Disneyland Has Got Marvel's Goods!

So the first Marvel merchandise has appeared in a Disney theme park store, according to ICv2.com today. Although, The Hollywood Reporter proves it was at least a few days ago, right on time for the release of "Iron Man 2". It is, as ICv2 points out, a first step to the integration of Marvel(@Marvel) merch into Disney retail, which is good in and of itself, I think.

In fact, the Online Disney Store has started carrying a healthy amount of Marvel items as well. [See image below of Online Disney Store Marvel product details.]

[Image at left and original report, via The Orange County Register here.]

The appearance of Marvel stuff at Disneyland is the first real, tangible consumer-side proof that the acquisition has gone through. It took almost six months, which is exactly what the pundits were saying it would take for any effects to take hold at all. Hopefully, this means it will take even longer for them to get their hands dirty in the trenches of Marvel Comics editorial... if at all.

Generally, let's hope for: At all.
(Not that it would be 100% bad, but better not to tempt the dragon.)

More exposure for Marvel's goods and characters outside of the limits of 'kid's merchandise' is a good step forward for Marvel (the specific shop is in the more adult-oriented Downtown Disney). But will this cut into the market of the comic specialty shop? If someone already bought an Iron Man t-shirt last summer at Disneyland, will they be less willing to buy another one at their local shop?

I suspect the answer is no, but I also suspect that won't stop the comic shop retailers of America from getting upset about it anyway because, theoretically, if the Disney Store offers the same Marvel merchandise as the average comic shop. and the Disney store is more high profile, people will go Disney first and then not be interested in the comic shop.

BUT

Equally theoretically mind you, if someone really, really liked "Iron Man 2" and they happen to be in a Disney store they're going to buy Iron Man stuff but it is almost equally possible that they are going to be in a comic shop first and buy the Iron Man stuff there. Furthermore, if someone buys a T-shirt or a toy of ol' shellhead at a Disney store and they want more (like... trading cards, the new awesome COMICS by Matt Fraction[@mattfraction], or the cool old COMICS, hardcover COMICS collections, vintage action figures, buttons, pins, nice expensive statues!) they might just seek out their local comic-book store with an inquisitive and money-spending mind. And they might just buy some comics.

I say that the industry as a whole, from the publisher to the retailer to the consumer has more to gain and not to lose from the appearance of Marvel merchandise in Disney stores.

And after all, those old Warner Bros. stores used to carry DC Comics (@DC_NATION) stuff and the world didn't end.

I am, as always, hoping for the positive!

~ @JonGorga

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