“They’re not just cartoons, they’re Nicktoons.” – some genius employee at Nickelodeon probably.
Get your walkers ready longtime Nicktoons fans, because you’re about to feel pretty elderly. You’ve read the title right – it’s been 25 years since Nicktoons made their outstanding debut on Nickelodeon! Prior to Nicktoons, Nickelodeon was the home to nothing but live-action comedy & drama shows for the youth of the late 70’s, 80s & 90’s but on Sunday, August 11, 1991 things would change forever when nostalgic series that we still hold dearly to our hearts today like Doug, Rugrats and The Ren & Stimpy Show premiered on Nick for the very first time that night. Since then the animation team at Nickelodeon has gotten busy and managed to expand it’s lineup of animated shows over the years and became a network that was home of award-winning, larger than life cartoons like Hey Arnold, KaBlam, Rocko’s Modern Life, The Angry Beavers, Aaahh! Real Monsters and many more! Although the 90’s seemed to be the prime of amazing cartoons on Nickelodeon, the brilliance just didn’t stop as Nick strove for more greatness with shows in the early 2000’s such as Rocket Power, As Told By Ginger, The Wild Thornberrys and classic shows that are still standing today like SpongeBob SquarePants & The Fairly OddParents.
The Nicktoons and their booming success not only got them millions of viewers worldwide with each episode that aired, but fanbases were established for them. So what do you do when you have a hit show with a relatively large fanbase? Well that’s when the big companies step in and the partnerships start pouring out. I don’t think you could’ve lived in the 90’s & early 2000’s without seeing dozens of products like candy, clothes, books, etc. with the Rugrats on it. Admiration brings opportunity, and these shows brought the opportunity to many companies to make some bank. These cartoons that you saw everyday on TV turned into multi-million dollar franchises. SpongeBob premiered in 1999 and to this day is worth over $90 million with a movie that made over $140 million in box office sales. Rugrats Go Wild earned $55.4 million and a happy meal toy line at McDonald’s. Thanks to you guys, the viewers, these cartoons were able to brand themselves and become valuable gems even after their last episodes aired. Happy 25th anniversary Nicktoons, you’re forever cherished!