Black Panther MerchandiseMarvel has announced a heroic new  Black Panther merchandising program just in time for his first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe ("Captain America: Civil War" in May), as well as an all-new comic book written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and his 50th anniversary. The campaign will touch on all major categories including publishing, apparel, toys, collectibles, home goods, and more, offering both longtime T’Challa readers and new fans exciting ways to embrace the legendary Marvel Super Hero.

The licensing program features standalone representations of the hero, as well as team-oriented sets inspired by the new film.

Also, Hasbro is debuting a toy line including action figures and role play items, and LEGO will be featuring the character in construction sets. 

For the first time, collectors will be able to add Black Panther to their Super Hero collections with Marvel Select figures and Marvel Minimates from Diamond Select and Mopeez plush, Dorbz vinyls, and POP! bobbleheads from Funko. 

And for those looking to wear their fandom, the lineup includes bags from Fast Forward and Global Design Concepts, and stylish apparel for men and women from Mad Engine, C-Life, Freeze, and Fifth Sun.

The program is rounded out with additional product offerings including wall art from Artissimo and Pyramid, novelties from Monogram, and costumes for kids and adults from Rubies and Party City.

 “With a new comic book and his first appearance in a Marvel film both occurring during his 50th anniversary year, excitement is already underway for Black Panther product,” said Paul Gitter, senior vice president, licensing, Marvel at Disney Consumer Products. “We are excited to debut this all-new lineup of offerings so fans can start showing off their love for the newest member of the Avengers team.”

Select product is in stores now, with more rolling out at retailers including Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Walgreen’s, Disney Store, Toys “R” Us, and specialty retailers this Spring and into 2016.

With the Black Panther movie set for release in 2018, I imagine Marvel will continue its early marketing push for the film from now until then. I can only imagine what else they have cooked up, and how the time between today and the open will be filled. After all, its premiere is still about 2 years away. I won’t be surprised if we see a teaser later this year.