Marvel replaces Black Widow with Captain America for its toy line

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I, for one, (and I fully expect that I’ll be the “one”) will be boycotting this movie.

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This is a money issue and nothing more. and to prove that I have one question:
How many issues of Captain America has been printed vrs Black Widow?

Black Widow is a Supporting character not a headlining one.

{Reading comics since the 60’s}

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Sexism? Possibly.
However, Black Widow hasn’t had her own movie yet, and thus isn’t as much of a money maker.
On top of that, she’s a spy/killer. Possibly not the best example for children.

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Oh no, a toy doesn’t faithfully represent the movie. That’s never happened before.

I don’t think Marvel really cares that much about their toy sales–they have to be a fraction of what the films pull in between theatre release and DVD/Blu-Ray/digital sales. And probably handled by a completely different arm that doesn’t care much about cinematic accuracy.

It still sucks that they’re doing stupid things like this, but I think it explains the “why.”


Allegedly, Disney’s desired demographics for Marvel toys is boys only. And girls are yucky, and are directed to the Disney Princess aisle.


There’s been an ongoing observation that Disney has a weird attitude toward female heroes in Marvel things; Gamora was cut out of a lot of the Guardians of the Galaxy merch. There are a few potential explanations for this:

  • The merchandising executives feel that boys (or the people who buy those toys, for children) won’t want female heroes in their merch or toys. This may or may not be based on focus group testing or whatnot. What that might say about our society, how gender roles are taught and/or enforced, etc. is a big topic.
  • As noted by Gamen, Disney has a big investment in their Princesses line and probably thinks of superheroes as being toy parity for the boys and not being “for” girls. Again, what this says about the stereotyping of gender roles and gendered play (especially by Disney marketing executives) is a big topic.
  • Disney may have given merchandising responsibilities for Marvel merch to veterans from the comics industry, with its legendarily crappy treatment of both female characters and female employees.


Ah ha ha ha no. Even at a tiny fraction, if it’s that, you would be talking about millions in profits. And it’s Disney that’s in charge, and they both know and care quite a lot about their merch.


I’m with you. I haven’t seen any of them, except for the first Spider Man, which I watched on a streaming site.
‘Heroes’ in spandex is not my cup of American tea at all.

Ah! Children’s marketing strikes again!

You see, if your toy is labelled as “for boys,” there won’t be any girls on it. Disney has decided that princesses are for girls and superheroes are for boys and that this is how they’ll be telling children that the world works.

It’s seriously about time someone did a deep dive into the weird world of hyper-gendered kids toys. This is part of why we have shit like GamerGate today - an entire industry built around reinforcing tired gender stereotypes for pure sales demographic reasons, that has been doing this since before you were born.

Get on that Caroline. :slight_smile:


Oh no, someone writing a comment on a website doesn’t understand how the systematic exclusion of female characters from toy lines influences gender norms for children who get those toys.

This is not about realism, it’s about companies being deeply conservative in their gendered marketing of toys, and how that serves to limit children in ways that is not at all helpful for anyone.


What you’re actually proving is that the sexism goes much deeper and has been much more of a long-term issue than just a current line of toys.

Which should hardly need any more proof by this point, but thanks anyway.

(Did you know there are multiple studies that show that boys are still more likely to get an allowance than girls, and that even when girls get one, it tends to be lower? But maybe there’s a perfectly good, totally non-sexist, absolutely rational market-based reason for that.)


Your last couple of sentences (after the dramatic laughter) sound contradictory. Not sure I’m getting your point. So you think it is laughable that Marvel would care about toy sales? Or you think they DO care, because it’s Disney?

that serves to limit children in ways that is not at all helpful for anyone.

It’s helpful to them. It’s how they make their money. They probably looked at their target market and decided that Black Widow wouldn’t move well so they change the character. That’s what businesses do, they make money.
If it bothers you then you should be angry at free market economics.

And whats the excuse for comics printed during the 50’s/60’s?
The Archies,Tales of suspense and so on were more gender neutral. I seem remember at least 2 comics that had female leads and thay failed due to sales.

IMHO, Girls/Women have not supported this industry and that’s the reason there are so, so few female leads with their own long running series.
And at the end of the day it’s about cash flow nothing more… nothing less.

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Hasbro -> No surprise
Mattel -> No surprise
Lego -> Raised eyebrow

The Lego box is the least offensive, but looking back at it now they have made some questionable choices about adding make up to female characters when the original art had none and some others. At least the Lego art clearly shows Black Widow flying the plane, specifically removing glare from the windows to show the character inside, and in the comics Captain America is shown riding a motorcycle heavily (at least back in the day).

I did notice she was cropped from the group shot though:


At least with regards to the Lego, if Cap was in the cockpit, he wouldn’t be able to hold his shield. Having the shield as an accessory is probably a selling point for the Lego folks.

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Why would girls/women “support this industry” when there are “so, so few female leads with their own long running series”? You’ve reversed – or at least grossly over-simplified – cause and effect.

The industry has made money despite ignoring large potential audiences, not because they did. And as the industry is (slowly) dealing with its sexism (and racism and etc), sales are growing.


A friend of mine defended this by pointing out there are Avengers Christmas ornaments that - brace yourselves - omit Thor.




Should I have put that in a spoiler tag?

Isn’t it actually Captain America’s bike?. Which Black widow stole and drove around like a badass?

The bike in the movie was Harley Davidson’s new electric bike, and seems to belong to Captain America, at least according to the props department. But maybe this was rebranded because HD didn’t want the face of their new bike to be a woman.

Now Mattels version is just dumb. Why would Iron Man ever drive anywhere? Pretty sure he can fly.