It's an interesting question, and one that is usually skirted on this board. People love to reminisce about the "good old days" and one of the first things to come up is land specific merchandise. For example if you were in Adventureland they had a place that sold Hawaiian shirts, another sold coconut sculptures, yet another specialized in bamboo artwork. Drums, masks, rain sticks, if you could picture it coming from the tropics then someone there might be selling it. In Frontierland they had an actual Pendleton shirt shop, and you could buy a variety of western goods. Tomorrowland sold astronaut icecream and Main Street was a unique turn of the century shopping experience.
What you see now is the streamlined efforts of corporate America. It is convience at it's most basic level, anything you want in every store you walk into. Merchandise is generic, often seasonal, and caters to the "flavor of the week". Some of the more popular characters are easily found, while those that don't sell are hard to come by. In truth we built this system, with our own decision making purchases.
So the question arises, would land specific merchandise actually work even if it was brought back? One issue is that land specific merchandise would likely be pricey. It would be a great deal harder to find some of the merchandise in bulk, and those costs would most definately be passed on to the consumer. Another issue is sales. People have been conditioned to buy T-Shirts, and stuffed animals, and may not readily purchase land specific merchandise as an alternative. Looking at NOS, and it's semi empty shops would indicate that the "big spenders" (foreign and domestic tourists) are more prone to purchase the mass produced souviners that have become so prevelant in the park. Honestly who would want to trek all the way to Tomorrowland to buy a glow sword, or all the way to Adventureland to buy an "Indy Mickey"? For that matter who would want to walk to Main Street just to find a shot glass, or a souvenir book.
The flip side of the coin is that there is a strong local market that likely would appreciate such land specific merchandise. Knott's does extremely well in that regard (well the Ghost Town ones I speak with most weekends do). And they could serve as a potential model for Frontierland, but again the issue would still boil down to price... and it's been said that the AP does not buy on the level of the domestic or foreign tourist. So even if AP's might purchase such products, it wouldn't matter unless it caters to the larger audience as well.
So I pose the question to Micechat, do you think it would work? There are still some holdouts of the old land specific system (for example masks in Adventureland but they hardly sell...) I am curious what all of you think.