We certainly do consider this to be one of the more surprising announcements of the week — Freeform is officially selling Shadowhunters merchandise. You can see what they’re selling over at the link here, and it includes the likes of shirts, mugs, and also a hoodie. Prices range from $14.99 all the way up to $49.99.
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On one level, the timing here makes perfect sense for Freeform to make the move now. Black Friday is coming up later this week and it’s the biggest shopping weekend of the entire year. If they think they can turn a nice product for the holiday season, it makes sense for them to want to line their pockets. Yet, it’s also surprising that they would be creating merchandise all of a sudden for a show that they’ve technically already canceled.
So what do we make of all of this? Let’s just say that our thoughts are a little bit complicated.
For starters, we don’t want to tell anyone how to spend their money. Anyone who wants a shirt should absolutely get one and anyone who doesn’t want one shouldn’t feel like they have to. People work hard for their cash, and merchandising is a business of a lot of variables, whether it be having great designs or having a nice array of products. For example, you may not want to buy something just because there aren’t offering something that you’re looking for.
Do we think that merchandise like this can actually help to save a show? While every bit of money helps, we wouldn’t recommend picking something up because you think that’s going to make or break the show’s future. In order for merch to really help the future of Shadowhunters, they would need to sell a LOT of merch. Think thousands upon thousands of shirts, depending on their margins. There’s also the issue of who receives the money on the other side and whether or not any of it would even go to future productions in the first place. We do think that showing a financial commitment to watching a show both now and in the future matters tremendously, but merch is more a piece in a larger puzzle as opposed to the one thing that will turn the tide and bring Shadowhunters back.
Is it understandable that some people are out there angry at Freeform, and with that have no interest in buying anything? 100%, but maybe some people out there really just want a shirt and should totally get one — also, it’s a way to just show you like the shirt to people on the street who may not know anything about the cancellation. We do think that there are things within the fandom world that are worth unifying over, and then there are also some that should really come down to personal choice. We don’t think that all of the designs are especially fantastic, but this does get Shadowhunters merch in the hands of people who may not have had it previously. It’s hard to complain over that.
What do you think about Freeform selling Shadowhunters merch? Be sure to share in the comments! (Photo: Freeform.)