In these times of movie franchises and the larger-than-life superheroes who inhabit them, marketing plays an ongoing and enormous role in the livelihood of any major studio endeavor, and merchandising and licensing are just some of the ways that studios can help their superheroes become ubiquitous while also turning a profit.
As Marvel’s upcoming Captain America: Civil War edges ever closer to its release date, tech company Microsoft is capitalizing on the appeal of one the Marvel Cinematic Universe's own tech giants – Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man. Eurogamer has just released information of a limited edition Xbox One which has purportedly been customized via the hands of Tony Stark himself. The downside? At this point, the console is only available in France.
The limited edition console is one of only three currently available from Xbox France. They aren’t for sale and can only be won through the company’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook sites. Emblazoned with a Stark Industries top plate and an illuminated “arc reactor” centerpiece, the all white console comes with a white controller that boasts a small Stark Industries label as well as a miniature arc reactor within its power button. The entire unit cuts a somewhat bold and heroic stature – enough so to set it apart from Microsoft’s standard Xbox One system and even its previous customized consoles for Halo and Call of Duty.
With Civil War on its way into theaters, this limited edition console will certainly gain the attention of fans. However, in addition to the Xbox One’s Civil War marketing ties, it also arrives at a time when Robert Downey Jr is confirmed to make an appearance in Spider-Man: Homecoming, as well as recently teasing that he could return for one more standalone Iron Man movie.
Whether or not Microsoft will produce these consoles in North America (or anywhere other than France, for that matter) remains to be seen, but there’s not much doubt that the demand for them far outnumbers the actual consoles themselves. As marketing strategies go, it’s a great one indeed, but one can’t help consider how much more effective it could be if only the consoles were more widely available.
Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.