The cultural significance of 2018's Black Panther cannot truly be underestimated as it paved the way for Black casts to lead major Hollywood blockbusters. Not only did it become Marvel Studios' highest-grossing solo movie, until Spider-Man: No Way Home, but also earned the studio its first Best Picture Oscar nomination.
Now, Marvel Studios is coming back in an attempt to replicate the same success with a primarily female cast with November's Wakanda Forever. Following the death of Chadwick Boseman and his Wakandan King T'Challa, Shuri, Nakia, and Okoye will step into the spotlight to lead the charge of the legacy sequel.
With only a few months to go until release and the wait underway for Black Panther 2 to drop its second trailer after the popular first look, a special historic collaboration has been revealed to celebrate the movie.
Target Announces Special Black Panther 2 Celebration
American department store Target has officially revealed a special first-of-its-kind collaboration with Disney and Marvel Studios to celebrate the November release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
The event will be celebrated with all-new Target-exclusive Black Panther merchandise, a unique augmented reality experience, charity-oriented movie screenings, and more.
Target revealed it will launch new exclusive products in October in toys, home, apparel, and beauty ranges. The range will include pillows, pajamas, collectibles, an only-at-Target LEGO Royal Sea Leopard ship, and exclusive items from the Black Panther Legacy Collection Funko POP! series.
Target customers will also be treated to an augmented reality experience in which they can scan a QR code in the toy department or online to "explore 'Wakandan-inspired' technology." This will allow them to watch a build of the exclusive LEGO set, interact with the Hasbro Titan 3-pack action figures, and more.
The department store giant will be hosting over 130 screenings of the film to support, and be attended by, nonprofit organizations in select parts of the U.S.
Target will also be expanding its in-store Disney stores to cover over 200 locations by the end of the year. This will give more customers the opportunity to shop for Disney items, including those from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ahead of the upcoming holiday season.
Senior Vice President of Marketing Maurice Cooper called Wakanda Forever's upcoming release a "significant cultural moment" and shared excitement to "amplify its joy, inspiration, and purpose:"
“At Target, we’re constantly innovating and collaborating with iconic brands to deliver an experience where all families feel seen, heard, and celebrated. The release of Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ will be a significant cultural moment, and Target is excited and proud to amplify its joy, inspiration, and purpose, which will be meaningful for our guests and the communities we serve across the country.”
Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer Jill Sando shared excitement to "[bring] the magic and heart" of the Black Panther sequel to stores and their product ranges:
“For years, families have enjoyed finding their favorite Disney characters and stories at Target, and through this expanded collaboration, we’re bringing the magic and heart of ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ to our product assortment. Across the products we carry — from toys and home to apparel and beauty — we're bringing the Marvel universe to our guests with items and immersive experiences that spark imagination and joy.”
Explaining the collaboration in an official press release, Target noted how its customers "loved the first movie" and wanted to be part of celebrating the diversity of Wakanda Forever as it "aligns with our own Racial Equity Action Change (REACH) commitment."
"The backstory: Our guests loved the first movie, which quickly became a cultural phenomenon and a groundbreaking film featuring a Black Super Hero, a predominantly Black cast, and a Black director. So we couldn’t wait to be part of the next chapter in the story — and the next step in celebrating diversity and representation onscreen. The sequel’s brimming with strong, diverse female characters and aligns with our own Racial Equity Action Change (REACH) commitment to create meaningful and authentic experiences for Black team members and guests."
Black Panther 2 Aims to Replicate 2018 Success
Between its latest Target collaboration and other major marketing endeavors, Disney and Marvel Studios are pulling out all the stops to help Wakanda Forever replicate the success of popularity. This Target collaboration is only the latest step in that process with a unique celebration of Black Panther 2.
Clearly, Target appreciates something unique about the Black Panther franchise compared to other MCU outings, as similar campaigns were not run for Thor: Love and Thunder or Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Perhaps the corporation recognizes the significance and diversity the sequel brings.
Bringing augmented reality into the picture marks a clever way to take advantage of advancing technology as a unique way for Target to showcase its Black Panther products in closer detail than can be done on the shelf. This ought to pair well with the new exclusive merchandise lines coming with the MCU blockbuster.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on November 11.