With a film as monumentally huge as Avengers: Age of Ultron, it’s no surprise to see an absolute marketing and merch onslaught surrounding the project. What is surprising is that one of the film’s biggest stars barely made the cut.
As HitFix points out, Marvel has now unveiled a mountain of merchandise surrounding the soon-to-be blockbuster, with items spread across the Disney Store and Marvel website. Of all the dozens of items on display, Black Widow is relegated to a paltry three items — a shopping bag, a Disney Infinity starter pack and one men’s t-shirt. That’s it.
It’s worth noting that fellow female hero Scarlet Witch is shown in zero items, though she’s admittedly less well known, so that’s (kinda) an excuse. Kinda. Oh, Hawkeye is also harder to find than Bigfoot (which is funny, since he plays a larger role in this film), though just about every other male hero (even new addition the Vision!) gets some attention.
This marketing issue hits at a much larger point that has been pushed into the limelight in recent years — female heroes getting short shrift in everything from toys to t-shirts, which feeds back into a cycle of assuming that little girls don’t want to play with superhero toys (or buy the other merch). Characters like Black Widow, Scarlet Witch (and especially the upcoming Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman) represent a wonderful chance for studios to offer little girls something they’ve never really had on the big screen. Take advantage of it.
We get a ton of team shots showing Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and it’s pretty obvious where Black Widow ranks. See: not on the list.
It’s a real shame those excited little film fans (or adults, we don’t judge) can’t buy a backpack, or t-shirt, sporting their favorite hero after going to see Age of Ultron. Marvel is already putting out about a billion different merchandising items; why not give Black Widow her due on a few of them?