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Get hammered with Mjolnir

Thor’s mythic warhammer Mjolnir can level mountains, emit blasts of mystical energy and even detect illusions. But for those swingin’ parties at Avengers mansion, only those who are thirsty shall possess its mighty power.

Early next year Diamond Select Toys will roll out a series of Marvel-based bottle openers, beginning with — you guessed it! — Thor’s hammer, complete with its legendary inscription: “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”

With it, you’ll be the hit of every party. Well, at least those that don’t feature twist-off caps — or Loki.

‘Heroes will rise’ in Diesel’s new DC Comics underwear

As someone who spent a significant portion of his childhood in superhero Underoos, I can appreciate the sentiment behind these new DC Comics-branded boxerbriefs from Diesel and Warner Bros. — even if I can’t envision myself, as an adult (lacking the body of an underwear model), wearing them. Or, y’know, shelling out $34 for the pleasure.

However, if you’re itching to sport the logos of Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash and The Joker above your cotton- and elastane-clad buttcheeks — or to see someone else do the same — then these are for you.

There’s probably a “stocking stuffer” joke to be made — also, “The Fastest Man Alive” — but I’ll do my best to resist. Alas, the folks at Diesel apparently don’t have that level of restraint, as the (let’s hope intentionally) hilarious promo video for the underwear drops the phrases “heroes will rise” and “show ‘em what you’ve got.” You can check it out below.

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For the fan who has everything: generic superhero Snuggies!

If the rapid approach of the holidays has pushed you into panic mode, just relax, because you’ve already found the perfect gift for the superhero-comics fan in your life (or, y’know, yourself): a superhero Snuggie, or as the trademark sticklers prefer to call it, a “Comfy Throw Blanket With Sleeves”!

If you can’t fight crime like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman or Spider-Man, you can at least look like them — well, kind of? — while remaining toasty in the comfort of your own beige living room, while sitting on your own beige sofa and watching your own (probably) beige television. Hey, I’m only going by the product photos, which do a better job of advertising furniture than selling one-size-fits-all Snuggies Comfy Throw Blankets With Sleeves using two models and Photoshop.

Batman is out of stock, but you can still get Superman ($30.97), Wonder Woman ($25.99) and Spider-Man ($24.95) while supplies last! Act now and you’ll get … I don’t know, peace of mind? The satisfaction of seeing your loved one smile uncomfortably while modeling, and pretending to appreciate, a garish, yet comfy, fleece shroud? Yeah, probably that.

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Comics A.M. | DC Comics named one of America’s Hottest Brands

Action Comics

Publishing | DC Comics joins the Kia Soul, Goldfish, My Little Pony and several others on Advertising Age’s annual list of America’s Hottest Brands: “With decades of stories under their capes and utility belts, Superman — and other DC characters, including Aquaman and the Flash — had ossified. Though relaunching its entire cast and making their adventures available to print and electronic audiences might alienate some hard-core DC fans, it might also gain plenty of new ones. Making DC characters more popular is crucial for its parent company. While the comic-book business is way down from its heyday, its characters fuel big-ticket Hollywood movies that can generate millions of dollars in revenue and licensing. The pressure may be on DC because rival Marvel, now owned by Disney, has churned out superhero film properties on a regular basis for years.” [Advertising Age]

Broadway | Producers of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark have changed their tune on the $75 million musical; previously they predicted they wouldn’t make back the money invested in the show without franchising it in other cities and countries, but now they predict they’ll make it back entirely from the Broadway run. They also are considering adding in new scenes and a new musical number to the production every year, “making it akin to a new comic book edition, and then urging the show’s fans to buy tickets again.” [The New York Times]

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Australian retailer loses fight with Marvel over Ghost Rider clothes

An Australian retailer’s Ghost Rider clothing brand has gone down in flames.

The Courier Mail reports the Australian Trade Marks Office has rejected an application by Brisbane clothing-store owner Gary Charles to register the words “Ghost Rider” following opposition by Marvel.

Charles had first applied to register the trademark in 2009 and, following a threat of legal action by the company, decided to pursue his case. “I thought why should I let them push me around,” he told the newspaper. “But if I’d known the trouble it would be I would have dropped the trademark.”

