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Black Widow Being Erased from Avengers Merch

Crouton

Ninja
V.I.P.
People are not happy with Disney and Marvel right now, and it's because all over the world, little girls who saw The Avengers are going to the stores to buy Black Widow dolls and figures, only to find out that there aren't any.

The worst case of this so far, is that Black Widow has been erased from one of her most important scenes in film. (Minor spoiler) In one part of the film Black Widow in all her badassery rides a motorbike out of a flying plane. It's cool.

But now that scene is being sold as a toy set, with the plane, the bike.... but no Widow.

You can see more on that here: http://www.themarysue.com/oh-ffs-disney/

Not only have they done it once, but three seperate toy sets have replaced Widow with either Captain America or Iron Man. Which has been pointed out to make no sense in Iron Mans case, since he flies around in his suit there would be no need for him to ride a motor bike.

In fact, this problem is so bad that an entire blog has been set up for people to post about searching for Black Widow merchandise and not finding any. http://butnotblackwidow.tumblr.com/

Someone actually looked at the numbers, and out of 56 items in Target, she only made it onto one men's t-shirt, a mug and a mouse pad. Meanwhile Scarlet Witch, another major part of the film is on basically none of it.

I could rant about this for ages, so I'll try wrap this up now but these actions on behalf of the big companies are ridiculous. They can't keep pretending that only males like superheroes. All the statistics ever found prove otherwise. I don't remember the exact number but at least 50% or more of all the people who see Marvel films are female, they have a huge female fan base, and lots of young girls and children love these stories and want merchandise of characters... ALL of the characters. Doing this perpetuating the message that Black Widow isn't as important, or isn't as good as her male counterparts as her character isn't even sold in a box set of Avengers figures.

This also happened when Guardians of the Galaxy was released and Gamora and Nebula were erased from almost all of the merchandise.

Anyway, rant over.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
I'm not going to say it's okay.

But taking my experience with the comic book fandom into consideration, I can see why she's not being marketed very much. A quick search online shows more than plenty of merchandise for sale (and official merchandise at that) that includes her. I found plenty of action figures, posters, lunch bags, etc. All the standard fare. I'm not certain that the problem is a lack of production of items, I think it's simply a supply and demand issue.

I think the realm of comic books is still a female taboo and thus, no attempts to capture the market from companies.
 

Crouton

Ninja
V.I.P.
I'm not going to say it's okay.

But taking my experience with the comic book fandom into consideration, I can see why she's not being marketed very much. A quick search online shows more than plenty of merchandise for sale (and official merchandise at that) that includes her. I found plenty of action figures, posters, lunch bags, etc. All the standard fare. I'm not certain that the problem is a lack of production of items, I think it's simply a supply and demand issue.

I think the realm of comic books is still a female taboo and thus, no attempts to capture the market from companies.
Oh there's definitely a lot out there, in specialized comic book stores, websites, and general stuff from her entire existence. But in this case we are talking about merch from Age of Ultron in particular, available to kids in store.

I'm talking about like, Target, Walmart, toy stores etc that are currently right now selling merch related to Age of Ultron.

On Facebook Target responded to criticism about having no merch for her by showing ONE statue that they had, which was a statue of Black Widow in Iron Man 2. In her old costume and completely unrelated to Avengers 2.

Sure it is out there on the internet if you are willing to hunt it down, but for all the young girls going into the big chain stores right now, hoping to find Black Widow merch (and there are a lot of them), they are coming out empty handed and very disappointed.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
Sure it is out there on the internet if you are willing to hunt it down, but for all the young girls going into the big chain stores right now, hoping to find Black Widow merch (and there are a lot of them), they are coming out empty handed and very disappointed.
I mean, if I found it in 8 seconds, it's not exactly 'hunting', is it?

Besides, I think you may have stumbled upon one of the reasons. Big chain stores. Having the unfortunate experience of working for one, I can tell you with absolute certainty that the inventory rotates fast and they're definitely looking for broad appeal in favor of a fast return. I'm sure there are kids looking for toys that aren't there, but I don't think it's as bad as you're suggesting or else these companies would be stocking them. They give less than a care about the social aspect, they want the money. They would stock their shelves in an instant if it was going to give a solid return on their investment.
 

Crouton

Ninja
V.I.P.
Well yeah but it's still online, I'm talking about going into stores and buying it.

Maybe it is the fault of big chain stores, but that raises another issue, if that's what big chain stores think we want, then they need to change their attitude, because they are well behind the times. We are beyond girls just liking pink and princess and boys just liking blue and superheroes. People have starting to realise that forcing gender ideals onto children and practically policing the toys they play with is ridiculous, and doing more harm than good.

