Come midnight, moviegoers across the country will hit theaters to take in Man of Steel, Zack Snyder’s new reboot of the Superman franchise. But this isn’t just a mega-budgeted summer superhero movie; it’s also a marketing opportunity, with everyone from the National Guard to Gillette razors (launching a ridiculous campaign that assumes anyone’s ever wondered how Superman shaves) clamoring to attach themselves to his big red S. The toy stores, meanwhile, are flooded with new Superman/Man of Steel toys, which is (don’t forget) a big chunk of how these movies make money. But what of those toy makers and dealers of slightly lesser repute who’d like to hitch their wagon to the Superman train without shelling out the cash for those lucrative merchandising rights? Well, if history has shown us anything, it’s that the inventive entrepreneur will find a way.
A tip to knock-off toy makers: it helps to familiarize yourself with the basic elements of the superhero in question. For example: Superman can “fly ’em high” on his own. With his superpowers. HE DOESN’T NEED A PARACHUTE.