Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is still a while away, but Warner Bros. recently outlined their merchandising plans for their various lines for the next year. While the main merchandise spotlight is on the titular characters, it looks like Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman will be a key part of their plans as well. Global License calls Wonder Woman a “strong merchandising opportunity that potentially could further attract an entirely new audience”, and Karen McTier, an executive vice president at Warner Bros. Consumer Products, states:
“Our comprehensive program will include Wonder Woman in the merchandise lines and in standalone products supporting the film,” says McTier. “We have always had a robust line for Wonder Woman, and her role in this film and future films offers us more opportunities to feature her character and empowering attributes in many creative ways.”
This is good news after the Avengers: Age of Ultron merchandise line forgot Black Widow almost entirely. Several toy lines even replaced her in recreations of iconic scenes from the film; a Hasbro action figure set of the motorcycle chase scene put Captain America on the bike instead of Black Widow, while she was replaced in a similar Hot Wheels set by Iron Man. The lack of Black Widow merchandise has not gone over well with fans of the character, so much so that this weekend there were organized #WeWantWidow flash mobs across North America that received substantial media attention. Marvel had a similar issue last year with Guardians of the Galaxy and a lack of merchandise for Gamora and Nebula.
DC’s female representation has been spotty as well. Their male action figures outnumber their female action figures by a considerable margin, and their recent McDonald’s toy lines for their various properties have been almost exclusively male. But Warner Bros. seems to be moving in a positive direction. Their recently announced DC Super Hero Girls line will focus on their female characters across a variety of platforms, and their commitment to including Wonder Woman in their Batman v Superman line is very encouraging. It remains to be seen what and how big a role she’ll have, but such clear intention at this stage of the game, with most of the line likely planned already, is a positive sign. The next step is to have Batman v Superman be a decent movie and present a great Wonder Woman that people actually want to buy merchandise of. That might be trickier. But hey, that’s the beauty of toys! If the movie sucks, we can go get Wonder Woman action figures and make our own stories.