Also you may think that this isn't as bad as I'm making it out to be, but the numbers are pretty shocking when you look at them.

For example: Some people on the internet have gone into detail researching this, and have some up with some useful graphs.

Sorry this is blurry, but it's still readable. This is the screen time per character in Age of Ultron, as represented in screen minutes. As you can see here, Black Widow, a crucial part of the film comes in third place.



And now when it comes to toys. This graph was made across a range of different stores, by people who went through and sorted through each one and their range in online stores etc. As you can see, the numbers here vary greatly. Black Widow has only slightly more merch than characters who are new to the MCU (while Widow has now been in at least 4 films). She has almost the same amount of merch to a character who was only on screen for a very short amount of time, this being Vision.



Another thing these people found, is that characters not even named within the Marvel films, such as "Hyrda Henchmen" and "Ultron Bot" were much easier to find than any female character in the film.

Also, it's particular things such as this which are pissing people off. There have been countless examples found of 'group' toys or merch in which all of the Avengers are featured, including Hawkeye who had a lot less screentime than Widow, yet she isn't included in any one of them.

I know that to many people this isn't a big issue, but to many more it is, and people are getting sick of it.





 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
Maybe it is the fault of big chain stores, but that raises another issue, if that's what big chain stores think we want, then they need to change their attitude, because they are well behind the times. We are beyond girls just liking pink and princess and boys just liking blue and superheroes. People have starting to realise that forcing gender ideals onto children and practically policing the toys they play with is ridiculous, and doing more harm than good.
Again, your injecting your own personal politics here in place of factual evidence. While myself and others agree with you on the subject, these companies are strictly interested in profits and not systematic sexism.

And now when it comes to toys. This graph was made across a range of different stores, by people who went through and sorted through each one and their range in online stores etc. As you can see, the numbers here vary greatly. Black Widow has only slightly more merch than characters who are new to the MCU (while Widow has now been in at least 4 films). She has almost the same amount of merch to a character who was only on screen for a very short amount of time, this being Vision.
I found the tumblr page you sourced these from and I think you left out some important facts about those graphs:

We followed the same rules as last time:

  • We only counted toys. No school supplies, clothes, or anything else that might be official Avengers merchandise.
  • We only counted toys that had the Avengers: Age of Ultron logo on them. We didn’t count anything licensed under Avengers Assemble, Iron Man III, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Superhero Squad, or any other Marvel based property.
We visited two Targets, a Toys R Us, a Wal-Mart and a Disney Store. Below are our findings.
So only toys, nothing else. Only 4 stores (very likely in the same area/city), only Age of Ultron branded, and not to mention we have to take this person's word on everything and assume they're not lying or exaggerating. I'm not keen on this graph or any on the page, I think it's oddly specific and sounds like it may have been intentional to illustrate their point.

I'll go to my own Walmart/Target and see what I find myself if you'd like though, because I'm curious now.

Another thing these people found, is that characters not even named within the Marvel films, such as "Hyrda Henchmen" and "Ultron Bot" were much easier to find than any female character in the film.
According to them. In 4 stores. That's an incredibly tiny sample size.

Also, it's particular things such as this which are pissing people off. There have been countless examples found of 'group' toys or merch in which all of the Avengers are featured, including Hawkeye who had a lot less screentime than Widow, yet she isn't included in any one of them.
One of the things the blog is willingly ignoring is that most of these sets or groups of toys are being marketed to young boys. Most little boys (like little girls) prefer toys of male characters because they relate better. It's very unlikely Widow is being excluded because of any sinister reason (like their sensationalistic tagline for the page, "Following the symbolic annihilation of women through merchendise.")

Again, the social justice types are ignoring (willingly or not, I don't know) simple concepts like economics. If the demand for these toys was there, they'd be in stock. Companies like WalMart and Target are not 'symbolically' attempting to 'annihilate' women. They only care about green and only Tumblr would confuse that for 'patriarchy'.

I know that to many people this isn't a big issue, but to many more it is, and people are getting sick of it.
I honestly agree. I like stronger female presence in comics and their media but like gaming at the turn of the millennia, I think it's going through a transitional phase for women from taboo to mainstream. I guarantee that you'll see more of it geared towards women in the coming years and I hardly think a lack of toys shows anything but a lack of demand.
 

Crouton

Ninja
V.I.P.
Again, your injecting your own personal politics here in place of factual evidence. While myself and others agree with you on the subject, these companies are strictly interested in profits and not systematic sexism.
This is true, I guess it is what drives me on a personal level, which is why this issue is obviously one I care about. It's also true for many other people, which is why this story of Black Widow not having a lot of merch has been talked about on so many different websites now. It may be personal but I feel it's still valid in understanding why the people who care about this do care about this.

