Today Marvel announced a new initiative to release products aimed at teen and adult collectors and fans.
In 2016 Marvel’s licensing partners will offer apparel, collectibles, action figures, and other items based upon their edgier properties, such as Netflix’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones television series. Items in this line will focus on characters from those series, including The Punisher (who will be featured in Daredevil Season 2, coming in 2016).
Not just television based, Marvel also said the edgier Marvel Publishing archives will be mined to support this release (such as the Daredevil: Born Again story).
With partners such as Kotobukiya, Sideshow, and Diamond Select named, fans can expect high-end statues. Plus Hasbro is specifically mentioned as releasing some of their popular Marvel Legends figures to tie into this initiative. Of course, Funko (the Energizer Bunny of marketing tie-ins) will also be offering several items.
Of concern is the lack of one key licensee — Hot Toys. Since 2008 that Hong Kong based company has produced 12 and 18-inch figures based on Marvel films. The figures are very popular and highly collectible, some selling out the first day they are offered. I know fans were hoping for Hot Toys versions of the movie Deadpool and the television series Daredevil. While Hot Toys may still offer such products in 2016, they are notable by omission in Marvel’s statement.
As of press time Marvel has not replied to our inquiries regarding Hot Toys’ participation in this campaign.
Also shocking is the inclusion of Marvel cult icon Deadpool. In early 2016 Hot Topic will launch a complete Deadpool campaign, which ties in with the Deadpool movie coming out in February. Historically Marvel has had rocky relations with Fox Studios, makers of the Fantastic Four, X-Men and Deadpool films. Merchandising for those properties has been limited, as stated by Hasbro’s Marvel Brand Team Manager Dwight Schultz, XM Studios, and others. Rumors came during San Diego Comic-Con that Marvel was lifting the restriction on Deadpool merchandise, and it has been confirmed in this release.
As an adult Marvel Comics fan and collector, I am extremely excited by this news. In 2014 and 2015 it seemed much of the Marvel content was being aimed at much younger fans, from single age to early teens. From changes to the Marvel comics to the Ant-Man film it seemed Marvel (or perhaps parent company Disney) was removing much of what made me a fan of the characters.
Additionally, as an X-Men enthusiast, it’s encouraging to see Deadpool back on the approved list for Marvel Licensing. While Deadpool merchandise has never been hard to find, as he is one of Marvel’s biggest break-out characters of the past 25 years, this specific push may indicate a more collaborative relationship between Fox and Marvel. (This may perhaps be borne out later in 2016 with Fox’s release of X-Men: Apocalypse).
While more details will certainly emerge during Toy Fair International in February, 2016, this is a promising revelation for grown-up fans of Marvel comics, movies, and television series.
Marvel’s entire press release is below.
MARVEL ENERGIZES ADULT FANS WITH NEW DAREDEVIL, THE PUNISHER, JESSICA JONES, AND DEADPOOL MERCHANDISE
Anti-Heroes and Vigilantes Inspire Dynamic New Product Line and Retail Promotions with Target, Walmart, Hot Topic, and Others
Glendale, Calif. (November 19, 2015) – As fans continue to demand unique items to wear and collect from Marvel’s deep stable of characters, Marvel is rolling out its merchandising and retail plans for popular anti-heroes and vigilantes Daredevil, The Punisher, Jessica Jones and Deadpool. This new development addresses a key Marvel strategy to tap into the Marvel vault and satisfy not only the fans of the major Marvel franchises — Avengers, Spider-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy — but also comic book fans and those watching Marvel’s new Netflix Original Series.
Utilizing new artwork that launched this past summer, the merchandise campaigns focus on images from the vast Marvel Publishing archive to embrace an edgier tone. The lines have begun rolling out in stores with larger launches planned for January 2016 targeting teens and adults. Activity will heat up later in 2016 with the debut of the second season of the critically acclaimed Netflix’s “Marvel’s Daredevil”, which will include the first-ever live-action appearance of the Punisher on television.
The licensing program features a wide array of adult fan-focused product originating off of the wildly popular Marvel Comics publishing line, from apparel to collectibles and action figures. Fans will have the chance to build out full collections for the first time with collectibles from Diamond Select, Funko, Sideshow, Kotobukiya, and NECA coming to retail. Additionally, Hasbro will add Marvel Legends collector figures and Hot Wheels will unveil collectible die-cast vehicles next fall. Mad Engine, C-Life, Hybrid, Freeze, Fifth Sun, Silver Buffalo and Bioworld will each be launching a robust lineup of product including men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, footwear, bags, home goods, and drinkware. The merchandising programs will be rounded out with additional offerings including collector plush, stationery, consumer electronics, and novelties. And this assortment would not be complete without the collected Marvel Comics editions where these popular heroes originated.
At retail, best-in-class partners are working on extensive in-store and online support. Beginning in January, Target will feature a Funko display that will spotlight Daredevil, The Punisher and Deadpool collectible bobbleheads. In February, Hot Topic is launching an in-store and online Deadpool campaign that will include eye-catching signage, a homepage takeover, and social media posts. Other brick and mortar retailers including Walmart, JCPenney, Spencer’s, Party City, and Kohl’s will also provide in-store and online support. Amazon will expand on its toy and apparel offerings for the characters and CafePress is launching a dedicated Jessica Jones shop offering unique merchandise for both men and women.
“Our goal is to open our deep vault of characters and explore all opportunities to drive incremental revenue that extends beyond our core franchises and extends our reach to new consumer segments,” said Paul Gitter, senior vice president, licensing, Marvel at Disney Consumer Products. “The excitement that is brewing across the board from not just fans, but also the licensees and retailers, is overwhelming and we are looking forward to seeing the reaction to this awesome product lineup.”
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About Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy-five years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing.
For more information visit marvel.com.
© 2015 MARVEL
About Disney Consumer Products
Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is the business segment of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) that delivers innovative and engaging product experiences across thousands of categories from toys and apparel to books and fine art. As the world’s largest licensor, DCP inspires the imaginations of people around the world by bringing the magic of Disney into consumers’ homes with products they can enjoy year-round. DCP is comprised of three business units: Licensing, Publishing and Disney Store. The Licensing business is aligned around five strategic brand priorities: Disney Media, Classics & Entertainment, Disney & Pixar Animation Studios, Disney Princess & Disney Fairies, Lucasfilm and Marvel. Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) is the world’s largest publisher of children’s books, magazines, and apps, igniting imagination through storytelling in ever-inventive ways. DPW creates and publishes books, magazines, eBooks and apps both vertically in-house and through an extensive worldwide licensing structure. DPW is also committed to the educational development of children around the world through Disney Learning which includes our flagship learning brand, Disney Imagicademy, as well as Disney English and other Disney themed learning products. The Disney Store retail chain operates across North America, Europe and Japan with more than 350 stores worldwide and is known for providing consumers with high-quality, unique products. Disney Store operates ecommerce channels in nine countries, which can be found here. For more information, please visit Disney Consumer Products www.DisneyConsumerProducts.com .