Editorials

DC Comics and Target Create Justice League Merchandise

New 52 Justice LeagueIn our increasingly mass media world, everything needs a tie-in. Having seen Iron Man 3 this past weekend, I can’t begin to explain the vast amount of corporate tie-ins that appeared in that one movie, let alone in just one scene. I have in the past may have ranted a bit about how corporate owners will axe shows if the toys do not sell, but alas it is part of the increasingly corporate nature of our favorite comic book properties.

With Man of Steel to hit theaters in a month’s time, it’s surprising how little marketing tie ins there have been shown on television compared to Iron Man 3 (with its tie-ins with Subway, Audi, Verizon FiOs….) and Star Trek: Into Darkness (Lifelock? Car Insurance? Really?). But with only the Dark Knight trilogy to bolster its brand (since Green Lantern didn’t help), Warner Brothers is perhaps a tad hesitant at merchandising their properties. Disney certainly has been much more active in selling everything they can with Marvel characters. However, that is about to change.

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In a first-of-its-kind partnership, Target® Corp. (NYSE: TGT) and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, in partnership with DC Entertainment, have teamed up to introduce an extensive summer collection of exclusive Justice League merchandise. The summer collection was inspired by “DC Comics – The New 52” comic book character designs and holds surprises for fans young and old. Featuring the full lineup of DC Comics’ iconic Justice League Super Heroes – Aquaman, Batman, Cyborg, The Flash, Green Lantern, Superman and Wonder Woman – the summer collection will launch at all U.S. Target stores and on Target.com beginning May 19.

The summer collection was co-created by the Target and Warner Bros. Consumer Products design teams and features contemporary and nostalgic, vintage-inspired graphics and designs. With more than 50 summer products available exclusively at Target, guests will see the collection come to life in home, stationery, sporting goods, and lawn and garden. Some of the more unexpected items include melamine dinnerware that features a purple and pink-clad Wonder Woman; an apron that transforms the cook into Batman; sand toys that will help beach-goers create Gotham City; and children’s Batman, Wonder Woman and The Flash beach towels that double as capes.

“We know Target’s guests love discovering unique merchandise, and this collection delivers the unexpected with a dash of great design. Fans of all ages are sure to love these one-of-a-kind summer items,” said Greg Van Bellinger, director of product design and development, Target.

“DC Comics’ Justice League characters are a powerful assemblage of the most recognizable Super Heroes in the history of comic books. We are incredibly excited to offer fans of all ages a unique collection and collaboration that pairs the heroics of the Justice League characters with the product design and marketing super powers of Target,” said Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

In addition to the exclusive summer collection, Target will be part of a broader partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products that will offer more traditional Justice League licensed products. The broader partnership will span more than 20 categories including home, stationery, toys, apparel and accessories. All Justice League licensed products will range from $1 for Justice League temporary tattoos to $59.99 for a Justice League Rocker Chair. Target will also offer Justice League Halloween costumes for kids later this year.

With the release of “Justice League #1” in 2011, DC Entertainment officially kicked off “DC Comics – The New 52” as part of a re-launch of their entire comic book line of 52 new number one issues. “DC Comics – The New 52” Super Heroes are presented in a more contemporary way, including new costumes, characters and storylines.

Well, that’s certainly brave of DC. It is more common for characters with successful (or not so) franchises to grace bedding, clothes, home goods target symboland the like. But the New 52 Justice League? That’s a new one. Partnering up with Target is a smart move for Warner Brothers, as they can sell exclusive goods through one store. Not to mention possible advertising possibilities. It is a move that is interesting, and possibly controversial. Disney/Marvel tends to shill their recent movies in merchandise, not the comics. This could be a move by DC to get people more interested in the comics by emblazoning them on t-shirts and selling new toys. However, some may argue that it “cheapens” the brand and the heroes by partnering up with such a juggernaut of a store like Target. Speaking as a fan and as a soon to be graduate specializing in media, I think its a smart move by DC Entertainment.  It could be an intriguing way to get their name out, and to send people to their nearest comic shop to get their hands on the comics. Kids will be exposed to more heroes and more stories than just those that have captured movie magic.

And you sure as hell will find me looking for a few things myself for my wardrobe and my desk.

About the author

Daniel Kalban

Daniel is the writer of The Eagle webcomic and aspires to one day join his favorite writers at the Big 2. Until then, he keeps plugging away at various projects, as well as serving as a reporter for Word of the Nerd on various subjects, especially the DC Comics "beat".

Contact him at danielk@wordofthenerdonline.com

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