Even before “Man of Steel” helps set up a “Justice League” movie at Warner Bros., the studio’s consumer products division is already getting consumers — especially kids and families — used to seeing the match up of the superheroes in the retail aisle.
Starting today, Target will exclusively start selling a summer collection of Justice League-themed merchandise themed around Aquaman, Batman, Cyborg, The Flash, Green Lantern, Superman and Wonder Woman.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, which brokered the deal with Target, said the look of the merchandise is inspired by “the New 52,” DC Comics’ relaunch of all of its monthly comicbooks in 2011.
But the look goes a little more pop-culture retro, with vintage and nostalgic designs that resemble the merchandise WBCP recently launched around the campy 1960s “Batman” TV show.
The more than 50 products cover the home, stationery, sporting goods, and lawn and garden categories and include folding chairs with capes; melamine dinnerware; 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.
The line is also available to purchase on Target.com.
The earliest a “Justice League” movie will get to the bigscreen won’t be until 2015, but the summer licensing deal with Target — and plans to roll out even more Justice League merchandise at other big box chains later this year — signals WBCP’s eagerness to not only promote DC’s characters together as various divisions around WB launch projects featuring the superheroes — from videogames to films and animated TV series and direct-to-homevideo movies, but monetize their various appearances, as well.
Retailers like to back familiar properties, and getting stores used to carrying Justice League merchandise beyond the traditional toy aisle could create a boon for WB once the “Justice League” film bows years from now. It’s already scored with “Man of Steel” merchandise, whose products are appearing on store shelves now. Target deal could highlight which products consumers gravitate toward more before the full “Justice League” movie line debuts.
“DC Comics’ Justice League characters are a powerful assemblage of the most recognizable superheroes in the history of comic books,” said Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products.