#WheresNatasha? Age of Ultron Continues Trend of Excluding Female Heroes From the Toy Aisle

John Marcotte

John Marcotte

Secret identity of a father raising two super-heroic young girls

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16 Responses

  1. rs says:

    THANK YOU! I spent this past week scouring everywhere looking for Natasha merch. I was appalled that the Disney Store (masters of marketing) had tons of merchandise and the only thing that had Black Widow on it was a pair of pj pants that I’m pretty sure are from CATWS. I asked a floor attendant, and she assured me they had it, but it was all sold out. Slightly skeptical, I got on my phone, and nope, not a single item.

  2. lebeau says:

    A could of weeks ago, there was an article at The Mary Sue written by someone who claims to be a former Marvel employee. She basically said Disney wants girls to buy princess toys and told Marvel not to market to girls.

    To quote the article:

    “While working at Marvel post-acquisition, I saw a deck circulated by Disney’s Brand Marketing team. I’m prohibited from sharing the slides, but the takeaway is that, unlike the actual demos, the desired demographics had no females in it whatsoever. I asked my supervisor why that was. Ever the pragmatist, he said, ‘That’s not why Disney bought us. They already have the girls’ market on lockdown.'”


  3. There’s a third thing we can do: BUY the Black Widow and Gamora merchandise when it’s offered. It’s not enough to complain about it. They are trying to make money – show them that they WILL make money if they give us the merchandise. .

    • John Marcotte John Marcotte says:

      You can’t buy what doesn’t exist. There is no Black Widow merchandise at Target period.

      My girls get to the comics shop have other ways of getting some merchandise, but their choices are severely limited. Clothing, action figures and toys are almost impossible to find.

      • The article lists three things you can buy.

        • John Marcotte John Marcotte says:

          Those three things are not available at Target. They are online on the Marvel website. A men’s shirt. A tote bag, and a $90 LEGO set.

          Let’s just throw out the first two. My seven-year-old is not interested. The third is prohibitively expensive — and Black Widow is just one of five heroes in that LEGO set, so I we would have to hope that LEGO assumes you bought the set to get Black Widow, and not say Ultron.

          Your method does not work. There is not enough Black Widow merchandise out there to support in any meaningful way.

      • lebeau says:

        This is why I plan to drop some bucks on DC’s new line of female superheroes. Maybe if that line takes off, Marvel/Disney will take notice.

  4. WinterWolf says:

    Same with Star Wars Rebels. Little to no female toys. Come on Disney your better than this.

  5. Rebeca Puig says:

    Hey, Heroics! Here in Brazil Natasha’s neem missing from merchandize and posters too. We started our own #wheresnatasha, but in portuguese, #cadeviuvanegra or #wheresblackwidow
    Hope you guys have better luck than we had. 😉

    • A single action figure that you have to buy Captain America to get and is only available at a single retailer does not negate anything said in the article.

      We said she is consistently left out of toy lines. One example where she is sold exclusively at a single retailer as part of a two pack does not negate the fact that she is left out the rest of the time.

      • Your article states that there are “no Black Widow action figures”. There are. Two pack or not, it still counts. Also, there are Black Widow toys available. I’ll grant you that there isn’t a huge amount in the “Age of Ultron” range, but from the first Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier lines there are. I’m not trying to discredit your intent with this as it’s something you feel strongly about, but why not promote this by saying “there is a Black Widow action figure, go buy it and show Marvel/Disney/Hasbro that there is a demand for this”. This shouldn’t just be exclusive to Black Widow either. There was another female character in that film too, and she features on even LESS merch, but she has her own action figure too.


        • It states that Marvel /Disney released no Black Widow action figures. And they didn’t. Then we talk about their licensing partners. Separate paragraph.

          And they have made Black Widow action figures before. They did for Winter Soldier. She sold out. Captain America and Winter Soldier are still available on the shelves.

          Selling it out did nothing to increase production on Age of Ultron. Quite the opposite. And girls should not have to buy Captain America in order to get Black Widow. That’s annoying.

          Scarlet Witch is also excluded almost everywhere, but she is also not a key member of the team, yet. Quicksilver was also excluded. We chose our battle. Hawkeye is there. Why not Black Widow?