5 Untapped Million-Dollar Comic Book Product Ideas
There are superhero t-shirts and action figures and posters and lunchboxes and toothbrushes and pez dispensers and pencil cases and cereal brands. And costumes and pajamas and underwear and collector's edition DVD box sets. And dinnerware and trading cards and cookie jars.
Yes. Cookie jars. And despite all of this, the market for superheroes and superhero accessories still has some large, and profitable, gaps. Here are the top five product ideas that have been inexplicably ignored by comic book companies.
There are a hundred reasons not to make a line of batmobiles; poor fuel efficiency, poor handling, the fact that most of the keys in the world would be worn down to nubs from the enormous amount of keying that these cars would receive, and the need for an endless supply of replaceable hood ornaments. However, there are millions and millions of reasons tomake a line of batmobiles, and right now they're all just sitting around in various 401(k) accounts.
2. Mark Hamill's Golden Voice
I am aware the gentleman has retired his Joker voice, and that only makes the fact that this idea was never implemented all the more tragic. This idea starts with simple things, like alarm clocks. Sure, it's possible to sleep through beeping, ringing and talk radio, but if the Joker tells someone to get up, they'll get up. There is no ignoring that voice, and there is a lot of money to be made from someone who can't be ignored.
From this simple beginning, Hamill's voice would echo onward. Fire alarms, emergency broadcasting systems, evacuation plans for buildings, anything and everything that can be read aloud to people who need to listen in order to save themselves. This isn't just a plan which would make money, it would save lives. This writer can only hope that Mister Hamill will do the right thing.
There have been any number of reality TV shows, news stories, and fluffy pieces in Maxim about pick-up artist seminars, in which men learn the fine art of getting women to sleep with them by criticizing the women's nails. Whether or not these particular seminars work is best left up to people who give even the tiniest portion of a crap about them, but there is no doubt that there is money to be made.
Which is the best way to attract that money? Marvel has the answer. While the rich, slutty guys at DC are not enjoying much popularity these days, Tony Stark beloved by all. The character has the kind of reputation that can't be beat. That reputation is being splattered all around the world via movie right now, and will continue to be spread around for the next two years. Tony Stark camps would be all about smarmy pick-up lines, boozing it up, having conversations with snotty, disembodied butlers, and using that cumulative mystique to get with the ladies.
Sure, it isn't going to work, but who is going to rake in more dough for selling a questionable product: Iron Man or some dude in a fur hat? You make the call.
I am of the generation before the internet, and before Twitter. If we wanted to feel close to our idols, we had to wait until they gave a magazine interview or pick up the phone - always with our parent's permission of course - and dial various numbers to listen to a pre-recorded message from them for $2.99 a minute. Once we got a little older we realized that our parents were also picking up that phone and dialing 900 numbers to talk to people, which made our phone calls easier to mask on the phone bills.
There are those out there who assume that the Superhero Hotline dialers will be looking for content more like that our parents dialed out for, and less like the innocent messages we listened to. They'd be right. Still, staffing the phones with unemployed voice actors who could fake a good mid-nineties Wolverine voice, or even an Adam West or a Julie Newmar, would lead to a lot of money for everyone.
Vast amounts of money. The kind of money which could buy you a money room, which you could fill with money to roll around on whenever you got sad. That kind of money.
And not all the phone calls would be tawdry. Sometimes, when you've had a hard day at work, and you're disappointed by your own lack of money rooms, wouldn't it be nice to pick up the phone and have a chat about your day with She-Hulk? Or get encouragement and wisdom from Professor X? Or have Batman read you "Goodnight Moon"? You know it would.
Now this, this is the Golden Goose, right here. And it's practically untouched. Non-sexy women's costumes has to be the most underexploited market in today's society. Sure, there are superhero costumes out there for adult women, but because of the design of most female superhero costumes and what I can only assume every costume company's desire to save on fabric, there are very few costumes that don't show off an amount of skin that can only be termed 'ungodly.'
Many people will argue that this market isn't very large. After all, every Halloween and every Con has women turning up in costumes like this:
These women dress like this voluntarily, and they are to be congratulated for their self-confidence and preternatural ability to balance in those heels.
However, for every woman who does dress like this, there are at least ten who would like to dress as a superhero without exposing their butt cheeks to the cold October air or the virulent diseases that are ground into convention seats. The amount of money that could be made if someone were to make that costume cotton and slap a pair of pants on it boggles the mind. And that's just one costume. The possibilities are endless.