The Walt Disney empire is to buy the superheroes stable Marvel Entertainment for $4bn (£2.5bn) in a star-studded Hollywood deal that unites family names such as Mickey Mouse with lucrative characters including Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk and the X-Men.
Disney hopes to put Marvel’s 5,000 characters to work on its television channels and in video games, theme parks and movies. The agreed takeover is for a mixture of cash and stock, with Disney shares accounting for roughly 40% of the buyout price.
The tie-up unites two companies with similar business models – they both take characters which capture the popular imagination and promote them vigorously around the world on every possible media platform and through third-party licensing deals.
This vastly continues the rampant pandemic known as infantilization.