“Iron Man” made $585 million on its $186 million budget, making for the “home run” Marvel needed. It was followed by “The Incredible Hulk” later in 2008 a decision that was once again based on the character’s historical popularity in the toy and merchandise market. That film brought in$265 million on a $137 million budget. Not quite as big a success but a success nonetheless. Of course, Marvel would go on to dominate the movie landscape, with Iron Man proving to be arguably the most popular hero in the MCU.
But as it turns out, pretty much every hero Marvel still held the film rights to back in 2008 was toyetic. According to the WSJ, the original Merrill Lynch deal involved using film rights as collateral on the half-a-billion-dollar loan. Those rights pertained to Captain America, The Avengers, Nick Fury, Black Panther, Ant-Man, Cloak & Dagger, Dr. Strange, Hawkeye, Power Pack, and Shang-Chi. All of which we now know based on the cavalcade of action figures and accessories that have lined the shelves of Target and alike over the last fifteen years, are extremely “toyetic.”
That said, Iron Man and Hulk seem to have something inherently action-figurey about them, with the former’s sleek armor and the latter’s bulky frame just straight up making for cool-looking toys. Aside from far too many movies and general superhero fatigue setting in, then, maybe that’s been the issue with MCU films of late the heroes just aren’t toyetic enough? Whatever the case, 2024 will prove crucial for the MCU, as Kevin Feige and co. scramble to right the (many) wrongs of recent years.
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