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THE FIRST AVENGER

India has one favourite Marvel superhero when it comes to buying merch

By Ananya Bhattacharya

Captain America is the undisputed winner in the superhero war in India—at least when it comes to merchandise.

Over half the Marvel merch purchased by Indians on Amazon.in were Captain America products, according to Semantics3, a San Francisco-based e-commerce data company.

Semantics3 researchers scoured the Indian portal of the US e-commerce giant to collect over 5,000 data points for 2018 and 2019, to track inventory flow. Review dates and their frequency were considered as proxies for interest in the product.

“Captain America had the most screen time amongst all characters in the latest Avengers movie,” said Govind Chandrasekhar, co-founder and head of data science at Semantics3, explaining the popularity of the character portrayed by Chris Evans.

Evans got an hour and six minutes of screen time in the wildly popular latest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie Avengers: Endgame—more than any of his co-actors.

There was also a significant increase in interest for merchandise of Hulk in 2019, which may be due to the character’s change in persona. “Bruce Banner and Hulk merged and the resultant character was portrayed as being both intelligent and strong,” Chandrasekhar said. “Perhaps more consumers chose to identify with this new persona?”

Worlds apart

In comparison to Indians, Americans browse Captain America merchandise way less. There, Spider-Man is the fan favourite by a mile. This is most likely because the excitement around Spider-Man: Far From Home, which releases on June 28, 2019, is peaking.

Others like Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy are also much more popular in the US than in India.