A new limited test experience offered Disney+ subscribers exclusive access to six Marvel movie items and collectibles.
Saturday, November 12 marks the third anniversary of Disney+'s 2019 debut. Since its launch, the streamer hasn't just become Marvel Studios' home streaming platform but also a means to expand its storytelling via MCU Disney+ series and the Marvel Studios Assembled documentaries.
But Disney doesn't intend to stop there.
Back in September, The Wall Street Journal reported Disney's intentions to introduce a membership program for Disney+ subscribers, including exclusive access and merchandise.
Now, just a few days out from its third birthday, Disney has done just that in offering Disney+ subscribers exclusive access to MCU merch on shopDisney.
6 MCU Items For Disney+ Subscribers
According to an official Disney press release, Disney launched a limited test experience allowing US Disney+ subscribers exclusive access to merchandise on shopDisney.
The selection of merchandise is targeted toward Disney-owned franchises, such as Star Wars, Frozen, and Marvel Studios' Black Panther and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Here are the six MCU items made exclusively available to Disney+ subscribers:
1.) Scarlet Witch Ear Headband - $30
This Disney Park staple accessory is inspired by the Scarlet Witch's costume and crown in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
2.) Doctor Strange Cloak - $100
Another item inspired by Doctor Strange 2, this item is an adult version of Doctor Strange's Cloak of Levitation.
3.) Captain Carter Vibranium Shield - $400
While Captain Carter appeared in live-action in Doctor Strange 2, shopDisney describes her replica shield - complete with sound effects - as having been inspired by her What If...? debut on Disney+.
4.) Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Artist Series Jacket - $80
This bomber jacket is one of the pieces from artist Natacha Bustos' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever collection.
5.) World of Wakanda Artist Series Puzzle - $25
Also designed by Marvel artist Natacha Bustos is a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle featuring the same design as the Black Panther bomber jacket. It's also part of the World of Wakanda collection.
6.) Black Panther Collectible Mask - $150
Another addition to the World of Wakanda Collection is this replica mask which appears to have been made from stitched leather. While it comes with a stand and wicker-style base, it also comes with a hanger for wall display.
The window for subscribers to take advantage of early access to these items spans Tuesday, November 1 through Monday, November 7.
Is This Exclusive Marvel Merch Worth It?
According to Variety, Disney+ subscribers have access to these items before they go on sale to the general public.
And, while it's true that they're only available for subscribers right now, it's important to note that several items have been available to the general public in the months and weeks prior.
For instance, the Scarlet Witch Headband has been available in the Disney Parks and online for months, and both the Captain Carter Shield and the Black Panther Collectible Mask were available to D23 attendees.
In fact, the Black Panther mask was available online at ShopDisney and in the parks in early September. No Disney+ subscription was required.
In all fairness, in Disney's press release, the President of Disney+ Alisa Bowen only referred to this selection as a "curated collection of merchandise." She didn't say the collection was new or hadn't been available before.
However, it is a bit strange that Disney would put these pre-released items behind a paywall, especially since those interested in the merch are likely already Disney+ subscribers.
It's also important to note that Disney CEO Bob Chapek has said that the "integration between Disney+ and shopDisney" is "separated from the company-wide membership program" that's currently being developed.
Therefore, it's unlikely that this consumer-targeted offering will be the last.
Just all that Disney has in mind for consumers moving forward remains to be seen. But what Marvel fans and general audiences can expect is further efforts to connect Disney's tentpole franchises with merchandising.
Whether these efforts will actually be seen as worthwhile or even beneficial, particularly by Disney+ subscribers, is another unknown, especially once Disney raises the price of its no-ads version of the streamer starting December 8.