If you want more female superhero merch, you must buy more


If you’re seeing a lack of Black Widow when you buy Avengers toys, you’re not alone. But if you want more, it means we must buy more.

When I was growing up in the 1980s, I had the full set of He-Man toys. If it was He-Man, I had it. She-Ra premiered when I was five and I was into those toys, too, but they didn’t hold the same fascination as the He-Man toys. I had She-Ra and Swift Wind and Hordak and a few of She-Ra’s friends, but I didn’t have the same desire to have everything the way I did with He-Man. I can’t explain it other than to say I liked the He-Man toys better.

As I grew up and started attending pop culture conventions I started to notice that there were far more male action figures than female action figures. Even now, a quick scan of the toy department will yield all of the Avengers, but you’re lucky to find Black Widow in the group.

Guardians of the Galaxy has done a much better job putting Gamora front and center in the merchandising push. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has done the same with Rey. You can find Gamora and Rey in the toy aisles (and the clothing aisles) much more easily than you can Black Widow, and the only way for this trend to continue is for consumers to buy it.

There is a belief that Disney didn’t produce Black Widow merchandise when The Avengers first came out because the thought was that no one would buy it. There was more Hawkeye featured in the movie’s merchandise than there was Black Widow, even though she had been present in many movies before The Avengers.

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While it can be frustrating to see the imbalance in merchandise, we as consumer also have to do our part by purchasing the merchandise that is available, whether it’s for our own collections or for kids to play with. If no one buys it, then there won’t be an argument to support making more of it.