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My Disney's Posse Didn't Do Their Homework!
In The Marketing Department That Is!
If there is one thing I really hate is when someone creates something so good only to find out that the producer's work was really all for naught. In order to explain why Tale Spin really failed to attract the public's image; here's a little story about my favorite video game machine: the Nintendo64. I wrote this on March 9th,1998. The story explains a dreaded word that you can't live with; but you can't live without it:
(2015 Gregory Says: You can pretty much ignore most my Editorial Rebuttal on marketing because most marketing can be done better by good games via word of mouth. Thanks to the internet; you can have your cake and eat it too.)
By: Gregory Weagle
For: March 9,1998
RE: Marketing is King!
Although I have not written an editoral in a long time; I couldn't stand a recent TRST study on Nintendo 64 game sales in which the N64 had nine titles sell one million units or more. For those of you who didn't see our News section recently (N6403.doc); here are the following games that sold one million units or more:
[1.] Super Mario64 (3.0
[2.] Goldeneye007 (Rare's best selling title)
[3.] Diddy Kong Racing (Rare's fastest selling title)
[4.] Star Fox64
[5.] Wave Race64
[6.] Cruis'N USA (Which I don't understand why! More on this game later!)
[7.] Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
[8.] Mario Kart64
[9.] Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (Only 3rd Party title that sold one million units!)
Also, 11 N64 titles made the Top 20 in the overall TRST standings for 1997 (The game mentioned above and including: Madden64 and NFL Quarterback Club; Plus two more games nearing the million unit mark: WCW VS. NWO: World Tour and Pilotwings64). Compare that with just three on Sony PlayStation (Crash Bandicoot 2, Final Fantasy 7 and Resident Evil 2) and none of Sega Saturn; selling one million units. Not bad eh? Actually; it is pretty tragic; since Nintendo had a outside shot at having all 20 spots (or at least 15 spots)! There are quite a few games that deserved to be played ;yet never got the respect they so deserve:
[1.] International Superstar Soccer64- Konami's best N64 title (formally known as J-League Perfect Striker) and possibly the best title on any platform. Realstic movements; excellent play control and a good commentator head the list of great features on this game. Yet the game sold just 230,000 units and the arguement here is that soccer is not a popular sport here. Well, soccer games typically sell well here.
[2.] Mischief Makers- Teasure's only N64 title to date which has excellent graphics and good play control. Plus; the diverse action (like track & field) should have this game sell a million units. It didn't even sell 250,000 here and the poor excuse is the fact that this title is a 2D-game. The Japanese version didn't fare much better. By the way; Mischief Makers is known in Japan as Yuke! Yuke! Troublemakers 5 or Go! Go! Troublemakers 5.
[3.] Tetrisphere- A Canadain made title which featured excellent graphics and sound and also varied puzzles. Normally a puzzle game whould be popular here and in Japan. However; this is not the case at all. The Japanese version has yet to be released and it is unlikely that it will ever be; and the US version only sold 300,000 units. This may be the most mistreated title in N64's short history; after all, H2O was supposed to make this game on the Atari Jaguar (before that system died!) and as you know Nintendo snagged the rights to it and added the Tetris licence to it.
[4.] Bomberman64- Bomberman was a major coup when Hudsonsoft announced the title back in the Summer of 1996. The 3D-Bomberman was excellent; although the four-player mode did need a bit of work. Since this is a party title; I thought that this title would sell very well and have an outside shot at one million units. Some coup! Although Bomberman has only been in stores for four months; its sales are still lower than expected. Nintendo was the publisher and I don't understand why this game didn't sell well. It did ok in Japan!
[5.] Blast Corps- Out of the five games that I mentioned; Blast Corps is the most orginial game of them all. However; this title had problems from the get-go. It didn't get big fanfare because of its orginallity and it failed to make a first impression. In the end; this game turned out to be the ture "Diamond in the Rough" game and was one of the highest rated games on the N64. However; it sales have been rather low even though it is a 3D-Action game.
