Earlier this morning, Gillette made a special announcement at its World Shaving Headquarters in Boston — the 114-year-old company would be partnering with Stark Industries to develop razors based on Avengers technology. That’s right, folks. Lil’ Tony Stark had already left the weapons business, and now he wants out of the Avengers business. So, he’s decided to try his hand at barbering.
Actually, it was all a big PR stunt tied to the May 1st release of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Hollywood tentpoles are replete with product placements, and Marvel Studios’s next is no different. (Try keeping count of how often an undamaged Acura pops up during the Battle of New York.) Aside from the usual corporate flare, however, this morning’s press conference included a special guest — Stan Lee himself.
The official livestream began just after 10 a.m. ET. Procter & Gamble president Charles Pierce delivered opening remarks and Stark Industries researcher Abe Zimmer (i.e. an actor) talked about the four prototype razors. But it was Lee who stole the show, even though he was only on stage for a few minutes.
The Marvel Comics godfather came onstage while Zimmer was promoting the “Gillette XL Gamma”, otherwise known as the “Hulk Razor”. In the promotional video, the prototype expands in size — much like Bruce Banner — so presentation included normal and enlarged sizes.
When Lee came onstage holding the Hulk-sized prop, the crowd of reporters erupted in cheers. As for the man himself, he cut to the chase:
The things I’ll do for free razors. By the way, that was very well said. It was voracious, it was true, and I hope you were all taking notes. Can I go home now? How long do I have to keep holding this?
When the actor tried to get back on track by asking Lee if he was, in fact, Stan Lee, Lee responded in kind:
Well I’ve been… most of the time I am.
At this point Lee’s shtick was over. Luckily for those of us in attendance, his mic was still hot:
I have to come down now? Is that my big performance? Alright, nice meeting you!
The presentation continued with its prepared, jokey explanations of the fake prototype razors and the research behind them. When it all came to a close, however, Lee returned to the stage for a photo op. (At the all-too obvious behest of the PR types running around in the background.)
All of the footage in Gillette’s prepared “Innovation” presentation was sourced from the trailers and television ads released so far. Nothing new was shown, either at the event itself or in the livestream. But that’s okay — we got to see the first official look at the Vision last night.
There’s also the matter of one burning question I had throughout the press conference: Were these prototypes actually real, would the Hulk be able to use one (or all) to shave his chest hair? Gillette was happy to oblige me on Twitter: