I think it’s safe to say that everyone reading this has watched The Avengers, read the comics or in some form at least know of The Avengers. I’m not quite sure what’s going on with Disney, but their marketing team for The Avengers is missing the big picture. This isn’t the first time, Black Widow was noticeably missing from merchandise in the first Avengers film, while Gamora was missing from most of the Guardians of the Galaxy merchandise sparking the #wheresgamora campaign.
According to The Mary Sue, who spoke to a formal Marvel employee that anonymously explained what could be going on:
“While working at Marvel post-acquisition, I saw a deck circulated by Disney’s Brand Marketing team. I’m prohibited from sharing the slides, but the take away is that, unlike the actual demos, the desired demographics had no female in it whatsoever. I asked my supervisor why that was. Ever the pragmatist, he said, “That’s not why Disney bought us. They already have the girls’ market on lockdown.”
Remember, that was a former Marvel employee. Disney does think it has the girls market on lockdown, with all their princesses and other “girly” shows, and merchandise. Perhaps its that Disney already has so much money that the monetary value of aiming some of The Avenger, Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars merchandise really just doesn’t appeal to them. You can bet, if they actually took a look and really evaluated the market, listened to what consumers were saying, that they would realize that not only would they be pleasing their fans, changing thousands of lives, while adding to their bottom line, they would absolutely include more female characters.
Even some food labels are inclusive of Black Widow. It may seem like a simple thing, but people go shopping for food on a daily basis. Even if subconsciously they see it without really noticing. Frito is probably doing it for the money. And while they could make money without Black Widow, they chose to include her. For that I applaud.
The issue seems to be with Disney. They feature Black Widow on just three Avengers product in the store, one being a shopping bag. Disney Infinity does have a Black Widow figure. However I think that they are a completely separate marketing team. There is also a Disney Avenger set which features Captain Marvel, and you can see that here.
Fortunately there are other companies more than willing to include Black Widow in their merchandise line up. Hot Toys for one has an amazing Black Widow collectible.
And HerUniverse has it’s line of Marvel inspired dresses:
There is hope, we just have to keep letting our dislike be known. One day Black Widow will be on every piece of merchandise just like the rest. She is just as much an Avenger as Thor, Cap, Hulk, Hawkeye and Ironman.