became this in 2008, spawning clothes, toys, manga, and candy.
    • Fed even more with the hate that it has from the Twilight haters that buy or see the merchandise to trash it.
  • The Discworld universe has been described as a "Cottage Industry" but that doesn't mean that there isn't a shit load of weird merchandising. Like the Ankh-Morpork Stamp Collection.
    • The cottage industry line means that the merch is a) small scale, mostly done by one small company run by a fan, and another fan who does it in his spare time and b) all approved personally by Terry Pratchett.
  • Tom Clancy's Tom Clancy books and video games, which the actual Tom Clancy has no real input in nowadays outside of licensing.
  • What Discworld and Harry Potter are to the West, the Alice, Girl from the Future series by Kir Bulychev is to Russia, Eastern Europe, and the former Communist countries. This Science Fiction series about the adventures of the girl from the future spans over forty books. There have been seven films, the most famous being the 1984 Guest From the Future, which made people more interested in Alisa. More recently, there have been three computer games.
  • Warrior Cats. If the 20+ main novels weren't enough, there are at least 4 field guides and more mangas than you can count! The books keep coming because they make Harper Collins rich. And because the fans always want more.
  • Agatha Christie is certainly one of these in general as Poirot and Miss Marple are as popular as each other. Spanning over eighty books, they've both had several television and film adaptions for each of those books (with ridiculous amounts of different actors) (which started in the 1920s and is still being made in the 2010s), there's been a spin-off anime and manga adaption of the two characters working together (2004), there's a series of western graphic novels in 2007-2008, nine video games, various novels have been turned into plays (and the other way around) and then there's her long running play The Mousetrap.
  • The Sherlock Holmes stories, when collected in one volume, are quite the Doorstopper. And when you consider all the TV shows and movies based on them, not to mention the ones inspired by them. The Guinness Book of World Records recognizes Sherlock Holmes as the most portrayed fictional character in movie history.


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Star Trek; the original series and six movies based off of it, an animated continuation, plus four spin-off series that ran continuously from 1987 to 2005, including four movies based off of TNG and the 2009 prequel (J.J. Abrams himself said this was NOT a reboot - which it was, kind of) of the TOS franchise, a buttload of Expanded Universe games, novels, and comics, and a metric kilobuttload of Fan Fiction and wacky fan theories numerous enough to, well, barely leave in enough room on the internet for that other franchise and well... you know, including fan-produced live action series with production values that rival the show itself.
  • American Idol.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There was no real need to continue the series after it ended (and many feel it should have ended a few seasons before it did), but Joss Whedon and company continue to profit off of it with the line of comics that continue the series.
  • Law and Order. The original series ended after twenty years in 2010, and the show spawned two long-running spinoffs (Law and Order Special Victims Unit and Law and Order: Criminal Intent), as well as a few Short Runners and foreign remakes. Criminal Intent became the highest-rated show on basic cable after its move to USA, and the French and Russian adaptations of the series are some of the most successful shows in their respective markets.
  • Two other major examples of shows that got spin-offs and look set to continue indefinitely are CSI and NCIS.
  • Power Rangers moves a lot of merchandise, usually becoming the top-selling action figure line in America each year.
    • Though it's merely a single arm of Super Sentai, which has been running continually in Japan since 1975!
      • It's been said that the people behind both series actually believe that Television ratings are secondary to merchandise sales. It's also rumored that the reason for the exploding number of mecha and extra rangers in recent years is because Sentai is trying to recoup the losses of an underperforming Rangers under the Dork Age of Disney.
  • Hannah Montana, due to Miley Cyrus and her massive publicity scandals every few months. The show itself makes money, then they have concert tours, dolls, music cd's, games, everything you'd expect from Disney merchandise.
  • Kamen Rider has been running continually since it was revived in 2000, but within the Riders there's a very specific cash cow franchise -- Kamen Rider Den-O. All Heisei era Kamen Rider series except for Kamen Rider Kuuga have at least one movie. Kamen Rider Decade has two/three-and-a-guest-stint-in-another[2] because The Resolution Will Not Be Televised. The breakout success of the Taros has lead to seven EIGHT Den-O movies.
    • Part of the reason for Decade being a crossover is that Toei executives noticed by the end of the first decade of the 2000's that Kuuga and Kamen Rider Agito were so faded away in the Japanese public's consciousness that merchandise of those two shows wouldn't even budge. While Decade didn't reaching Den-O levels by itself, its real-life impact of launching long-forgotten Riders back into mainstream pop culture did bring upon the way to squeeze every last penny of all' Kamen Rider shows since 1971 even after Decades ending.
    • Decade ending doesn't mean they won't dredge it up from time to time. Decade's portion of Movie War 2010 had some very thinly veiled dialogue that rather blatantly means "we're going to keep crossing over with things as long as the network can wring money off us".
