Are companies becoming fandom friendly or money hungry?
As we enter not only a new year but also a new decade, we often make promises to ourselves or resolutions about things we want to do better moving forward. One of the most common goals is to be better at saving money. As a geek, nerd, fan-girl myself I can appreciate how difficult it can be to save money or spend less frivolously especially when everywhere you go you are bombarded with merchandise for your favorite fandoms. Especially for those who remember how hard it was, in the not so distant past, for us to find merchandise for our fandoms. This has brought me to ask myself the question: Is this merchandise for the fans or is it corporations seeing an opportunity for a big pay day? This article is going to examine some of the products that we saw in 2019 and take a look at the history to determine are they fandom friendly or do they just see us as dollar signs.
1.Wet n’ Wild Cosmetics – PacMan Collection
The cosmetics industry is a multibillion-dollar industry that continues to grow each year. I understand why fandoms reach out to well known cosmetic companies in an effort to spread their brand to a newer audience. Cosmetic companies reach a large female audience and there is a growing understanding that the female fans are just as likely to spend money on items related to their fandoms as men are. While I do own this collection in all of it’s glory Wet N Wild isn’t a brand that regularly creates fandom-based products. Some people would argue that every Halloween they put out their Maker line which supports cosplay. I disagree, if they truly were looking to be a fandom friendly company, we would see these types of products promoted by the company more often than once a year. They are an affordable brand that has been in the market for at least 30 years, they are good at what they do and they have a specific demographic that they target. That’s smart business, I don’t fault them for that or for trying to draw a different audience. With all of the companies out there here are a few that I would recommend that not only provide a great product but also has a history of being Fandom friendly.
Espionage cosmetics – Makeup and nail wraps for all the fandoms in the Verse
Urban Decay – They have done multiple collaborations with Disney (Return to OZ, Alice through the looking glass, Pirates of the Caribbean) and in 2019 they did a collaboration with HBO to bring us the Game of Thrones collection
Tony Moly – This is a J-beauty brand that has expanded into a US market. They have skincare and cosmetic items that are Pokemon and anime themed.
2.Under Armour-Alter Ego Series
This collection of fitness and workout shirts first appeared after the popularity of the first Avengers film. Many of you may agree that the Avengers series of films is what started to catapult many of our comic and nerd-based fandoms into the mainstream world. With Superheroes like Captain America, Thor and Iron Man Who wouldn’t want to transform during their workout? With that call to arms Under Armor was the company that answered that call. As a gym rat myself I can promise you there wasn’t moisture wicking nerd wear I had searched high and low for it. The best you could hope for was a t-shirt or a hoodie which may have been hard to find so you really didn’t want to risk the sweat stains. Under Armour has continued to keep up with the Marvel series and make new products as new characters have been introduced. In my opinion this doesn’t make them the heroes that we need. There are other companies who have chosen hear the call of fandoms everywhere and produce the apparel that we need and want.
Stride Fitness Apparel – Has created a section of their site called the Nerd Locker. Not only do you have Marvel and DC Comic heroes you also get Star Wars, LOTR, Bob’s Burgers, Dr. Who and many many more fandoms to choose from to fit your work out.
Flex Comics – Not only do they have high quality apparel for men, women and kids. They even have their own webcomic.
Red Bubble– They carry regular shirts as well as workout shirts for all of your fandom needs. They even incorporate educator and boardgame themed shirts that boast about Swolopoly and Dumbbells and Dragains.
3.Le Creuset X Williams Sonoma – Mini Round Cocotte Star Wars Droids
Believe it or not this was a very solid nerd friendly pairing for 2019. Willian Sonoma regularly carries a wide variety of Star Wars Merchandise for every kitchen in the Galaxy. The fact that they launched a new line during the 2019 holiday season makes good sense with the Release of the Rise of Skywalker. This type of merchandise appeals to young and old alike and pays homage to the old and the new generations of Star Wars fans. Since Williams Sonoma only seems to have a line for Star Wars. Below are some of my picks for places to find kitchen gear for your other fandoms.
Think Geek – Instore or Online you will always be able to find fun fandom friendly cookware. From baking pans to waffle makers even silicone ice cube molds and tea diffusers.
Cutting Boredom – This is an Etsy shop, but their cutting boards are on point an encompass a wide range of fandoms. The best part? You know that you are supporting a fellow geek in the process.
Entertainment Earth – This site has a wide range of mugs, cookie jars and salt and pepper shakers to encompass any fandom right in your kitchen.