In preparation for this article I came across such odd merchandise as an Avengers waffle iron and ‘300’ leather underwear (seriously…) but the weird and wonderful will have to wait.
Merchandising is an essential part of any film. Even before a film is released toys and other merchandise are being made and in some cases revealed to the public. Now, most toys are harmless in terms of plot but there are some that are leaked or announced which spoil rather major plot points. I’ve gathered a few of these merchandising blunders, only one of which is for a film that is not actually out yet, so I’ll leave that to the end.
Obviously there will be spoilers for everything if you haven’t seen the films (Duh!)
SWAT Lizards (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Yet again, the Spider-Man franchise was rebooted, and with this reboot brought the opportunity for new merchandise. In 2014, Mega Bloks produced this set, depicting Spider-Man’s battle, on top of the Oscorp Tower with Lizard and… a SWAT Lizard? With the films release, we understand the full story but prior to this the set only left fans to speculate as to how this SWAT member-turned-lizard came about. The set was promptly pulled (as much as possible) from the internet as the higher-ups realised their mistake.
Rey and her lightsaber (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
This one is far more recent. In the run up to Star Wars’ release, one of the big questions that was asked (and still is) was ‘who is this Rey character?’ Deliberately left a mystery, Rey’s identity and involvement in the film was completely unknown. What did not help was the above toy being leaked online. The toy depicting Rey holding Luke’s lightsaber which alludes to her involvement was quickly removed after Disney realised that they had probably given too much away as to what sort of role she plays in the film.
What does Godzilla look like? (Godzilla, 1998)
Just before the 1998 release of Godzilla, this toy was made available to the public ruining the otherwise mysterious question of what Godzilla actually looks like. In alien/monster films it is often the goal to capture the audiences intrigue by teasing what the alien/monster could look like, but never actually releasing a full body shot. Godzilla only very slightly failed here when they released the official look of Godzilla. Interestingly, Independence Day did the exact same thing with their aliens. Both still did well in the box office though… Maybe they’re onto something…
The Big Bad (Iron Man 3)
The third installment in the Iron Man franchise brought both the ever-feared Mandarin and the Extremis Programme to the big screen. Just two months before its premiere, Lego announced their Iron Man inspired sets and debuted them to the world. It didn’t take long for people to figure out a major plot point; Aldrich Killian possess the Extremis power. Another Lego set includes an ‘Extremis Soldier’ with a similar grey/red streaked face to Killian on this set, leading fans to assume what we now know to be true.
WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR.
Giant-Man (Captain America: Civil War)
Indeed, for some this would be a giant spoiler (get it?), but personally this news just gets me more excited for the film. This being said, it is pretty silly of Marvel to announce these as they do depict quite a big character change. Ant-Man’s transformation into Giant-Man could have been potentially predicted following the giant ant in Ant-Man’s solo film, but nothing had been confirmed. The release of these photos spoils the speculation that some fans thrive on.
Are there any films that have been spoiled for you because of merchandising? Are there any films that you reckon you’ve figured out plot points because of little hints merchandising has left you? Let me know in the comments below!