  • Big Brother, certainly in the UK (until 2007 or 2008 at least). They've stopped counting how many years it's run. To those that dislike it it is difficult to remember a time it was not on and so ever present.
    • It returned in 2011 and it got the same amount of attention it got in its original run.
  • The BBC has Doctor Who over in its home country, the UK, as well. Let's see...an original Long Runner series (including a TV Movie) with an equally massive Doctor Who Expanded Universe and two non-canon movies. And since the 2005 revival with the new series, the Expanded Universe expanded even more (with material for both the classic and new series), bringing along two successful spin-off series of their own (Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures). And the merchandising, of course.
  • The U.S. version of Survivor—twelve years and twenty-four seasons, beating even the show it's based on (Sweden's Expedition: Robinson).
  • Nobody probably thought that the Kurt Russell and James Spader cult-sci-fi flick Stargate was gonna balloon into (so far) three live-action series, an animated series, two (so-far) direct-to-DVD movies. This doesn't include spin-off novels based on both the series AND the original movie and a host of games. While not as big as some other franchises, it is still gleefully marching on towards 16 years going strong and shows no signs of letting up.
  • Glee - barely in its first season and already earning FOX millions by selling music, already releasing the first half of the first season on DVD and preparing a live tour.
    • It was recently announced that not only will Glee get at least two more seasons, FOX intends to start REALLY whoring out the merchandise by the start of the second season. Two different karaoke games have been announced, as well as various articles of Glee-themed clothing, jewelry, and school supplies.
  • The X Factor. Where do we start? Not only has it launched the (usually short-lived) careers of many singers (many of which didn't even win the show), it's the highest-rated television show in Britain (at times attracting half of all people watching television at the time), spawning spin-offs, turning Cheryl Cole into a bestselling pop star/media darling, an annual successful concert tour, books, "best of" DVDs, a magazine, even merchandise such as perfume plastered with the X Factor logo has been distributed.


Music[edit | hide]

  • Enrico Caruso: Italian opera singer who was world famous in the 1900s-1920s. He was the first musical artist whose records sold millions internationally.
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Bing Crosby
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Elvis Presley: Mass marketed ever since the 1950s with album records, films, TV specials, Las Vegas shows,... Even more astonishing is that he never toured outside the U.S.A. (except for Canada once), because manager Colonel Parker, who was an illegal immigrant, feared that he wouldn't be able to return to the U.S. Despite never going on international tour Elvis still managed to attract an enormous international audience that still hasn't died down. He even sold more records after his death than in his entire life.
    • As Michael O'Donoghue purportedly remarked when told of Elvis' death in 1977, "Good career move."
  • The Beatles: Have never been out of publicity ever since the 1960s and are one of the few internationally popular musical acts that are both popular with the general public as the more alternative listerners.
    • Most of the music in the Classic Rock genre applies nowadays, with an incredible amount of 'digitally remastered' releases.
    • Yes, but those in charge of promoting the Beatles take it to extremes. Apple Corps. released 13 Beatles albums and one Beatles video game (on three platforms) on the same day, and appears to be getting away with it. And then there's LOVE...
    • Paul McCartney as performing artist and (former) Beatle is this by association. That he still can sing doesn't hurt. That his own management markets him as aggressively as they dare—not sure how well that's working...
  • ABBA
  • The Rolling Stones (who never actually went away)
  • The Who
    • Broke up in the 80s, but seemingly never stopped performing comeback shows.
  • Bob Marley: Internationally one of the most succesful musical artists of all time, especially in Third World countries. He became even more legendary after his death.
  • Michael Jackson: Has been mass marketed since his childhood until his death: TV specials, clothing, an animated cartoons series (Jackson5ive), music videos, merchandising, best selling album of all time, Pepsi commercials,... Even despite bad publicity and declining record sales he still remained in the picture. After his death his sales skyrocketed to unseen precedents and his reputation has mostly been restored.
  • Madonna: To the point of overkill.
  • Luciano Pavarotti
  • Tupac Shakur's death in 1996 hasn't stopped his record label from releasing every single studio outtake, rough mix, or demo track that he ever recorded, to the point that his posthumous record catalog is larger than what he released while he was alive (this has, naturally, spawned many convoluted theories that Shakur is still alive and recording in secret).
    • Also, Frank Zappa. The crazy bastard recorded 53 some-odd albums in a 30 year career. There is gonna be a metric shitload of outtakes and demos for the studios to release. Not to mention compilations and best-of albums.
  • The 1996 death of Sublime's Brad Nowell similarly did not stop his record label from releasing a fantastic array of posthumous works, with the numerous compilation and live albums produced after his death than far exceeding the number of studio albums produced prior. And a reunion tour in 2010.
  • A large repertoire of classical music has been performed centuries after the deaths of composers and original performers. While the music is often well worth preserving, tourist concerts at Vienna may be considered milking the cash cow. Not to mention candy named after Mozart.
  • The list of bands who have done comeback shows or records despite important band members dead, retired or just not being what they used to be includes the following (remember, this is subjective):
    • The Doors - two records without Morrison, a "tribute album" with a bevy of guest vocalists, nowadays touring as Riders On The Storm after John Densmore and the Morrison estate sued to prevent them from performing under the Doors brand.
    • Led Zeppelin (whose comeback show was actually very good)
    • Queen, who at least took great pains to advertise their shows as "Queen + Paul Rodgers" to make it clear that Rodgers is not a replacement for the dear departed Freddie Mercury.
      • Also the fact that reportedly Freddie Mercury said that if anyone could/should replace him as frontman, he would want it to be Paul Rodgers.
    • The Eagles—Don Henley said that they would re-unite "when Hell freezes over". Hell froze over in 1994 and has had periodic re-freezings since then.
  • Kiss works in both fronts: not only releases many compilations, live albums, etc, but also has an empire of licensed merchandising, that ranges from the ever popular action figures to condoms, going through...Kiss Kaskets! (Pantera's Dimebag Darrell was buried in one)
  • Disney is milking a crapton of money from putting The Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus on absolutely everything. Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato seems to be heading on the same direction. Now, next in line are Bridgit Mendler, Bella Thorne, Zendaya and China Anne McClain, and it won't end at all.
  • This also applies to Jimi Hendrix, who left behind a stunning amount of officially completed and released studio tracks, posthumously completed tracks (often meddled with and unauthorized), live recordings (and filmed performances), demos, home recordings, outtakes, bootlegs, alternate takes, TV, film and radio performances and unreleased recordings from the early 1960's to his death in 1970, alongside perennial rereleases and repackagings of his official back catalogue, enough to keep the archives busy for 40 years. A new release of rare and unreleased recordings, Valleys of Neptune debuted in the top five in March 2010 nearly forty years after his death, shattering Elvis's record.
  • The memory and legend of Woodstock are strong enough that it will always be fairly useful as a cash cow, for the bands who played at that fatetul concert and the nostalgic merchandisers; though anything as ambitious as organizing a new Woodstock has never gone as well as the spirit of Woodstock would have wanted it.
  • Given the number of redundant compilations that The Smiths' record label has put out, it's fair to say that this is what they've become. This is especially ironic, since they parodied this kind of treatment in the song "Paint a Vulgar Picture."
  • Justin Bieber seems to be heading in this direction.


Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • Garfield is probably the king of this trope in its media.
  • Calvin and Hobbes is a subversion: Bill Watterson refused almost any merchandising. However, the books sell very well, thank you.
  • Before either of the above, there was Peanuts, which after its creator's death still has a big place in pop culture—newspapers still rerun the original strips, the best-known animated specials still play on network TV yearly while others get DVD releases and re-releases, and miscellaneous merchandise abounds.
  • Suske en Wiske is a huge cash cow in Belgium, Netherlands and the Dutch Antilles. The comic strip has been translated into many other languages: French, German, Swedish, Japanese,... but is mainly popular in the Benelux. Apart from the still running comic strip itself there is a huge merchandising behind it, including numerous reissues, special albums, spinoffs, toys,... that are mostly bought by collectors.
    • The entire output of author Willy Vandersteen and his studio, even after his death, still brings in the big bucks.
  • The Smurfs: Even before the famous Hanna And Barbera cartoon series adaptations the Smurfs were already very popular in Western Europe. There was even an succesful Franco-Belgian animated film adaptation in 1976. When Hanna & Barbera turned it into a weekly TV series The Smurfs' popularity skyrocketed to the entire planet.
  • Lucky Luke: Especially popular in Europe and the francophone world.


Other[edit | hide]

  • Hello Kitty pulls in over $1 billion a year.
  • Webkinz probably makes quite a lot, considering each Webkinz costs at least $15.
  • Snuggies. They've got Snuggies for pets, for Pete's sake! They only raked in more money with the recent economic disaster.
  • Apple's business model seems to be built around trying new things and hoping enough things stick to keep them in business. While the company's history is littered with disasters (Lisa, Apple III, Pippin, etc.) they've kept going thanks to some big hits: The Apple II lasted an amazing thirteen years, the iPod returned the company to prominence in the early 2000s, and the iPhone has kept the company relevant as the personal media player market has waned.
  • Facebook has turned social networking into big business.
  • Google, full stop.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • This often causes detrimental effect on a game itself: it creates "Cheese or even (as noted by /tg/ - see here) the whole "revolving door business model" running on cheese-juggling. It proceeds thusly:
    1. Mass-produce a few items centered on a very specific element.
    2. Purposefully break the game balance around said element to ensure demand for those items and attract new consumers (it's more accessible for newbies indeed - not because it's all that simple and brilliant, but because old tricks go out of the window and because a winning strategy becomes easy: spam cheese).
