One of the most difficult things to avoid in this day and age has to be movie spoilers. While more subtle and award-season films tend to be safe from this, big blockbuster hits and especially superhero films tend to be scrutinized so much up until their release, that spoilers for those films tend to come out and give away key plot lines and character revelations. There are several ways that this happens. Whether it’s from former employees of the film studios accidentally or purposefully leaking information to websites, or perhaps film trailers premiering ahead of schedule or even the films themselves leaking onto the internet, the spoilers are very hard to avoid in this period of time.
Yet there is one way that is surprisingly becoming easier and easier to spot spoilers. That means of spoiler has to be coming from the toys that are released prior to a film’s release. So often nowadays, films will work with companies to promote the film by putting out exclusive collectibles and toys that will get consumers invested in the film’s upcoming release, only for those very toys to give away key elements of the film that would otherwise have remained a secret. Whether it’s the revelation of a major superhero making their debut, or a climactic battle that fans would not have guessed otherwise, these spoilers happen far too often.
So today we are going to explore 25 Marvel and DC Comics toys that completely spoiled the films they represented. Buyer beware.
25 Giant Man
The appearance of Scott Lang in Captain America: Civil War was no secret. After a post-credits scene in Ant-Man teased the hero’s return in the highly acclaimed Cap film, fans fully expected the ant-sized hero to return to fight in the superhero civil war.
However, Scott’s role was much larger than expected, and the entire line of toys for the film referred to him as “Giant Man.” This spoiled the fact that Scott would see his giant man persona and power set come to life at some point during the film.
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24 Silent Deadpool
Before the hit franchise of Deadpool movies could take off, Ryan Reynolds' take on the character was somewhat muted in the widely ignored film X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Exploring the backstory of Logan and how he got his adamantium claws and skeleton, the film ended up taking the Merc with a Mouth and experimenting on him to a disturbing degree.
In the film’s final battle, he was revealed to be a mindless monster, with his mouth now missing and adamantium swords protruding from his arms. This was not at all loved by fans, and thankfully we got the more comic accurate version in his own subsequent franchise. Yet fans found this silent version out early, as trailers showed a wise cracking Wade, but the toys showed off the monstrous mute Deadpool that would become the subject of much ridicule.
The 'real' Deadpool would wear something like this.
23 Lex Luthor, The Loser
While Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's quality is still hotly discussed among the fandom, there were definitely some elements of the film most would agree could have been improved on. Jesse Eisenberg’s millennial power hungry version of Lex Luthor was definitely one of those things that could have been improved. The strong-willed, confident and arrogant business tycoon was missing from the film, instead of showing a mixed version of the comic books and the Joker blended into one person.
Yet despite this, the fandom had Luthor’s role spoiled entirely beforehand as the toy line for the film showed a prison-bound Luthor with no hair, which spoiled Lex’s role in the film’s end entirely. In trailers, we see a free Luthor with all his hair, so this toy really didn’t help the villain’s role out once the film was released.
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22 The Vision
A major plot twist in the MCU film Avengers: Age of Ultron was the inclusion of one major Avengers hero, The Vision. During the film, Ultron decided to build a better, more indestructible body to house his programming, making him near impossible to destroy. However, the Avengers managed to steal the body away from Ultron before he could use it, and, instead, Tony Stark’s longtime ally and A.I. J.A.R.V.I.S. merged with the body and the Mind Stone to become The Vision.
This was a welcome addition as the film also introduced the Scarlet Witch, a longtime ally and romantic interest to The Vision and a pairing that created some of Marvel’s best storylines. Yet fans already knew this was coming, as toys released before the film included The Vision, which was modeled to look like Paul Bettany, the actor behind J.A.R.V.I.S. in the first place.
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Marvel has continued to try and keep a tighter and tighter lid on its films and their secrets as time has gone on. One film that saw a lot of secrets was none other than Thor: Ragnarok. The third film in the Thor franchise, the film already promised villains like Hela and The Executioner, but it was a line of Funko Pop figures that spoiled a surprise appearance by one of the more iconic Thor foes, the evil fire demon king Surtur. The toy line revealed the villains appearance, spoiling a major plot point in the film, but the film later added Surtur into their final trailers and TV Spots.
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20 Aldrich Killian
One of the bigger disappointments in the MCU had to be Iron Man 3. The franchise began the entirety of the MCU, and yet the third film in that series failed to live up to the legacy Robert Downey Jr. began in the first film.
