Author Topic: never thought I'd see this day:  (Read 5324 times)

bka

  • Westwood Neighbor
  • ***
  • Posts: 222

MrRogers143

  • Westwood Neighbor
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
Re: never thought I'd see this day:
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2012, 11:41:49 PM »
I have Adventures In Friendship. With the toy Trolley.
Steven Simmons
   [Trolley]
[bdbdbdbd]
    o      o

bka

  • Westwood Neighbor
  • ***
  • Posts: 222
Re: never thought I'd see this day:
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2012, 07:06:03 AM »
I mean: we so used to pride ourselves that we didn't market and sell stuff - in marked contrast to Sesame Street.

mitsguy2001

  • Make-Believe Neighbor
  • ****
  • Posts: 804
Re: never thought I'd see this day:
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2012, 07:16:25 AM »
Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about FCI's lack of marketing?  In one way, it may make the series seem more "pure" and less about making money.  But, at the same time, if the series had been marketed more heavily, then maybe Fred's message could have reached more kids, and maybe our world could be a somewhat better place.  Just a thought.

On another note: I remember as a kid (early 80s, since I was born in 1979) having a King Friday finger puppet and a Henrietta finger puppet.  Were those officially marketed by FCI?  Or did my parents just buy me a generic king finger puppet and a generic cat finger puppet, and just tell me that they were King Friday and Henrietta?

ztrukanna

  • New to the Neighborhood
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: never thought I'd see this day:
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2012, 10:16:35 PM »
Yikes! It seems less startling that there would be merchandise than how it's specifically being marketed - "The low introductory price of $19.95!" and a Daniel Tiger clip saying "Oh, that's really good". Tacky to put the experiences presented by the program into a chintzy commercial offering it as an exclusive product offer with a "$40 value".

I'm not even so cynical as to think that television could exist without funding, of course. mitsguy2001, do you mean that more parents would be aware of MRN via such marketing and bring it into their homes via video so that kids would watch it, rather than restricted to broadcast? Or that the general public is more likely to accept something that is popularly marketed in such a way?

mitsguy2001

  • Make-Believe Neighbor
  • ****
  • Posts: 804
Re: never thought I'd see this day:
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2012, 11:26:28 PM »
What I was thinking is that it may have gotten more kids interested in MRN for a longer period, and maybe more parents would encourage their children to watch MRN for a longer period.  I was born in 1979, so I watched MRN during the peak of its popularity.  But it seems that its popularity declined dramatically during the 90s.  Maybe with more marketing, they could have sustained MRN's popularity for longer, and maybe raised more money to create more new episodes instead of just 3 new weeks per year.  Kids and parents may have felt turned off by "outdated" episodes from the 70s and 80s.  It seems that unfortunately, our world is being ruled by people who don't embrace Fred's teachings.  And that is making the world difficult for people like myself who do follow Fred's teachings.  Check out my thread about "Criticism of MRN from an adult's point of view" (which nobody has responded to).  Also, check out the thread about "Episodes 1036 . . ." which went off on a tangent about topics such as bullying.

Even though I watched MRN during the height of its popularity during the 80s, it seemed that most people considered MRN to be secondary to Sesame Street.  I remember I would always argue with the girl who lived next door to me (about the same age as me) about MRN vs SS, where she strongly preferred SS, and felt that I was somehow wrong for preferring MRN.  Even her mother would join in, and sort of tease me about preferring MRN.  In retrospect, most of her comments were more about marketing, rather than about the actual content of the two shows.

My wife and I were actually talking about this topic tonight.  She and I are both now wondering if maybe rather than targeting very young kids, as MRN did, if it might have made more sense for MRN to have targeted older kids - a show with the same messages that Fred presented, but in a format more geared toward older kids.  She and I both think that part of the problem is that kids watched MRN so early in life, that by the time they are old enough to be making their own decisions, they have been bombared with so many other messages from the media that they've forgotten the values that MRN taught them.

mjb1124

  • Westwood Neighbor
  • ***
  • Posts: 123
Re: never thought I'd see this day:
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2012, 12:15:20 AM »
I don't see any need to compare MRN to Sesame Street, favorably or otherwise.   They had/have very different production values and educational missions, but I think they complemented each other well on the PBS lineup, and both represent the gold standard for children's education shows.   And while Sesame Street may have taken more advantage of merchandising opportunities than MRN, I don't get the impression that the show (at least in its prime) was just some operation out to make money.   There have been very talented, creative people working on that show, and they had very strong and sincere educational goals.   Sure, they took some cues from commercial television, but really they were just going by what children responded strongly to, taking those elements to create something more useful and unique in its own right.    By contrast, Fred Rogers decided to take a completely different approach with the way he talked directly to children about feelings and introduced them to some more sophisticated art forms. 

Bottom line is, both shows were brilliant, did great things for children and definitely had their place on television.   I'm not a fan of the way Sesame Street is now, but then again I guess the show had to evolve.   I honestly can't pick which show I prefer, and I think people should be able to discuss the merits of both without getting into a debate about which show is better. 