Other games that were underrated include: Killer Instinct Gold, Top Gear Rally, Wheel of Fortune, Fighters Destiny (Best fighting game since Tekken 2 IMHO!) and San Francisco Rush. If this was a perfect world; the N64 would hold every spot in the Top 20 (and hold 22 of the Top 25 spots) in the TRST rankings and send a message to Playstation that fewer titles can hold their own againest the 800 game bomb of their system. However; this is not a perfect world! So why did these excellent N64 titles fail to gain the public's mystique? The answer is quite simple yet every company has the same problem with it. It the dreaded 'M' word: Marketing and Acceptance (by the public!). In the real world; the real winner is not who makes the best product; it is most of the time, the one who best markets the product. This is ture no matter how good or bad the product really is. Think about Cruis'N USA . Nintendo completely overhyped this title to no end and it sold one million units despite the fact that it was one of the lowest scoring titles for the N64. That is proof positive that marketing is king. Don't believe me? Consider this: ISS64 got rave reviews; yet I only saw one ad for the game and zero TV ads overall. Tetrisphere suffered a similar fate; while Mischief Makers only had one TV ad (along with Bomberman64). Blast Corps had almost no marketing at all. For ISS64 and Bomberman64 do have a chance to redeem themseleves; although the chances of recovery are very small at best.
Although Tale Spin's problems aren't as bad as the video games mentioned; (Remember that the videogame industry is a lot more competitive than the animation industry; although the animation industry is growing faster every year. (Yeah.) there is still no excuse for Disney not to market Tale Spin more (Testify~! And to Michael Eisner and company: Marketing is not trashing Looney Tunes for being old age and Tiny Toons being a crappy version of Looney Tunes is not marketting. It's admitting that you are afraid of Tiny Toons and admitting that Warner Brothers chose correctly in competing against you. Market TaleSpin as the alternative to comedy shows like Tiny Toons and the show will be an even bigger success than it already was.). What Disney basically did (as they did with Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers and to a lesser extent: Gargoyles and Darkwing Duck) was fill just enough episodes to fill a season run and then just abandon it regardless of how well it actually did. (TaleSpin's rating were on par with Tiny Toons just on sheer force of will. Disney also screwed up their deal with Fox Entertainment and thus allowed yet another player into the animation business that would dominate Sunday primetime like no other station in the country. Say with you will about Family Guy and the Simpsons; those shows got animation over for good in primetime.) Tale Spin just doesn't work that way; it isn't really a cartoon at all. It is an animated series that combines both Japanese, Euro and American styles of animation (Actually; it's Asian, Americas animation and European style animation when you look at the credit lists and where the people who worked on the animation came from. If TaleSpin went 100 episodes; I'm certain Australia would be included under the Walt Disney Animation Australia team; thus giving Marzugirl a reason to mock DarthGonzo.) .You just cannot expect to create just 65 episodes on a show that was is fact designed to be a long term show (Like the Simpsons for example. I don't like that show; but it is impressive regardless). You may ask yourself: What would I do if I was the one marketing Tale Spin? (Probably drive Disney into the poor house 1998 Me! Because I'm a sadist and a slimebag. Okay; I was just goofing around.) Well; here's another extraction from my editorial on March 9th,1998:
The real killer was Disney marketing. There is no way that the Walt Disney Company could market a complex show to 6-12 year olds; when this type of show was designed for 12-24 years of age. If Tale Spin was going to be marketed right (and maybe Gargoyles and Chip and Dale could follow this as well); they should of marketed it like the Japanese anime studios do it.......
[1.] 195+ Episodes
[2.] Blockbuster Movie [Prologue] (Plunder & Lightning)
[3.] Grand Finale
[4.] Denounment (3-4 Special episodes)
[5.] Specials (The Making of Tale Spin and its characters)
[6.] OAV Movies (4-6) (Tail Winds, Fatal Reunion [Kit finds his parents are still alive!] etc.)
[7.] Soundtrack and Musicals on CD [Seperate from Disney Afternoon]
[8.] Garage/Resin Kits (no pun intended!)
[9.] Tale Spin Novel (See #5)
 Tale Spin RPG (for 64DD and/or PSX created by Disney Interactive/Squaresoft/(Nintendo))
 Primetime showing
 One Prequel (Called AeroStars: It deals with Kit's parents; their adventures and their problems with the Karnage family)
 One Sequel (Called Dreamflyers: Kit is now 21 and his dreams of being a pilot are realized. He his now Rebecca and Baloo's "Ace Pilot" at Higher for Hire. Molly is 15 and Oscar Vandersnoot and the Jungle Aces are the main support characters as well. New villians and new characters will also show up along with old favorites like Don Karnage.)
- The Prequel would be fairly short (1 movie and about 30
episodes or so; with chornology.)
- The Sequel would be at least 100 episodes in length (with 1 or 2 OAV's; with chornology.)