    3. Ignore that many players either come up with houserules or start to ban the current "cheese" in their games.
    4. Move on to the next element, repeat.
    5. Become complacent as the players gloat over the old cheese being broken. The competition grows all around like mushrooms, but imitation is a form of flattery, right?..
    6. Act surprised when eventually it becomes commonplace that in the long run everyone is screwed over repeatedly, and that the quality isn't a high priority - and since in the hobby like this reputation is all-important, it backfires more and more.
    7. Try to solve it with creating another - slightly less artificial - boom, which for some reason fails.
  • Dungeons & Dragons provided inspiration for the majority of RPGs and a surprising amount of other fantasy works, and has several separate universes that continue to grow.
  • Magic the Gathering. Just one of a bazillion games whose tropes draw (or at least originally drew) on Dungeons & Dragons, but deserves mention as a major fixture in the gaming world in its own right. Owned by Wizards of the Coast, and successful enough to eventually let the company buy Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000. Aside from becoming the kings of tabletop wargaming and sustaining a major corporation, these franchises have produced multiple video games, and enough novels to justify the creation of an entire publishing company (Black Library). Bonus points? The miniatures games have no advertising - they gain new customers solely through word of mouth.
    • This has however had a knock on effect - GW pays little to no attention to its other games these days, especially the Specialist Games range designed at the older GW players.
      • They kind of do have advertising, it just doesn't work. As became evident, for example, in the backlash over Age of Sigmar.
    • Fans are also complaining at the effect of series becoming driven by "milk harder" strategy - even cans of their miniature paint gradually become smaller, worse and more expensive.
  • Incidentally (on a related but slightly different scenario to the above), Iron Kingdoms for Privateer Press subverts this trope. In addition to being a D&D setting and having at least two or three games (the aforementioned Warmachine, Hordes and now Grind), Privateer have not neglected their other games, such as Monsterpocalypse.
    • That's because Monsterpocalypse is also a Cash Cow, what with a movie deal with DreamWorks.

Theater[edit | hide]

  • There are upwards of 20 Cirque Du Soleil troupes performing somewhere in the world, changing acts and performers with time. Seven are now decade-plus Long Runners; Mystere has been performing in Las Vegas since 1993 and its current contract lasts through 2016. And the merchandise tents keep getting bigger and bigger with each new tour...
  • Speaking of Las Vegas, many shows besides Cirque manage decade-plus runs at one specific casino theatre with occasional updates; the oldest, Jubilee! at Bally's, has been there since 1981.
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera has been running in London since 1986, and on Broadway since 1988. Foreign sit-down productions run rampant, as does merchandising—and now there's the sequel Love Never Dies, which intends to do the same.
  • William Shakespeare. His work has been going strong for four hundred years now, long since in the public domain but still a cash cow for both theatres and publishers.
    • An even larger cash cow because it's public domain. Royalties are expensive, especially for small theaters.
  • Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, which has run on the West End since 1952 for over 23,000 performances.
  • Musicals in the Netherlands are advertising with "<SHOW> WILL STOP SOON! GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!" and continue for years.
  • The Nutcracker is the Cash Cow Franchise of ballet companies everywhere every Christmas. For theaters specializing in straight plays or musicals, adaptations of A Christmas Carol serve a similar purpose.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Video game giant Nintendo has three such franchises: Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda and Pokémon. If a game has either Mario, Link or Pikachu in it, it's almost a guaranteed million-seller (Super Smash Bros., of course, has included all three characters in every game). Along with its many hand-held systems selling by the truckload each year, this has led to a Catch Phrase among the Nintendo fan community: "It prints money!"
    • To elaborate on Pokémon, it started out as a good RPG video game. Then they based a TV show off the game (as well as a manga). Then a new version of the game based off the TV show came out (Yellow version). Then new game generations and TV series came out hand in hand. Add in the card game, many toys, and all kinds of conceivable merchandise.
    • Mario and Pokémon are the two best-selling game series of all time. There are over 200 Mario games and it came out a full fifteen years before Pokémon. They are currently only about 20 million games apart, which might be surpassed with the release of HeartGold and SoulSilver. Basically, Pokémon is well on its way to number one (probably surpassed, Nintendo hasn't released new data in a while).
    • Mario Kart, while a spin-off to the Mario series definitely deserves a mention here. While at first, it did pretty well though not reaching the success of the main series games, it eventually exploded in popularity with Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart Wii. Mario Kart Wii in particular has sold 28 million making it the best selling game of the seventh generation barring Wii Sports. This means that one in every three Wiis in the world has this game.
    • The Game Boy and Nintendo DS lines of hardware fall under this trope too, with regular small upgrades (Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Advance SP) in addition to major upgrades whose games are incompatible with older versions (Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance). The small upgrades encourage consumers to purchase new hardware without outright requiring it to play newer games. See example picture at top of page for result.
    • The Wii too. They managed to get 26 million units out of a bunch of minigames by offering a free controller with it!
  • Ultima, which saw its first commercial product released in 1980 and is still going strong today, over 30 years later, thanks to Ultima Online. The franchise has only really dropped in current relevance due to the widely reviled 8th and 9th games killing the original series (and even that happened well over a decade ago), and EA's paranoid cancellation of every product that might compete with UO in favor of yet more expansions.
  • Final Fantasy, which in terms of money generation is definitely Fantastic, but not at all Final. Reportedly, the name was chosen because the developer expected to go out of business because of lack of money. Oh boy, were they wrong.
  • Since the earliest days of Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest has walked right alongside it. Its status as something akin to a national holiday when a new game is released in Japan ensures it will not die quietly, if at all.
  • Phantasy Star, Sega's answer to Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, has never been as popular as its counterparts, but Online and its various permutations, spinoffs, and spiritual successors have maintained its cult status from the 8-bit era up to today.
    • After twenty years, the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise is still going strong; even the less-than-stellar games have made a surprising profit. The Archie Comic series is also going strong, it being the longest-lasting comic series based on a video game character.
  • World of Warcraft: Reaching peak at 12 million subscribers, which has since then dropped down to 10,3 million as of November 2011. The series that spawned it has only had three installments and a number of expansions since it started in 1994, but has nonetheless remained perenially popular.
    • Also from Blizzard, the Starcraft franchise has only two games and one expansion since 1998, but due to its never-ending popularity, it has remained a moneymaker the whole time (despite nearly a decade between installments in the series).
  • The King of Fighters series first came out in 1994 as a Massive Multiplayer Crossover of several of SNK's other series. All of the "root" series have long since ended, but The King of Fighters is still going fifteen years later.
  • Somewhere close behind Mario and Pikachu in the sales department is Capcom's very own Mega Man. Just see his page on this wiki to find out how many games the Blue Bomber has appeared in (and believe us...it's a long list; and that's not counting the Capcom vs. Whatever titles).
    • Mega Man has at least made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for having more sequels than any other video game. As for the numbers...well not so much. You could take all the Mega Man games ever sold and multiply their number by a factor of ten and not beat Mario. The Mega Man series is far behind them in terms of sales.
    • Street Fighter. Even the onset of Capcom Sequel Stagnation hasn't prevented the series from raking in the dough from its rabid fans (and the competitive fighting game community, but that's an entirely different animal).
    • Resident Evil has become the #1 best selling Capcom franchise surpassing both Mega Man and Street Fighter so it definitely deserves to be here. The series also has a successful ongoing live-action movie franchise, which shows that the series has reached COMPLETE. GLOBAL. SATURATION.
  • The Sims might not be what it once was, but it was a huge deal for a number of years, and the original even surpassed Myst as the best-selling computer game of all time!
  • Guitar Hero is a fine example of how excessive cash cow milking can come back to bite its owner in the ass: it was a big money-printer for Activision when it first picked up the original game's publisher. Then Activision pumped out titles by the truckload with reckless disregard for supply and demand,[3] inducing such a sharp decline of disinterest in the entire Rhythm Game genre among consumers, bringing along a massive hit to sales of all rhythm games, that Activision just killed it off on February 9, 2011...and pooled whatever ressources its corpse had left into its other cow.
    • And its rival Rock Band was skirting close to the line 'till the Guitar Hero oversaturation delivered a plunge to its sales too.
    • We could include Konami's Bemani series. Many, many mixes of each series were published.
  • Tomb Raider. Several games (with even the worst ones selling pretty well), comic books, Lucazade promotions, movies and tons of merchandise. The publisher, Eidos, has pretty much entirely relied on Tomb Raider to keep them afloat in various instances.[4]
  • If you wanna talk Leaf/Aquaplus, bring up To Heart and To Heart 2. Heck, a mere Gaiden Game pretty much squelshed the competition in its genre. (Source NSFW!) And that's not counting the merchandise and various anime adaptations. (Three To Heart 2 OVA series, all based off a single game? Sure...)
  • Madden NFL. Each iteration usually falls among the top ten best-selling games each year, if not reaching number one.
    • A Fanboys comic has a farmer showing a literal cash cow. He's deciding on a name for it, "Madden", "Mario" or "Tony Hawk".
  • Metal Gear (1987–Present): Two original classics, Four console MGS titles and three portable titles , 3 Updated Rereleases (Integral, Substance, and Subsistence), 2 remakes, four side-stories, three mobile games, one arcade game, one online shooter, some digital graphic novels and documentation discs, novels, radio drama, comic books, action figures, and a solid (no pun intended) fanbase whishing to see more.
  • Halo spawns not only games, but books, comics, graphic novels, action figures, controllers, consoles, a Mountain Dew flavor, and much more. It is Microsoft's most profitable franchise, and some columnists have gone as far as calling it "the new Star Wars".
