Monday, August 31, 2009

 

Disney Buys Marvel - Whither Spidey?

Bam! Pow! Like Doc Oc and the Sinister Syndicate, Disney has swooped in and bought Marvel Comics for a paltry $4 billion, perhaps leaving Universal in the uncomfortable position of needing rescue by some unnamed superhero.

The big question for all Islands of Adventure-Universal fans: What will happen to Spider-Man? Indeed, what is the fate of Marvel Super Hero Island?

For it's part, Universal is saying Spidey stays put. But, tellingly, there was no time frame included in the statement by Universal spokesman, Tom Schroeder.

In the Tampa Tribune, Disney execs are quoted as saying that "many third-party licensing deals would remain in effect."

But licensing deals are never open-ended. The time will come when Universal's right to use Marvel properties will expire. That's when things will get interesting.

Disney has a history of doing whatever it can to wrest market share from its nearby competitors (Pleasure Island vs. Church Street Station; Disney-MGM vs. USF; Animal Kingdom vs. BGT; two Disney water parks vs. Wet n Wild). It defies logic to expect the future not to mirror the past.

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