Other Stuff: (The only bright spot in the original marketing) like
Cards (A la Magic: The Gathering), Keychains , Animation Sets,
Figures, Model Sets, Posters, Contests, Comic Books , PC Games &
much, much more.....
 Uncut and Unedited!
(#1. If you count the stories in the comics, audio books and books, it is around 150+ episodes; so it wasn't all that far off. Even though it would have been nice to rewrite many of those stories and put them on television actually. That's before I knew that there were scripts that didn't even make it past the first draft stage like Bedeviled Eggheads. #2. Testify~! Michael Eisner should have made Plunder and Lightning the feature film instead of Ducktales The Movie: Treasure Of The Lost Lamp. It's not like the purists weren't already blasting DTVA for interfering with feature; you might as well go all the way with it and release a new movie in theaters ahead of the television series coming up later on; and probably make ten times Ducktales did since no one would be able to claim that the movie was a glorfied extended episode. It would have also allowed Disney to add four new stories to the syndication package. #3: Testify~! TaleSpin NEEDS closure in the worst way and they never got it. Ducktales got closure with the two part finale. Gummi Bears got closure, TWICE! Heck; even Kim Possible got closure. Gargoyles got closure, and then got screwed up by Nelvana. It's not rocket science. #4, #6, #8, #9, #11, #12 and #13 is 1998 Me going into hyperentitled dreamland. Not to say that I wouldn't like to see them; it wouldn't have happened even if Disney wasn't so stupid. #14, yes; but there was video games, comic books, contests, and other stuff. #10 wouldn't have happened at the time; but might happen if Disney decides to reboot TaleSpin because it makes more sense to do it as a sandbox style video game. Square Enix might have a Disney license; but it's for Kingdom Hearts. Disney/Capcom or Disney/Bandai-Namco is more likely and it would be a sandbox style game with RPG and flight simulation elements. Bandai-Namco's Ace Combat team would be great, and maybe their Tales/Tekken teams would help too. Capcom could do the 3DS version as a remastered version of the NES version of TaleSpin. However; all voices will likely be different since a good chunck of the cast is either dead or grown up in the case of Kit and Molly. #5 has already been done to some extent; since Laura Ann Trombley does have a TaleSpin documentary stored somewhere in her home and refuse to do tape trading with me and others. She's the reason why Plunder and Lightning Disney Channel is on Youtube to begin with. #7 has already happened thanks to Christopher L. Stone; but it would be MONEY if there was an official soundtrack CD containing all the music cues instead of 20 cues Christopher L. Stone put on his demo reel CD. #15; outside of Plunder and Lightning has happened. Disney did released all three volumes of TaleSpin with every televised episode (even the ones that were originally blacklisted, not anymore) and all of them are uncut. Sadly; the Disney Channel Plunder and Lightning will still be blacklisted and all the first showing of each episode is still the one thing we don't have. Long story short; it was a slow 17 years, but we have seen some progress! So I cannot hate Disney much for trying.)
I'll explain number fifteen on page three of this editorial since it is part of my final thoughts. Some of the ideas are not really mine; actually, I based it on how Japanese marketing is done (Actually, you stole the ideas from Wyvern someone user on Usenet; and the Lami anime series that the user based how TaleSpin should be marketed. ). I read books on how some of the most successful animated series in Japan.(such as Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball [Z/GT], Hello Kitty, AstroBoy, Jungle Emperor Leo, and Super Robot Spirits: If you like to learn more about these; please let me know. I think these are excellent anime and I watch them as often as I can.) . I do not see how such marketing cannot make a product sucessful in the USA since much of Japan's culture is just better versions of American ideas. (I'm not trying to offend them; I still think its a good idea to extend on ideas.) I think there is only one reason for Disney not marketing Tale Spin enough: Tale Spin was not considered a #1 priority for Disney since it was a television series after all. Like I said before; you cannot expect a product to win on its own merit. (Somehow; TaleSpin did, so your argument is blown out of the water.) Over-hyping a product might actually be the difference between an excellent product that is thrown away because few people actually know about (let alone like it) and an excellent product that people know and love for many years to come. That's the power of marketing and the media! (And Disney; for all their faults, has at least taken that to heart in the Bob Iger era. Sadly; none of the productions are to the quality of TaleSpin (save for Phineas & Ferb, Gravity Falls and Kim Possible; those are pretty close.)
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