Not only was the highly anticipated villain reveal of Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin a huge let down (as it was revealed Ben was nothing more than an actor hired to portray this character for the film’s true villains), but then this LEGO toy set for the film revealed a figure infected with the EXTREMIS virus that bore a striking resemblance to Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian, who turned out to be the film’s main villain.
19 Falcon’s An Avenger
Another major spoiler that the toys let loose in anticipation for Avengers: Age of Ultron was Sam Wilson’s role in the film. Up until the toy’s appearance, the only indication we had that Sam was in the film was in the context that he was looking for Bucky on behalf of Cap, a mission that began at the end of The Winter Soldier film. Yet in the toy marketing, Falcon was paired with none other than Hawkeye in a toy set, revealing Falcon’s role as an official Avenger, which is what happened in the second Avenger film’s final scene.
The MCU’s first foray into the massive universe of Spider-Man films was beloved by fans immediately, as Tom Holland secured his role as Peter Parker and his web-slinging alter ego Spider-Man in the film Homecoming. In the film’s promotion, we already knew that Michael Keaton would be playing the Vulture, albeit a more mechanized and realistic villain than his comic book counterpart.
However he was believed to be the only villain, while a toy line revealed the appearance of a second villain, the Shocker. Now the Shocker’s appearance in the film was way different than the toy and wasn’t quite as prominent a major villain and more of an enforcer, but still, it was a surprising revelation by the toy line.
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17 Ego The Living Planet
One of the major marketing points of the hit sequel Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 was the exploration of Peter Quill’s heritage, as it was revealed ahead of time that Ego the Living Planet would be his father, making Peter half of a Celestial being. None of this was a spoiler. Yet it was the revelation that Ego would be the main antagonist of the film that was spoiled by the toy line, albeit in an unconventional way. The toy description relayed something about father and son having very different approaches to saving the universe, indicating that Quill is a hero, while Ego is a villain.
16 Kaecilius… Who?
One of the more surprising spoilers to come out of a toy line has to be the reveal of the MCU film’s Doctor Strange villain. Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, has many memorable villains in his lineup, including Dormammu and Baron Mordo, who both ended up making appearances in the film. However the film’s main villain turned out to be a very minor character named Kaecilius, portrayed by the legendary Hannibal actor Mads Mikkelsen.
The reveal was made when the toy line showed the villain, and fans were left scratching their heads to figure out who this villain was. In an even more surprising twist, it wasn’t revealed that Baron Mordo was the villain after all, instead showing his descent into villainy only in the film’s after credits.
15 War Machine… An Avenger?
Don Cheadle’s James Rhodes has been a major part of the MCU for years. Yet his superhero persona of War Machine was a surprising revelation in the toy line.
You see, up until this point, the trailers had only shown Cheadle in a party scene for the Avengers, not in any of the action of the film. Many fans assumed if he did suit up, it would be as Iron Patriot, the suit of armor he wore during Iron Man 3. Yet it was War Machine who showed up, and who became an Avenger by the film’s end. This toy showed War Machine’s surprise appearance before there was even a clue of the hero’s return.
14 Ares, The God Of War
One major spoiler for the highly anticipated film Wonder Woman had to be the revelation of a major villain from the hero’s comic book lineup. While the promotional trailers focused more on Wonder Woman’s origin and her role in WWI, as well as her relationship with Steve Trevor and her discovery of her own powers, the toy lineup revealed that none other than Ares, the Greek God of War, would be making an appearance in the film. Luckily only his appearance in the film was spoiled, and not who ultimately would be revealed to be the god of war in the film’s final scenes of the movie.
One of the most hated and embarrassing superhero films of all time has to be Green Lantern. They had all the possibilities in the world to make this a truly wonderful film. A great leading man in Ryan Reynolds, along with a rich mythology and story that could have created a memorable film. Yet between poor writing choices and cheesy plot lines, the film failed to live up to expectations.
Yet it was the film’s main villain, Parallax, who disappointed fans the most. The villain’s reveal was made in a series of toy lines, and shocked fans even more when it was revealed he would be in the final battle of the film, making the movie have even less surprises in store than ever before.
12 Heimdall’s Fate
One of the longest running supporting characters in the Thor and MCU films altogether has to be Idris Elba’s Heimdall. The defender of the Bifrost Bridge and one of Thor’s longest allies, he has been a hero in his own right and has never been far from his trusty sword Hofund, aka The Bifrost Sword. Yet in a series of toy reveals, fans learned too soon that Heimdall would meet his fate in Avengers: Infinity War, as a toy showed Thor holding the infamous sword himself, not his friend. It was a sad revelation indeed.
