– by Joseph Jammer Medina

While the death of Groot in 2014’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY may have indeed been a sad moment, it was almost worth it considering the dancing Baby Groot scene we got at the tail end of the flick. Disney and Marvel probably rubbed their hands in anticipation after seeing that character on screen for the first time, as it’s the perfect kind of character for merchandising. Now, with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2, it looks like Disney will be focusing heavily on Groot for upcoming merchandising, Paul Gitter, the senior VP of licensing for Marvel at Disney Consumer Products, told Variety at Licensing Expo in Las Vegas.

“It will be a much broader line [than 2014] expanding beyond collectors to include kids and male/female fans of the film…Also, as it is now a proven franchise with appealing characters, licensees will invest more in design and innovation. Finally, there will be a much stronger focus on Groot, who proved to be the breakout character from the first film.”

“Our key learning is that we had to chase products featuring Groot and we want to be sure we are ready for the excitement across multiple age and demo segments who want to bring home Groot in a variety of innovative products…The animated series, animated shorts, and unique products we have already released have helped to add to his affinity.”

Makes a lot of sense. That dancing Baby Groot bobblehead had been the fun thing when the film came out, and now that we’ll be seeing more of that Groot in the film, they’ll likely be plenty of content for Disney to take advantage of.

It’s also worth noting that they’re making the effort to appeal to kids and male/female fans of the film. In this growing age of geekdom, it’s definitely important to note just how vital female fans have become to the entire craze. Finally, after a long time, it seems like big wigs are noticing that women and young girls are more interested in buying toys than they thought in the past. The fact that Disney is set to take advantage of that is definitely a positive thing. Hopefully we won’t get anymore embarrassing instances like when Rey was missing from the STAR WARS edition of MONOPOLY.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 hits theaters on May 5, 2017.

Don’t forget to share this post on your Facebook wall and with your Twitter followers! Just hit the buttons on the top of this page.

SOURCE: Variety

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.