Solicitor Fiona Brittain, who represented Marvel Characters Inc., argued Charles’ application was made in bad faith, and that he’d previously attempted to register such marks as Red Bull and Army of One. An investigation by her firm allegedly uncovered counterfeit clothing in his store, “including Spider-Man and Marvel Superheroes branded garments.”

The hearing officer was persuaded by the evidence, ruling: “The evidence which the Opponent has provided in respect of the Applicant’s other trade mark applications and registrations, in conjunction with the evidence of the clothing brands available for sale in the Applicant’s shop, is sufficient for me to be satisfied that this application is an example of the Applicant’s standard pattern of behaviour, a pattern which leaves much to be desired as far as commercial fair dealing is concerned.”

Now Charles is left with Ghost Rider-branded denim shorts that, according to the newspaper, he was still trying to “offload” last week. If that’s the case, he should probably expect another letter from Marvel …

Quote of the day | Jason Latour on superheroes as ‘product logos’

“I can tell you for a matter of fact that when I draw work-for-hire stuff, I get into the idea that I’m drawing Wolverine, the guy from the stories I love. I’m continuing his tale. I don’t think that I’m drawing the dude on the underwear. I legitimately love Wolverine as a character. […] I heard Ed Brubaker say that he treats all of his stuff like it’s creator owned stuff. That’s the only way I can do it. I feel like I’m wasting my life otherwise. Listen, I have seen Wolverine juice boxes. I know that ridiculous thing exists. But the fact that it does, in some way, makes me feel like I’m getting away with something. Like knowing the depraved person I am and that I put all of my energy into drawing this Wolverine story, and then I turn around and see some kid with a Wolverine toy, and that seems subversive to me. I slipped some possibly bad, possibly raunchy art, into that kid’s life. You just get caught up in it while you’re working on it. If you care, it’s really hard to think of it as underwear. And sure, it’s overwhelming and sickening to walk into a Walmart and see nothing but Spider-Man bed sheets. Sometimes, under the right light, that’s kinda cool, though.”

– writer/artist Jason Latour, talking at length with Michel Fiffe about, among other things, working on characters that are licensed to sell toys, underwear and, yes, juice boxes

The Incredible Hulk wears a Trojan

Fresh from its clothing deal with the Dallas Cowboys, Marvel announced this morning that it’s licensing such characters as Spider-Man, The Hulk, Wolverine and Captain America for a line of co-branded apparel for the University of Southern California.

The agreement was made through the Dallas Cowboys subsidiary Silver Star Merchandising, which in May signed a 10-year contract with USC for the exclusive rights to manufacture, license and distribute its sports apparel on campus and at its athletic venues. The Marvel Super Heroes collection will include clothing and hats for infants, children and adults featuring USC colors of cardinal and gold, as well as the school’s logos and Trojan mascot. The line will be available beginning later this month online and at mass and sporting good retailers, and USC bookstores.

You can see two more T-shirt designs at Marvel.com.

What does America smell like?

Kinda like this:

Captain America joins Iron Man in the Diesel line of cologne, just in time for his big blockbuster movie, Captain America: The First Avenger.

The limited edition fragrance is made of lemon, mandarin and coriander leaf; essential oils of landanum, violet leaves and rosemary; plus amber, leather and cedar — all essential ingredients of the Super Solider serum.

Cap is currently framing the Diesel site, which has various blog posts featuring the hero. Check out another look at the box art, drawn by Bryan Hitch, after the jump.

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Mimobot creating Green Lantern flash drives

Mimobot announced in January that they’d picked up the license to create collectible flash drives based on DC properties, starting with various Batman characters.

The latest issue of Previews reveals the second DC property they plan to feature — Green Lantern, who you may have heard has a big-screen adaptation coming out this summer. Above is Hal Jordan, and after the jump you can find drives featuring Sinestro, Kilowog and Tomar-Re.

Update: Mimobot has a Green lantern page up now on their site.

