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The world of movie merchandise tie-ins is a place where you can find some pretty amazing stuff, as well as some of the most disastrous attempts at cashing in on a particular film. For every limited edition Cloverfield monster action figure that dazzles, there’s a Seed of Chucky condom that happens to become an oft-referenced, eBay collector’s item in the future. Which brings us to Build-A-Bear’s new Black Widow teddy bear, which is meant to resemble Scarlett Johansson’s ass kicking secret agent/Avenger. It's something.
If you’re curious about what the bear looks like, you can see the finished Black Widow product through photos on Build-A-Bear’s official product listing, as well as the official tweet promoting the product below:
That is definitely a discussion piece if there ever was one. I can’t think of where to begin on this one, so I guess we’ll start with the hair. It’s definitely a long facsimile of Johansson’s longer locks present in the film, and to the manufacturer’s credit, the length seems on par with what Natasha Romanoff is rocking in Black Widow. Even with that detail nailed, you’d have thought it’d be more worth the consumer’s while to use doll hair instead of what looks like a wig made from some construction felt.
Not to mention, the Build-A-Bear equivalent of Black Widow’s weapons are a bit dicey, as they look more like parts from a Star Wars custom job, rather than the rods we see Scarlett Johansson carrying in most media outside of the trailers. I get that giving this bear toy guns is a 100% non-starter, but there could have been some sort of plastic facsimiles that look more like the rods Black Widow used in recent Avengers movies. (Though I suppose even that may pose a problem, as plastic toys such as those could be used as weapons themselves; so your hypothetical children could injure someone at their next Avengers: Endgame themed play date, if they aren’t careful.)
Which brings everything back around to the major problem with this $40 Black Widow tie-in item: it’s meant for kids ages 3 and up, with a movie that’s technically designed for youngsters 13 and over. Has that stopped toy manufacturers in the past? Surely not; just ask any kid from the ‘80s about their memories of being advertised Robocop and Aliens playsets. Even kids today might still feel a similar dissonance when they play with Jurassic World toys, but haven’t seen that PG-13 movie themselves. This Black Widow Build-A-Bear is an interesting prospect, but just like the official branding on its little bear foot, it’s kind of awkward if you look too closely at the finished product. Regardless, that hasn’t stopped movie merch from selling in the past; and if we’re honest, that bear is adorable enough to fool any MCU enemy into submission.
Maybe this tie-in product is a better fit for this comic book espionage thriller after all. If you and your younglings are interested in bringing home your own teddy bear variant of Scarlett Johansson’s pivotal Avenger, you can order this Black Widow collectable today! Or, if you just want to see the movie, Marvel Studios’ first film of 2020 should be in theaters on November 6th. On the bright side, if you’re looking for a social distancing buddy, you could do worse than this bear.