Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow may be a central figure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but she’s largely nowhere to be seen when it comes to merchandise (the sweetest plum). Most Avengers t-shirts, lunchboxes and whatnot feature only the male members of the team. A good portion of Guardians of the Galaxy merch also excluded Zoe Saldana’s Gamora. Apparently, the reason for this is that Disney believes they already have the girls’ market on lockdown with their princess-related stuff, and boys are scared off by the sight of yucky girls on their licensed crap.
Disney probably has reams of market research that “proves” they’re doing the right thing, but scrubbing all traces of their female characters from their merch certainly comes off as a bit regressive in 2015. Thankfully, it sounds like Warner Bros. will be taking a more enlightened approach with its upcoming slate of superhero movies. In a recent licensing report, Warner Bros. promised that a lot of Wonder Woman-related merch is planned alongside the Wonder Woman and Justice League movies…
“Our comprehensive program will include Wonder Woman in the merchandise lines and in standalone products supporting the film. We have always had a robust line for Wonder Woman, and her role in this film and future films offers us more opportunities to feature her character and empowering attributes in many creative ways.”
According to the report, Warner Bros. will be teaming with LEGO, Hallmark, Bioworld and costume makers for Wonder Woman products.
Before we start patting Warner Bros. on the back too heartily, we should take into account that we’re talking about Wonder Woman here. Scarlett Johansson is a big star, but Black Widow isn’t really a terribly iconic character. Wonder Woman, on the other hand, is one of the most recognizable superheroes on the planet. Of course they’ll be doing a lot of Wonder Woman merch. The real test will be whether some of Warner Bros’ lower-profile female heroes also get the merchandising spotlight. Will we be seeing Margot Robbie Harley Quinn t-shirts and LEGOs? Trust me, Warner Bros., I think she has a pretty wide appeal.
(Via the Mary Sue)