  • The Grand Theft Auto franchise reached this with Grand Theft Auto III and hasn't looked back. The potential revenues from Grand Theft Auto IV were the Crown Jewel of the massive Electronic Arts-Take Two takeover fight.
  • Nippon Ichi has discovered the joys of Updated Rerelease with the Disgaea series. Take an old game, add some stuff, put it on a new console, and BAM!
  • It took one series to give Humongous Entertainment a profit, and it is the only one they still make. That series is Backyard Sports.
  • The Call of Duty series has always sold well since its debut in 2003, but as of November 2009, the franchise is officially a juggernaut. Modern Warfare 2 (the sixth major release in the series) sold approximately 4.7 million copies worldwide in 24 hours, becoming the largest entertainment ever in the middle of a recession! The franchise as a whole has sold over 55 million units worldwide and brought in more than $3 billion dollars in revenue for publisher Activision. It's safe to say that this is one franchise that will stick around for quite some time.[5] Call of Duty Black Ops did EVEN BETTER. Damn.
  • Namco's Tales series. Beginning with Tales of Phantasia in 1995, it's now (as of Dec 2009) up to twelve main titles ("motherships"), seventeen side stories ("escorts"), two animes, two OVAs, and one movie. How popular is it? Xbox 360s sold out in Japan before Tales of Vesperia was released. And now, the newest game Tales of Xillia become the fastest selling title in the series and the second fastest selling Play Station 3 game in Japan after Final Fantasy XIII and is credited for increasing Play Station 3 sales. Moo.
  • Atlus has enjoyed a major boost in the Western market thanks to Persona 3, so much so that most people are not only expecting Persona 5, but also re-releases of Persona 2 and a portable version of Persona 3 because the series is just that big.
    • Persona 3 is popular enough in Japan that it currently has 2 remakes, a few cell phone games, an anime, a few different novels, a ton of figures, a manga, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
    • Persona 2 Innocent Sin is getting a remake. People in the West pretty much expect a localization after all these years.
    • Persona 4 has an Updated Rerelease on the Play Station Vita, an animated adaption titled Persona 4 the Animation, and a sequel to both it and Persona 3 in Persona 4 Arena.
      • Oh it gets better. Now there is a Persona magazine, two Spin-Off light novels starring Naoto and Youske, and to top it all off, a live-action play. Not to mention that fact Atlus originally said that Persona 4 would get not any Updated Rereleases.
  • Mass Effect is on its way to this status, with two games out of a planned trilogy, three novels, an admittedly bad phone game, and two comic miniseries from Dark Horse Comics. The DLC seems to be flowing steadily too.
    • Especially when you realize that BioWare literally created a galaxy that has depth that rivals Star Wars and Star Trek. They could cash in on this galaxy for decades to come.
  • The When They Cry franchise has become one of these within the past three years. Once a Cult Classic, and if known in mainstream it was that "Killer Lolis" show, is now an incredibly popular video game/anime series.
  • Just Dance. Critics blasted the first game for being little more than a barely-interactive dance video with shoddy motion control and practically no content. As it turns out, it seems the game's target audience doesn't care about such things, and as such the game was a runaway hit. Then the sequel came out, and just for the hell of it Ubisoft decided to fix almost everything the reviews complained about. As expected, the sequel sold even better. Now the series also has two spinoffs and a Spiritual Successor in the form of Michael Jackson: The Experience, plus plenty of knockoffs from other developers, and it doesn't look like it's gonna stop there.
  • The Battlefield series. Don't be fooled by the numbered sequel. Although the main series will not reach number 3 until the end of 2011, the number of Battlefield spin-offs is simply astounding. In chronological order: Vietnam, Modern Combat, 2142, Bad Company, Heroes, 1943, Bad Company 2, Online and Play 4 Free, all developed or co-developed by DICE while they are also experimenting another franchise of their own and help co-developing EA's other cash cow franchises and put out a huge DLC for their released game. Kudos to DICE for not having Attention Deficit Creator Disorder syndrome despite all this.
  • Dead Space is yet another cash cow for EA. With two console games, a rail-shooting game for the Wii, an Interquel game for iOS devices, a puzzle game, two DirectToDVD animated movies, two comics, and one novel, space horror has become an easy money maker for the company.
  • Bomberman: Over 70 games, plus two anime series, the first of which were tied to an entire line of marble-shooting toys that later became its own franchise.
  • Gran Turismo is also a good example. With six primary releases, seven secondary releases and a grand total of 61.41 million units sold, it's become a best seller overnight. Oh, and it happens to have an E rating, too.
  • The NHL Hockey series is one of the more popular games in EA's roster, behind the Madden games. It's particularly popular with Canadians, with hockey being their national sport and all.
  • Compile built the Puyo Puyo series into a cash cow in the 1990s. Apparently trying to milk it too hard was what led to their downfall.