I found the tumblr page you sourced these from and I think you left out some important facts about those graphs:
It was a very long post, so I tried to sumarize the main points, so yeah I did cut out a lot. I was worried my post was getting too long as is and didn't want to turn it into a novel. I'm open to discussing any of the stuff I left out, as I did read the whole article.

So only toys, nothing else. Only 4 stores (very likely in the same area/city), only Age of Ultron branded, and not to mention we have to take this person's word on everything and assume they're not lying or exaggerating. I'm not keen on this graph or any on the page, I think it's oddly specific and sounds like it may have been intentional to illustrate their point.
Toys are the main issue here, as it's like what I said before, we aren't talking about the hardcore comic and movie fans, who most likely know all the best online stores for comic stuff and are the type to spend $400 on a figurine, in this case we are talking about the young girls who like Black Widow. The 11 and 12 year olds who want to go into a store with their parents and buy a toy or figure just like their brother would be able to of Hulk or Iron Man, only to find none there.

And yes, it was 4 stores, but this has also been proven to be something happening in the big chains. Dozens of people all across America took to Facebook to vent their frustrations about Targets limited Black Widow range. And they were people from all parts of America going into different Target stores and coming out basically empty-handed. And as I mentioned before, this is when Target responded with, 'look, we have a Black Widow toy!' and pointed them in the direction of ONE statue from Iron Man 2.

I'll go to my own Walmart/Target and see what I find myself if you'd like though, because I'm curious now.
As I have been super busy with Uni recently I haven't been able to check out the stores in my city, but I'm curious myself and will do the same thing when I have a chance.

According to them. In 4 stores. That's an incredibly tiny sample size.
Maybe, but what if they were four big ones? A lot of the photos being submitted to the blog about this have been taken by people in the big chains.

One of the things the blog is willingly ignoring is that most of these sets or groups of toys are being marketed to young boys. Most little boys (like little girls) prefer toys of male characters because they relate better. It's very unlikely Widow is being excluded because of any sinister reason (like their sensationalistic tagline for the page, "Following the symbolic annihilation of women through merchandise.")

Again, the social justice types are ignoring (willingly or not, I don't know) simple concepts like economics. If the demand for these toys was there, they'd be in stock. Companies like WalMart and Target are not 'symbolically' attempting to 'annihilate' women. They only care about green and only Tumblr would confuse that for 'patriarchy'.
Maybe it's true that much of the merchandise is aimed at young boys, but with such a great female character, that girls worldwide obviously love, then that brings up the question of why isn't their more aimed at young girls? Why cut that out completely without even trying? Girls WILL buy this stuff if it's available to them. Black Widow being cut out of the group stuff is almost symbolic of her not being as important as the men in team, and not being an equal. If they want to aim stuff at boys and girls separately, then fine, but at least make something for the girls, rather than just 99% of everything being aimed at young boys.

I honestly agree. I like stronger female presence in comics and their media but like gaming at the turn of the millennia, I think it's going through a transitional phase for women from taboo to mainstream. I guarantee that you'll see more of it geared towards women in the coming years and I hardly think a lack of toys shows anything but a lack of demand.
Oh it's definitely in a transitional period, I agree with that. In games it's obvious, and with films it's also becoming much more apparent. Films like The Hunger Games being hits among young girls is a sign of what girls have probably wanted all along but just never had. There's already new lines of guns and bows and arrow toys aimed just for girls now, given they are still pink and purple and have a horrible name but it's definitely a good step.

It's showing that girls aren't only interested in stereotypes like people once wanted them to be. If a little girl wants to only play with barbies and princesses? That's fine, nothing wrong with it. But if another young girl only wants to play with dinosaurs and toy trucks then that's also fine. People are slowly starting to see that now, and the exact same goes for young boys.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
I think you hit the nail on the head with that last sentence Merc. It shows a lack of demand. Sure you could probably sell a few Black Widow dolls but by and large the big sellers are going to be Captain, Thor, Hulk and Iron Man. Stores are selling much more of their merchandise based on supply and demand.
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
My daughter gets pissed off about this every time we see Avengers merchandise. She would love to see more Black Widow everywhere. She wants me to write to Kellogg's about Black Widow being left off the cornflakes boxes.

I think the demand is being underestimated.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
It very well could be. I don't see why Black Widow merchandise wouldn't sell well. I can see Hawkeye not selling well, he's lame compared to the big 4 to the vast majority of boys, and to be honest I buy merchandise and probably wouldn't buy anything Hawkeye, but I don't see the same for Black Widow.
 
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