8:12 am EST, April 29, 2015

Hey Marvel, where’s your Black Widow merchandise? Sincerely, Mark Ruffalo

You won't like him when he's angry, Marvel!

With the massive line-up of Avengers: Age of Ultron merchandise, everyone’s beginning to wonder: where the [expletive] is our Black Widow gear?

Avengers: Age of Ultron is currently enjoying a massive amount of success overseas, and opens in the U.S. this Friday, May 1.

Marvel and Disney are lining up an unprecedented amount of merchandise and advertising tie-in products for their latest blockbuster hit; Target alone will be stocking more than 150 different Avengers-related items.

Related: Super Smash Avengers: The Avengers’ coolest moments

Only one problem: while Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Ultron, the Vision and even Hawkeye (notoriously the most under-appreciated Avenger) have plenty of action figures and gear, it became clear last week that the Black Widow, portrayed in the movies by Scarlett Johansson, has been excluded from most of the official product line-ups.

This is a major issue. Not only because it undermines Johansson’s role in the franchise but because, as HitFix astutely points out, “Girls don’t want to date superheroes, they want to BE superheroes.”

Little girls of all ages shouldn’t have to settle for an Iron Man lunchbox, and little boys shouldn’t only be able to choose their favorite character from among those of their own gender.

Related: Fangirls assemble: Her Universe launches Avengers-inspired fashion line

Fans have been scratching their heads as various companies like Kinder and Funko decide that kids won’t want to play with female action figures; and while the Black Widow is certainly present in merchandise aimed at females (read: fashion), toys and products targeted at boys tend to focus solely on the male heroes.

We are, understandably, frustrated at the apparent – and outdated – assumption that boys won’t want toys or merchandise modelled on a female character, and at the equally problematic notion that there isn’t (or couldn’t be) a substantial interest from female consumers.

And now, so is Mark Ruffalo:

It’s wonderful to see stars speaking out about the abject exclusion of The Avengers‘ only main female character (excluding new player Scarlet Witch, who doesn’t have any official merchandise either), and we hope that, eventually, this will lead to a change in attitude.

And who knows, we might even get that ever-elusive Black Widow movie somewhere in the next 50 years.

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ hits theaters this Friday!

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