Toys and animation have been intertwined since the earliest days of television but recent results from the leading manufacturers has lead Dan Seitz over at Uproxx to question their bond with animated shows.
While Seitz is a tad overly pessimistic about the demise of kings like Mattel and Hasbro, he does hit on a great point about how they do, currently, completely neglect adult fans of animated shows.
Hit shows like Adventure Time have, of course, adult fans that are only too happy to purchase the kid versions of toys, as plenty did for the figures included in McDonalds Happy Meals. Yet that doesn't mean that they aren't hankering for higher quality, and more expensive, merchandise.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is perhaps the best example, with Bronies willing to spend upwards of $1,300 for a plush version of their favourite character created by artist Sherry Bourlan. That effort was unfortunately shut down thanks to a trademark complaint from Hasbro but just goes to show that the company is completely willing to cast adult fans aside.
I don't for a second believe that the failure of toy makers to cater to adult fans of animated shows will lead to their downfall (they do, of course, have a never-ending supply of new customers) but given the drastic rise in popularity of animation among adults, it just seems silly to ignore a group of people who might be just as willing to give you their money.