There are tons of shows and movies we loved as kids that we still think back on as wonderful gifts given to us by the gods of entertainment. The thing is though, oftentimes it was more that a company really wanted to sell toys and merchandise to a bunch of kids who didn't know any better. In the case of these 10 franchises, it really was a moment where companies saw dollar signs.
The entire movie spawned from a series of Nike ads, so it's probably not a surprise that when Space Jam became a massive hit, the merchandise was coming out in droves. Between all the usual things like shirts, toys, and cups that Warner Bros. themselves put out, there were deals with McDonald's and Nike that meant the franchise as a whole was raking in millions.
After seeing how huge a money-maker giant robots had been in Japan, Hasbro decided they needed their own giant robot franchise to rake in the millions. The result was Transformers, which is still going strong today. Ever wonder why so many episodes of this show spent time introducing tons of new characters? Yup, so you'd buy the toys of them.
Not to be outdone by Hasbro, Mattel commissioned their own franchise that they could market toys to kids via a cartoon, and MAN did it work. Everybody wanted their favorite He-Man character, and they made sure there were more than enough toys of each of them for us to beg our parents for.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
While originally written by creator Peter Laird as a parody of comic books from the early 80s, as soon as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon hit airwaves, so too did the merchandising. From toys, to shirts, to breakfast cereal, you name it and there was a TMNT version of it.