If you’re the sort of person who watches a lot of television, then you might wish to express your love of your favourite shows by investing in the appropriate merchandise. Some popular shows have attracted legions of devotees, and lend themselves naturally to merchandise.
What kind of merchandise can you collect?
Merchandise comes in a variety of forms. Some are pretty generic. You might find keyrings, mugs and posters to commemorate just about any television property. Posters, naturally, are created for every show that wants an audience. Others kinds of merchandise are a little bit more specific. You might look for a replica of the magic sword from your favourite swords-and-sorcery show, and hang it above your fireplace.
T-shirts are a popular form of merch. Some of the best and most memorable designs in this space are actually fan-created. They might take elements from multiple properties and combine them in interesting ways.
Which shows are popular with merch?
The shows which generate the most merchandise also tend to be the ones that are popular with a large audience. Friends, the Office, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad: they all have their share of merchandise on offer.
In some cases, the show itself might contain the exact item that’s being sold as merchandise. You might think of replica uniforms from Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica. On the other hand, there are the Hellfire Club t-shirts, which featured in the last season of Netflix’s Stranger Things.
What lends a TV show merch appeal is a little more difficult to quantify than simple viewing figures. After all, for decades, millions of people have been watching Coronation Street – but Coronation Street merchandise remains rather thin on the ground (though it does exist).
To get people to buy merch, a show must therefore be not only watched, but loved. This is something that only a minority of shows manage to achieve.
Why collecting TV show merch is so popular
Many modern TV watchers are looking for something more than a way to spend an hour or so on a Wednesday night. They’re also looking for a sense of identity, and a way to clearly express their enthusiasm in a way that other people might recognise. We see the same phenomenon in the world of sports, where a team’s shirt might be worn by a person who is unlikely to actually participate in the sport in question.