‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Merchandise Is Seriously Lacking Black Widow
Here we go again. Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow was largely absent in the merchandise from the first Avengers film, and you would think that Disney might learn their lesson for Age of Ultron, but they sadly have not. Once again, the lady Avenger is suspiciously left out of the fun in Disney’s newest round of merchandise, featured on only three items. Sorry, boys and girls, but if you’re a Black Widow fan, you’ll just have to make your own action figure.
For a studio that’s been making some progress in the female-centric department, Disney is really screwing up when it comes to their merchandise, feeding into the outdated, wrong-headed way of thinking that little girls aren’t into superheroes or that little boys wouldn’t be interested in merchandise featuring a female superhero. This dumb dividing line between what little girls and little boys like or should be able to play with has long worn out its welcome.
As Hitfix points out, there is very little Black Widow featured on Disney’s recently unveiled line of Avengers: Age of Ultron merchandise. If you want to display your affection for Johansson’s ass-kicking hero, you have just three options: a small Black Widow figure in a Disney Infinity starter pack, a shopping bag (seriously?), or a men’s t-shirt. The latter two put Black Widow side by side with her co-stars, so there’s no solo Black Widow merchandise on offer.
Also absent is Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch, and while she’s a new, lesser-known character to those who aren’t familiar with the Marvel comics, it’s still annoying — not only is her role in the film just as important as those of her co-stars, but she presents another opportunity for merchandise featuring a female hero — an opportunity that is sadly missed. (It should also be noted that Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, who plays a much larger part in the new sequel, is entirely absent from the merch; as in, he is featured on absolutely no items.)
Even though Vision is also a new character that non-comic fans won’t be very familiar with, he’s featured quite prominently on the new merchandise. So what gives?
Black Widow is a fan favorite character, and one who is equally as valuable and awesome as her male counterparts. She deserves her own action figures, toys, and clothing, period. If all Avengers are created equal, then why aren’t they all treated that way when it comes to their merch?
Does Disney sincerely believe that little girls don’t like or want action figures? Or that little boys might not be interested in adding Black Widow to their action figure assembly to properly complete the lineup? Not to mention all the adults of both genders who collect action figures, too. Girls and women need to see themselves represented not just on screen, but off as well, and it’s unfair and insulting to exclude Black Widow from merchandising — and it sends the message that she’s not an equal part of the team.
This isn’t the first time Disney has pulled this nonsense. Black Widow was hardly included on merchandise for the first Avengers film, and Gamora was left out of the merchandising for Guardians of the Galaxy.
Disney and their various subsidiaries make some of the biggest, most successful films for people of all ages: Marvel Studios, Pixar, Lucasfilm — all of these films are appreciated by people of all ages, colors and genders. It’s great to see the studio including more diversity in their properties, but it’s disappointing when they exclude that diversity from their merchandise.