Most movie merch, especially if it comes from either major comic universe, is often very overtly branded — T-shirts with Spider-Man’s logo, an Iron Man lunchbox, Thor Funko Pops! and so on and so forth. It’s rarely an expression of who the character really is, but what they do and how they look. (You don’t see much Clark Kent stuff floating around, do you?)
So, instead of focusing on the superhero this time, Warner Bros. has turned to Batman’s alter ego — or, depending on how you see it, his true self — Bruce Wayne for a new brand named after his family business, Wayne Enterprises.
The brand isn’t focused on turning Bruce Wayne into a massive licensing success, where the only real design done is centering a logo on some cups, plates, hoodies and home goods. Instead, Wayne Enterprises operates like a design firm, relying on men’s shopping site Uncrate to connect it with potential partners. The first Wayne Enterprises collection, dropped on September 22 exclusively on Uncrate, features sunglasses made with LA-based eyewear brand Barton Perreira (named, presumably not coincidentally, after Bruce’s son Damian), Kevlar jeans created in collaboration with Imogene + Willie, an all-black grooming pack from Patricks, Gotham-themed Danner boots and a black wool jacket Rogue Territory supplied.
There’s more, though: a $2,000 watch winder, a special edition protein powder, immunity supplements from Asystem and sexy gym equipment from Fysik. The cheapest thing? $55. The priciest? $4,800. Why? Well, Bruce Wayne has high standards — and a hell of an inheritance. As such, Uncrate and Warner Bros wanted the collection to be “tailored to the Bruce Waynes of the world.”
“Our guiding motto is that this is something that Wayne Enterprises would put out to make Batman a better Batman,” Robert Oberschelp, Warner Bros. Consumer Products Senior VP of both Global Franchise Management and Global Brand Product, told The Hollywood Reporter. “While the design looks really cool, there’s also a little bit of tech, a little bit of something to make you stronger and better; [for example], if you look at the denim, they’re made of a woven Kevlar tech fabric.”
I wouldn’t go as far as saying this new collection is tactical — frequent readers know where I stand on that word — but it certainly matches the movies’ collective colorscape, which is dark black, dark gray and mad misty. The rest of the releases will surely follow suit, one can assume. And Uncrate has confirmed there are more on the way.