Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's take a superhero to lunch month (again)

No one has to tell the movie-viewing public that comicbooks make excellent fodder for big screen movies. To be sure, they are all but storyboarded out and (all but) ready to roll, which is probably why so many comics have made the jump in recent years. Needless to say, with all of these comicbooks making the jump to the silver screen, it is natural for films based on comics to seek out that comicbook audience and attempt to promo their big-budget film by hanging on all sorts of ancillary products to help get folks into their film.

Like so many comicbook movies being produced today, not only has The Green Hornet been released in 3D, but there are tie-ins galore surrounding the film’s release. Not the least of which is a fast food toy tie in. Like many of the other comicbook superhero movies that have preceded Green Hornet, the film’s producers correctly felt that — given the kid-friendly nature of the film itself — that a toy tie-in to a family friendly fast food chain would be in order.  For its first film since its 1940 debut, The Green Hornet chose to go with Hardee’s & Carl’s Jr. for their kid meal toy tie in.

Now before you start asking why would Hornet’s producers go with a second tier fast food chain or trying to point out that Iron Man went with Burger King, or that the X-Men went with McDonald’s, let us point out that the first set of Spider-Man movie fast food toy tie-ins appeared at Carl’s Jr. back in 2002. For fans of these types of tchachkas it doesn’t so much matter at what chain the toy originates, it only matters that it exists.

As with most first-time tie-ins the set of kid meal toys The Green Hornet went with only four toys (meal promotions tend to last four weeks, with a different toy offered up each week, more elaborate promotions have eight toys — one for boys and one for girls — that likewise would switch every week). For the Green Hornet, the four toys were a pair of PVC “action figures” (The Green Hornet and Kato) a wearable mask (for a small child only), and a pullback & go replica of the Black Beauty (Green Hornet’s powerful muscle car stocked with weapons). In addition to these four toys the twin chains also had for acquisition a metal Black Beauty key chain (smaller in size than the plastic kid meal toy).

As with most of these types of toys, as soon as they became available at their respective locations (almost before they were actually available, actually), there were on-line auctions for them at the various bidding sites. For serious collectors, this has become the way to make sure that the entire sets can be acquired. Sets of the five items mentioned started around $15.00 and tended to wind up selling for around $25-$30, plus postage and handling fees.

As far as fast-food, superhero toys go, the Hardee’s & Carl’s Jr.’s toys were pretty par for the course, and have proven to be quite collectible for fans of the Green Hornet-related items.

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