When we talk about an “iconic” show or franchise, how do you define what makes a piece of media iconic? I suppose you could try to define it simply by the sheer amount of merchandise produced—if that were the case, Sailor Moon would be iconic and then some. If you were a child in the 1990s and you liked Sailor Moon or knew someone who liked Sailor Moon, the series could feel omnipresent. Aside from the manga and the anime themselves, there were Sailor Moon dolls and stuffed toys, Sailor Moon party favors and decorations, Sailor Moon CDs, print novelizations of Sailor Moon episodes, a Sailor Moon collectable card game, Sailor Moon action figures, Sailor Moon lip gloss, and probably dozens of other Sailor Moon items that I can’t think of right now. (If you were a child in Japan, you might also have encountered Sailor Moon tissues, Sailor Moon puzzles, a Sailor Moon stage musical, and a Sailor Moon-themed toy fax machine which, as far as I can tell, never made its way to the U.S.)
But… plenty of absolutely flop properties churned out piles of merchandise on the way to flaming out. Maybe iconic media is something that people collectively remember fondly and still think about, even thirty years later?