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Your video of the day | MAC Cosmetics Wonder Woman trailer

Last month we mentioned MAC Cosmetics’ Wonder Woman collection — Themyscira mascara! Obey Me nail polish! — which is being marketed with stunning art by Michael Allred. Now, just in time for today’s line launch, MAC has debuted a trailer/motion comic — featuring even more Michael Allred art.

Wonder Woman cosmetics? I just like saying ‘Themyscira mascara’

Artwork for MAC Cosmetics' Wonder Woman collection, by Michael Allred

If the lovely Michael Allred artwork isn’t enough to pique your interest in MAC Cosmetics’ upcoming Wonder Woman collection, then maybe the names of some of the products will: Emancipation and Athena’s Kiss lip gloss, Army of Amazons and Themyscira mascara, Obey Me nail polish, and Spinning Transformation eyeshadow.

You can view images of the collection, which debuts in the United States on Feb. 10, at Temptalia. Check out another piece of Allred’s promotional art after the break.

(via Super Punch, Dean Trippe)

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Store all your files in Batman’s oversized head

Mimoco, makers of branded flash drives, announced today at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show that they’ve picked up the license to make “Mimobots” based on DC superheroes. They’re starting with a limited edition “Vintage Batman” drive, available now, as shown in the video below:

Batman x MIMOBOT is here! from MIMOBOT & mimoZine on Vimeo.

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DC superhero and Oz drinking glasses recalled over lead levels

The DC Comics superhero glasses in question

A Utah company has recalled drinking glasses featuring DC Comics superheroes and Wizard of Oz characters after independent testing revealed they contain high levels of lead. Federal regulators have begun an investigation.

The tests, commissioned by The Associated Press, found the glasses contained lead up to 1,000 times the federal limit for children’s products, as well as lesser amounts of the more-toxic heavy metal cadmium. The AP purchased the China-made glasses from Warner Brothers Studios store in Burbank, Calif.

The central issue may be whether the glasses are intended for children or for adults. Salt Lake City-based importer Vandor contends the products are targeted to adult collectors and passed testing for lead. However, a spokesman for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission told The AP the agency considers the glasses to be children’s products, which are subject to more strict lead limits. The CPSC is collecting samples for its own testing.

In a press release announcing the voluntary recall, Vandor said that less than 10,000 sets of each item have been shipped since their January release.

Iconix and Schulz family purchase Peanuts rights

Peanuts

Peanuts

Iconix Brand Group has partnered with the heirs of Charles M. Schulz to buy the rights to Peanuts from E.W. Scripps Co.

The $175 million deal is for Scripps’ entire United Media Licensing division, which includes Dilbert and Fancy Nancy.

However, Peanuts, whose 1,200 licensing agreements generate annual retail sales of more than $2 billion worldwide, represents a majority of United Media’s revenue. Iconix will control an 80 percent share of the Peanuts brand.

Iconix, which owns the Candie’s and London Fog brands, expects Peanuts to bring in roughly $75 million in annual royalties. The Schulz heirs will receive a portion of that revenue in addition to their minority stake in the partnership.

Peanuts, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, at its peak appeared in more than 2,600 newspapers. Its characters are licensed in about 40 countries by such companies at MetLife, Hallmark, Walgreen and Universal Studios.

For the Wolverine fan who has everything (including a motorcycle)

"X2" Wolverine Motorcycle Suit

"X2" Wolverine Motorcycle Suit

Motorcycle-riding comics fans, and cosplayers, take note: UD Replicas has unveiled its official X2 Wolverine Motorcycle Suit.

The leather suit which, as you may have guessed, is a replica of the one worn by Hugh Jackman in X2: X-Men United, includes the jacket, gloves and pants. According to the manufacturer, the suit incorporates removable CE-approved body armor, gloves with anti-skid Kevlar in the lining of the palms, and “an interior, form-molded muscle suit sandwiched into the jacket’s torso section.”

And it can all be yours … for somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000 (the price hasn’t been finalized yet). UD Replicas will take orders through its website beginning later this month, so start saving your pennies.

What’s that, you’re more of an Iron Man, um, man? Well, you’re in luck: UD is also developing a leather replica of Tony Stark’s Mark V Suitcase Suit from Iron Man 2.

That one sounds kind of cool, actually. Just not for me (or my bank account).


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