Those happy Marvel fans who helped push the recent Avengers movie to over $620 million domestically who were thrilled that Marvel was going to do right by their favorite franchise of films with the upcoming release of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Limited Edition Blu-ray set (also known as “Phase One – Avengers Assembled”) may have to wait a bit for Marvel to hammer out a packaging dispute over the 10-disc, six-movie collector’s set.
Turns out Marvel’s marketing team designed some amazing packaging (featuring Matthew Ferguson’s amazing pop minimalist images for each film) that then caught the eyes of the legal eagles at Rimowa – Germany, makers of fine luggage and briefcases. Their legal suit filed on August 1st, claims that they gave Disney/Marvel permission to use their existing, stylized briefcase designs for the films featuring the mighty Marvel Cosmic Cube (known in the films as The Tesseract). The cube could be seen at times sitting nicely in a Rimowa designed case through some sequences in the films (toted around by variously Nick Fury and Agent Coulson), but Rimowa is saying that the use of the briefcase, and more importantly, the banded style of the case, that are specific to Rimowa products, was not to be used for other, ancillary products.
At this time, the lawsuit has put the kibosh on the release of the highly anticipated set. Amazon is no longer taking pre-orders of the product and Marvel has removed mention of the set from their site. At this point, the lawsuit will either work its way through the California courts (where it was filed) or it could be that Disney/Marvel and the German luggage company work out their differences in time for a release of the fully packaged product by the proposed September 25th street date, as originally scheduled. Another scenario, where worry and concern come into play, might have Marvel and Buena Vista Home Video (Disney’s distribution arm for all video product) simply scrapping the packaging concept and have their marketing team come up with something else to satisfy fans of the series. At the very least, they may have to alter it pending results of the lawsuit, and that might mean simply putting the items not under the court filing into a different type of case that still retains the essential look of the one used for the films. Only time will tell, but fans are eagerly hoping this will get resolved as soon as possible.