How Disney Killed Alex Hirsch's Dream Of Making Gravity Falls Merch

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As far as shows that outlived their initial runs, "Gravity Falls" very much fits that bill and may rank as one of the biggest animated TV surprises in recent memory. The show had a relatively short life, airing for just two seasons between 2012 and 2016. But those 40 episodes have been embraced by fans widely and wholeheartedly in the years since creator Alex Hirsch's show called it quits. Luckily, Disney has recognized the show's popularity and some merch has made it out into the world. But Hirsch has understood for a long time that this show was never going to get a big push in that department.

Disney owns a lot of major brands, ranging from Marvel to Pixar and all of "Star Wars," amongst many others. That being the case, a show that ran for just two seasons isn't likely to be of major concern to those in charge of merchandise. Hirsch, speaking to The Mary Sue in 2017, acknowledged this harsh reality.

"The day that Disney bought Star Wars (AFTER buying Marvel) was the day I knew my merch dreams for Gravity Falls were basically toast. The company is too huge and we're barely a blip on the radar to their consumer products division. Luckily the enduring popularity of the show has resulted in a few departments within the company sticking their neck out and trying cool experiments like journal 3. Everyone was surprised by the success of the journal except the fans. Their appetite for more continues to impress even this long after the end of the show."

As Hirsch mentions, "Gravity Falls: Journal 3" sold quite well and, several years removed, even went on to become a New York Times Bestseller. That speaks volumes about the show's fanbase, and part of the problem when it comes to managing a company as large as Disney.

Money slipping through the cracks

The powers that be at Disney are surely going to prioritize brands like Marvel and "Star Wars" when it comes to merchandise — and they are probably right to do so. Those are guaranteed, big money brands that are going to move merch on shelves. But that doesn't mean there isn't money to be made with the many (many!) other brands under their gigantic umbrella. Case in point: "Journal 3" probably made them a chunk of change. And that's one product.

It seems that Disney did eventually wise up to the fact that "Gravity Falls" does have a big fanbase out there that is more than happy to spend some money on the show. At the time of that initial interview, Hirsch was merely hopeful that the show would get released on DVD. Now? The entire series is available in the form of a nice box set which is readily available at Amazon and other retailers. So, even though things were a bit bleak there for a minute, the tide has certainly turned in favor of Hirsch and this show's dedicated fanbase. So, maybe we can get that "Gravity Falls" video game at some point?

"Gravity Falls" is streaming in its entirety on Disney+.