Ever since the first ‘Avengers’ movie became an across the board phenomenon, kids have flocked to department stores to snap up toys, clothes and other memorabilia to take the action of the movie home. And during that time, parents/guardians/etc. have been coming up empty-handed when their kids sought anything bearing the likeness of one of the heroes… Black Widow. The lone female on the original team, portrayed by Scarlett Johansson, has appeared in four different Marvel films, but the amount of BW swag out there is incredibly slim compared to that of her male counterparts. But Marvel has just announced that they have heard the complaints and are taking steps to make more Black Widow merchandise available to this hungry fan base.
The main problem has been that the Marvel brand isn’t specifically targeted to young girls, even though 40% of the audience attending ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ was female. Marvel’s parent company, Disney has no problems marketing to girls and women– just look at all their princess merch! But while most modern princesses are tougher and more liberated than their old school ancestors, it seems when it comes to women who literally kick ass, the marketing giant falls short. And Black Widow isn’t the only one largely MIA from toy aisles and clothing racks. Gamora from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and Honey Lemon and Go Go from ‘Big Hero 6’ were also largely omitted from licensing endeavors.
In the case of Black Widow, perhaps the biggest insult was the recent Avengers Jet toy vehicle, which is designed to emulate a memorable scene from ‘Age of Ultron’ in which Black Widow drops from the heroes’ aircraft on the back of a motorcycle, zipping down the streets to enter the battle. See if you can spot what’s wrong with this image:
Yep. One of Black Widow’s biggest scenes in the movie, yet for the toy, they swapped her out for Captain America, the male hero that she was actually going to help in the movie!
And it’s not just toys. Because Disney/Marvel doesn’t actively market the ‘Avengers’ to girls, they don’t even make clothing or other items for that demographic. And the belief is that little boys don’t want “icky” girls on their clothes, etc., Widow and her sisters in crime fighting are intentionally left off those ancillary items.
But hope is coming, as Marvel senior Vice President of Licensing Paul Gitter assured more merchandising is on its way, tying in to ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and he specifically mentioned “a big focus on adult female apparel.”
So it looks as if the Black Widow drought is coming to an end. What type of Black Widow merchandise would you like to see? What about Gamora and the Scarlet Witch? Comment below!
Source: Movie Pilot