  • Even ignoring the games themselves, Angry Birds has become quite the force of merchandising, with plushies and all sorts of other tie-in products.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • A rare webcomic example: Homestuck. Sales figures are unknown due to not being published, but music albums and merch sell very quickly, and members of the Music Team and Art Team have had successful solo stints launched from the name recognition pulled in. The amount of money is unknown, but it does pull in enough to support a half dozen or more people who're needed to run What Pumpkin (the store) and Andrew Hussie himself. Adspace too has reached very high levels; one memorable banner ad cost over 400 dollars on an off day, though on average it ranges from $30–$70.
    • The Homestuck music albums are probably the best selling albums on Bandcamp, period, though it's hard to determine this because Bandcamp does not release statistics to conclusively prove this. However, as of this writing, two Homestuck albums remain in the top 20 top sellers of late... five months after release.
  • Penny Arcade supports Gabe and Tycho's families and themselves, in addition to a handful of other people.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Woody Woodpecker was once a hugely popular franchise, allowing his theatrical cartoons to last all the way up to the early 70's (when theatrical cartoons had all but completely died out) and make oodles of cash off of loads of toys and assorted merchadise, and having a hit TV show which aired for decades also helped. However, in recent years, with the failure of The New Woody Woodpecker Show, as well as Universal's current disinterest in promoting the character outside of mascot costumes and the DVD collections, his status has degenerated into a state of near-obscurity.
  • Popeye was also a juggernaut of a franchise once upon a time, but his popularity has declined since then. (aside from the fantastic DVD collections) However, that may change with the upcoming CGI movie...or not. We'll just have to wait and see.
  • The Simpsons. 20 seasons on air and merchandise by the Titanic-load. They warned you in song: "They'll NEVER stop the Simpsons!!"
    • Also, a ride at Universal Studios Hollywood/Florida.
    • And soon, it's its own network, but that has more to do with the show's Broken Base.
  • While we're at it, Family Guy as FOX's second cash cow cartoon.
  • And speaking of the Fandom Rivalry, South Park is this for Comedy Central.
  • When most people think Walt Disney, they usually think Mickey Mouse. And why not...they guy's practically 80 years old, but doesn't look a day over 20.
    • Not much for Mickey anymore, but Disney Channel stars on the other hand...
    • Forget them, Winnie the Pooh's sheer amount of Merch means it's far more profitable. Winnie the Pooh baby clothes being replaced every few weeks or months adds up to an insane amount of money. A settlement for 2% of profits was 300 million dollars...
    • Disney animated characters still get some love. The Disney Princesses pull in about 4 billion dollars a year.
  • Nickelodeon and its parent company Viacom have SpongeBob SquarePants—A article showed that Atlantis Squarepantis scored the show's highest ratings ever in its 7-8 year run, further cementing the fact that the Sponge will not die.
    • Sponges can live up to 700 years old; SpongeBob may be the same.
    • SpongeBob is currently Viacom's most profitable show. As in, it takes in 8 million dollars of Viacom's value. That's about two-thirds of Viacom's current value. Dang.
    • Did we mention the SpongeBob pendant that sold for 75 grand at the last Sundance festival?
    • Not to mention the movie. It made $32,018,216 on its opening weekend, on its way to $85,417,988 in the United States and $140,161,792 worldwide! Now THAT'S the power of the yellow sponge for ya.
    • Heck, it's got two amusement rides!!
    • There's even a live show in the United Kingdom!
    • Oh, and did I mention that even REPEATS of the show pop up on cable top 25 a LOT? Here, it shows a repeat scoring higher than A NEW EPISODE OF HANNAH MONTANA FOREVER. Does that tell you anything?
    • And according to IMDB, the show has been referenced in movies, TV shows and even video games 165 TIMES! Yes, that's more than Rugrats or even The Simpsons!
  • Before there was the sponge, John Kricfalusi mentionned in DVD Commentaries for The Ren and Stimpy Show that Nick intended Doug to be their first cash cow, but it was John's own cat-and-dog duo that became Nick's first animated hit, genrating merchandise up the wazoo and being among the first shows to appear on the prestigious Snick block. Rugrats, another of the original three, would soar in popularity later on and become Uncancelled earning three movies (the first of which remains Nick's highest grossing movie) and a Spin-Off (All Grown Up!).
  • While we're on the subject of Nick, don't forget Dora the Explorer! Nowadays, you can find Dora on almost everything imaginable!
    • Like Spongebob, there's even not one Dora live show, but lots of them!
  • Before Dora, it was Blue's Clues.
  • Let's not forget Transformers, whose action-figure-worshipping fandom wouldn't want it any other way. Toy reviews, photo galleries, and a fandom that constantly keeps an eye out for news of new releases or info on upcoming figures all point to a fandom who likes their toys. 2007 saw the Transformers sell like crazy.
    • Which is rather amusing, given that Transformers was all but a dead franchise a decade after it first launched. Transformers: Generation 2 was a halfhearted attempt to revive the series, but it wasn't until the success of Beast Wars that the franchise started its comeback.
  • It's dropped off in popularity since the '90s, but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is still a profitable franchise.
  • Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes gang were definitely a cash cow franchise from the early 1940s through the mid-1990s, largely due to TV exposure.
    • Taz and Tweety are still being slapped on a lot of merchandise, Taz being an amazingly profitable Ensemble Darkhorse who only appeared in five shorts. Looney Tunes are well on their way to joining the ranks of Betty Boop (see below) in still selling merchandise while most consumers now have never watched the cartoon they're from.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine is this for HiT Entertainment. There is so much worldwide merchandise, it'd take all day to list it here.
  • Scooby Doo continues to reappear every generation.
  • Before Ben 10, it was The Powerpuff Girls. While the movie did terrible in theaters, merchandise and merchandise was EVERYWHERE until the show's cancellation. Millions of toys, four DVDs (six if you count the complete first season and complete series sets, seven videos, three CDs, bath supplies, school supplies, clothes, books, it goes on (and on)
  • Even with the main show over and all, Avatar: The Last Airbender has a movie trilogy coming out. Aang isn't airbending away anytime soon.
  • Winx Club's popularity is insane. About 100 countries have a dub of this show. Not to mention, there is a musical, an ice skating show, two movies (one in 3-D), a spin-off (Pop Pixie), and a monthly magazine. And, of course, there's a ton of merchandise; in fact, Winx Club dolls were the third most popular dolls in the world one year. Oh, yeah—and Rainbow S.p.A. is opening a theme park in 2011 with a life-sized version of Alfea Castle. Guess which characters they've used the most to promote the said park...
  • Betty Boop still appears on a lot of merchandise, despite the fact that a large percentage of the people buying the merchandise have probably never watched a Betty Boop cartoon in their lives. Perhaps it's a Cash Cow Franchise Zombie?
  • Katzenberg, hounded by really unpleasable stockholders, is apparently forced to develop every mildly successful Dreamworks Animation into one of these. There are already four Shrek sequels (with a fifth Puss In Boots spinoff coming up), and, according to this article, plans on making a fourth Madagascar movie after the third one comes out in 2012, FOUR more Kung Fu Pandas after the sequel this summer, and two more How To Train Your Dragons (possibly building up to a grand total of EIGHT MOVIES).
  • Cars: Two movies. OVER TEN BILLION DOLLARS IN MERCHANDISING. This makes it the largest merchasing program in the licensing industry history. Not bad for a series that's barely five years old!
  • Felix the Cat was one of the earliest shows to be a cash cow by modern standards, making most of its money in the 1920s. It's still limping along on merchandise as of this writing, even though the last attempt to revive the show ended in 2004.
  • An article in the New York Times claims that Disney plans to make Phineas and Ferb into one of these. Good luck with that.
  • Seth Green practically admitted in an interview that Robot Chicken is this for him, citing this fact as the main basis behind the self-cancellation of his other show, Titan Maximum, despite its fantastic performance ratings-wise.
  • Ben 10. There's been 2 sequels (Alien Force and Ultimate Alien ) and one more in the pipelines, four made-for-TV movies, LOTS of toys, EVEN MORE merchandising tat (yes, tat. Poorly designed and useless trinkets that no one in the right of mind will touch), and there's even a stage show and game show being based off it- https://web.archive.org/web/20111113063445/http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k11/june/june33.php
    • You know it's CN's cash cow when it airs on certain international CN feeds seemingly ten times a day. It's turning into the Hype Aversion and Hype Backlash reason for avoiding the network in countries unlucky enough to have a CN feed doing this. Especially since CN is apparently restricting introduction of new shows to the channel just so it has the slots/budget required to carry on doing this.
    • Cartoon Network has sparked a cult following the addition of Adventure Time. You can find T-shirts of all sorts (including show catchphrases and a variation of the face expressions meme), wallets in the shape of Finn's head, and so forth. If it means anything, this Troper has spotted a few high school juniors sporting Adventure Time apparel.
    • Aqua Teen Hunger Force has its own decent crowd, but the attempts to promote it have gained infamy in Boston for one fateful day in 2007 where people mistook LED displays of the Mooninites for bombs.
    • Unfortunately, Cartoon Network also tried promoting their mirror opposite: live-action. It was a lethal move that gained Internet Backdraft and a tremendous Periphery Hatedom.
  1. The company distributing this and other future MCU films after they bought Marvel Comics in 2010
  2. Depending on how you count Episde Yellow of the 2010 Den-O film trilogy, which stars a Decade character
  3. 2009 alone saw five Guitar Hero games!
  4. it was since bought out by SCi Entertainment, and then it was taken over by Square Enix
  5. Why the Funny Aneurysm? 'cause Activision decided to sack many Infinity Ward employees, including its chiefs, just to keep its money in its pockets, making Modern Warfare dangerously close to Franchise Zombie territory.