And no, I wouldn't have minded if Mister Rogers did more promotion of toys, puppets/plushes, building kits, books, audio and video releases, and so forth - as long as it all tied closely into the mission of the show and was marketed in a tasteful manner.    I did love my "Won't You Be My Neighbor" and "You Are Special" records as a kid, and I also remember that I had the "Going To The Potty" book and that the boy scout home I attended had a King Friday puppet.    So making such things more available and promoting them more wouldn't have been such a problem for me.   I do agree that the infomercial posted above is pretty tacky, though.

mitsguy2001

  • Make-Believe Neighbor
  • ****
  • Posts: 804
Re: never thought I'd see this day:
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2012, 12:32:06 AM »
I've often wondered why it was that I was never a fan of Sesame Street when I was a kid.  I wonder what it was about it that turned me off.  I've often wondered if maybe an hour was too long for my attention span.  Ironically, my wife (who as a kid was a big fan of Seasme Street, but wasn't that big a fan of MRN) said that her attention span was too short for the slow pace of MRN, even if it was only half an hour.

My wife and I have very similar personalities (though maybe we were different as children; I have no way of knowing since I was an adult when I met her).  So I wonder what it was that attracted her to SS and attracted me to MRN.  Interestingly, we got married on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010 (which was after MRN started airing once a week, on Saturdays), and the episode that aired that day (according to the FCI website at the time) was the one where Big Bird guest starred!  She thinks that episode airing that day represented a compromise between my favorite show as a kid and her favorite show as a kid.  I remember being worried that one of the Divorce episodes would air that week (since that week usually aired in November when MRN aired Mon-Fri), although 1476 would have been appropriate since it has a video of the McFeely wedding.

OperaLover

  • Westwood Neighbor
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
Re: never thought I'd see this day:
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2012, 02:51:07 PM »
As far as marketing goes, I think there is a difference in having a non-bombardment type of marketing that could have made families aware of a limited range of useful products and attractions of course.
It's everywhere so I'd have loved some decent competition in the marketing arena.
 
I remember in the 80s when my son watched He-Man. He did love it but it was essentially a half hour toy commercial and that is a complete deception to me.
 I truly wish I'd have known about Idlewild Park in '89 when the Trolly ride was added.
My family would have benefited greatly by having a reason to splurge and take a vacation since we maintained a very frugal life and never took a vacation.
Not even once. I would have gone beyond my comfort zone and made sure to bring Daniel to this park if I'd known about it.
It would have given him so much joy because he out of all my children loved MRN the most.
It would have been a wonderful lasting memory for him.
Marketing doesn't have to be bad.

mitsguy2001

  • Make-Believe Neighbor
  • ****
  • Posts: 804
Re: never thought I'd see this day:
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2012, 09:21:16 PM »
I truly wish I'd have known about Idlewild Park in '89 when the Trolly ride was added.

That reminds me: when my next door neighbor's mother mocked me for preferring MRN over SS, one of the things she mentioned was how much her daughter enjoyed the Sesame Place amusement park (or whatever it was called) and how there is no equivalent for MRN.  I don't think Idlewild had an MRN theme back then (if it did, it wasn't well known).  I'm guessing from your post that its MRN theme was started in 1989.

pastorscott

  • Southwood Neighbor
  • **
  • Posts: 98
Re: never thought I'd see this day:
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2012, 02:15:12 PM »
The advertised DVDs actually came out in like 2004 and 2005...I don't think they sold that well....4 DVDs were produced, I believe.  You can find them easily on ebay or at your library.  It looks like these DVDs are being remarketed.  Looks like some independent company is marketing them.
I still think that the Fred Rogers Company should be more aggressive advertising in selected resources, like Parenting magazines.  I don't think it would cheapen Fred's image if FRC would make parents aware of MRN on Amazon and the other FRC resources.

mitsguy2001

  • Make-Believe Neighbor
  • ****
  • Posts: 804
Re: never thought I'd see this day:
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2012, 08:57:03 PM »
The DVDs may have sold poorly because the episodes on them were still airing regularly at the time the DVDs were released.  I wonder if now what MRN isn't airing much anymore if they would have sold better.  Especially if the episodes that are released are "special" episodes that haven't aired in a long time (such as the royal wedding, operas, etc).  Although, at this point, they'd be mostly of interest to adults who watched the series as kids, rather than for the originally intended child audiences.  Maybe the Fred Rogers Company feels that at this point, it would no longer fit with their primary mission.

At the time that Fred retired, I wonder how he felt.  I wonder if he felt that he had succeeded in creating a very popular, long running, well regarded show that touched the lives of many kids.  Of if he felt that he had failed in trying to change our society to be more in line with his values (see the "Criticism of MRN from an adult point of view" thread).  I hope he didn't feel that he had failed.  Even though the world did not change, one person cannot change the world.  If that was what he wanted to do, then he attempted the impossible.