With Avengers: Endgame still going strong at the box-office, it makes sense that the Marvel ensemble picture is reverberating elsewhere. Rocket Raccoon, for example, recently drew attention for inserting an emotional Easter egg onscreen, and the abrasive trash panda seems to be affecting non-cinematic markets as well. That’s the case due to a line from a weary and angered Tony Stark, still in recovery after nearly dying in space, who retorted, “Until this exact second, I thought you were Build-a Bear.” That joke was credited by Build-a-Bear CEO Sharon Price John in a first-quarter earnings call to shareholders.
Let the transcript (via Business Insider) reflect how the company’s fighting the so-called retail apocalypse taking place in brick-and-mortar stores with a new shift-to-home option. That’s helping matters, but Endgame boosted Build-a-Bear’s Marvel-branded products, and Detective Pikachu apparently inspired consumers to open their wallets wider than usual:
“…[T]he positive impact of the record [was] further enhanced by Marvel’s generous and welcome to nod to Build-A-Bear in the movie first 10 minutes when Tony Stark commented to Rocket the raccoon directly, ‘I thought you were Build-A-Bear.’
And later in the quarter, the Pokemon movie, Detective Pikachu brought renewed interest to this product line, which has been a consistent top performer for our business. This property is a favorite of our fan-based affinity segment, and they have responded positively, resulting in an average transaction value of over $70, more than 50% higher than our overall average.
All of that inspiration, and Rocket Racoon doesn’t even have a Build-a-Bear set listed on the retailer’s website. This could be a missed opportunity, yes? Perhaps the company doesn’t want to deal with the implications of including a character who’s known for holding a blaster, so I’ll just stop right there and lecture myself with one of Rocket’s lines: “You just want to suck the joy out of everything.”