Was Sailor Moon’s Moon Stick Created Just to Sell Toys?

Doesn't this make you want to buy one??

Doesn’t this make you want to buy one??

The story, at least according to Moonie lore,1 is that Sailor Moon’s licensed toys weren’t meeting Bandai’s sales targets. As one of the series’ major sponsors, they put the screws to politely asked Ms. Takeuchi to create something a little more toyetic to boost their profit margins, to which she responded with the beloved-yet-awkwardly-named Moon Stick.

Though a tad scandalous, it all sounds pretty par for the course when money-making enterprises are involved. What’s the problem?

Well, like many of the Sailor Moon facts we take for granted, the story isn’t quite as cut and dry as we’ve been led to believe. So today we’re going to travel down the rabbit hole2 and see whether Sailor Moon’s most iconic wand was really a money grab in disguise!

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Was Sailor Moon One of the Most Popular Anime of the 1990s?

Did anyone actually watch this show?

Did anyone actually watch this show?

As an anime fan living in the west, it’s always been difficult to get a sense for the actual popularity of a given series is from one continent to the next. I remember when I first came to Japan — nearly a decade ago, mind you — and tried to explain what some of my favorite anime were to my new Japanese friends, I was met with blank looks.

Didn’t everyone know about the greatness of Tenchi MuyoSerial Experiments Lain, and Project A-ko? Apparently not.

While we (I assume…) all know, love, and adore Sailor Moon, I think it’s about time that we take a step back and see just how the series stacked up against its anime peers back in the best decade known to man: the 1990s.

Put your Titanic CD in, grab a Fruit by the Foot, and be sure to feed your Tamagotchi — where we’re going, we don’t need roads.

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