Dear Avengers and every superhero team ever: I have a battle for you. Please talk to licencors and licensees and tell them not to leave out key members of your teams when they release merchandise because frak me, it’s getting old. The latest blow of the “let’s push the female characters in the corner like they don’t exist” comes courtesy of Funko. They announced their lineup of toys for Avengers: Age of Ultron and guess who’s the only team member left out of the Pop! toys? Black Widow. Black Freaking Widow. Here’s who they have: Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Ultron, and Vision.
Gif via MovieGifss
I’m giving them a tiny bit of slack when it comes to Scarlet Witch simply because Quicksilver’s not part of the release either. It’s the Avengers and the primary villain. And I totally understand wanting to release figures of Vision and Ultron. Those are new characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, you can’t insert one more character in the release so that the whole team is represented? And if you absolutely couldn’t have more than seven Pop! figures, maybe leave one of the many other dudes out. [Editor’s Note: Surely Hawkeye doesn’t need to be included, right?
The Pop! figures aren’t Funko’s only offerings. They also announced Mystery Minis, Pocket Pop! keychains, Fabrikations, and mini Wacky Wobblers. Of all of those options – 31 total items – there is one Black Widow item available. One! And it’s a Mystery Mini blind box. Again, she’s a member of the team and according to Kevin Feige, “Her part in Avengers: Age of Ultron is very, very big.”
For the sake of comparison, here’s how the characters break down:
Iron Man – 7
Captain America – 5
Hulk – 5
Thor – 5
Hawkeye – 2
Vision – 2
Ultron – 2
Nick Fury – 1
Iron Legionnaire – 1
Black Widow – 1
When asked where the ladies were on Twitter (and that was a popular question posed to Funko when they tweeted the announcement), Marvel’s Executive Editorial Director of Digital Media Ryan Penagos said “hopefully in a future wave.”
Gif via Derrybean
Could Black Widow’s exclusion be an indication that she’s leaving the Avengers? Maybe. But, keep in mind that this isn’t an isolated problem. You want a depressing list of recent incidents? A peek at Hasbro’s Age of Ultron toys shows a marked lack of Black Widow. Star Wars Rebels toys often leave out Sabine Wren and especially Hera Syndulla. Gamora was often excluded from Guardians of the Galaxy merchandise. And if you go back to 2012, there was practically no merchandise for The Avengers that included Black Widow. Since marketing for the film isn’t in full swing yet, it’s hard to tell if things will get better in this regard. I’m not feeling so optimistic right now.