11 Iron Spider
Spider-Man appearance in Infinity War was no surprise. Not only did the film promise to have all of the heroes facing Thanos and his army, but trailers showed Spider-Man sporting a new gold lined suit in the film. Yet the suit’s appearance wasn’t the only thing significant about it, as the toy line revealed that the suit also housed four mechanical spider legs.
This was the confirmation fans had spoiled that the infamous Iron Spider suit, which Peter rejected at the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming, was to be worn during Peter’s fight against Thanos.
10 Missing Hulk
It’s well known now after the events of Infinity War that Bruce Banner was not able to transform into the Hulk to battle Thanos in the final battle. Starting in Thor: Ragnarok, the character hasn’t been in harmony with his superhero alter ego, but fans weren’t aware of the extent until this toy revealed Bruce being forced to fight the battle in Tony’s Hulkbuster armor. This was a big revelation, indicating the Hulk wouldn’t be a major factor in the film’s plot but instead would be an internal character struggle for Banner instead.
9 Thor’s Eye
In Thor: Ragnarok, one of the biggest shocks to fans came when he lost his eye in the battle against his sister, Hela. It was a big nod to his father Odin, who also had an eye missing during a battle. Yet it came as a shock when fans spotted a Thor with two eyes in the Infinity War toy line. This indicated that Thor would somehow get his eye back, already taking back one of the plot line established in Thor’s previous adventure.
8 Killmonger’s Suit
One of the best MCU films in recent years has to be the Oscar nominated film Black Panther. The titular hero’s story of his homeland of Wakanda, the most power and technologically advanced civilization on Earth, and his struggle with being a King, ruling a nation and uncovering lost family secrets that threaten to tear his world apart, was incredibly well received, especially the performance of one of the MCU’s best villains, Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger. Yet fans were shocked when the villain’s final look would be, showing a Black Panther suit decked with gold trimming to indicate he would be wearing a similar suit to T’Challa. It was an early indication of where the film’s plot would take the character.
One of the biggest plot points in Infinity War was Thor’s quest alongside Groot and Rocket Raccoon to find a weapon powerful enough to destroy Thanos. It took up the majority of his time in the film, and in the end he gained the weapon Stormbreaker, which had a hilt made up of a part of Groot himself. Yet before the film’s release, an electronic axe with the same name was revealed to be a part of the film’s toy line, spoiling a major plot point in the film entirely.
6 Thor’s Team-Up
Speaking of Thor in Infinity War, the role of both Groot and Rocket was a major spoiler for fans as well. By now we know that Thor was discovered in the wreckage of his ship by the Guardians, and went on a quest with Groot and Rocket to find a weapon. Yet before the film premiered and showcased the unique friendship the trio formed in the quest to find Stormbreaker, a series of toys showed teenage Groot, Thor, and Rocket in a ship all alongside one another, giving away the plot points for Thor and the two Guardians of the Galaxy.
5 Aquaman’s Suit
One of the big things about the DCEU is their fearless ability to make big changes to the characters of the DC Universe. One of the biggest examples has to be Aquaman. In the comics, Arthur Curry has always been this clean cut, short blonde hair wearing man, but in the Justice League film and the subsequent solo film, legendary actor Jason Mamoa brought a much different look to the film.
Yet fans, who had grown accustomed to Mamoa’s look, were shocked when the toy line revealed he would be donning the classic orange superhero suit the comic books had made famous. Although he does make it look much cooler than the old cartoons ever did.
4 Superman’s Return
One of the more iconic and emotional scenes from comic books that played out in the controversial Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, was the passing of Superman at the hands of the monster Doomsday. While his return was an iconic moment in the comics, on the films would more than likely adapt, when exactly he’d return was in the air. That was until Funko released their lineup from the Justice League film, and revealed the returned Superman at the same time, spoiling a major part of the film’s plot.
One thing about DCEU’s Justice League film that was a mystery for a long time was the exact villain of the film. While the film seemed to indicate someone in the powerful Darkseid’s army would play a role, who exactly was the main villain remained a mystery. Yet it was revealed thanks to a Lego set for the film that it would be none other than Steppenwolf, a general of Darkseid who sadly didn’t really get a major backstory or focus in the film, and thus didn’t have the same impact he might have if the DCEU had had more time to grow.
2 Man Of Steel Storyline
One thing about the problem with toys for a major superhero film is the bio that often comes with specific action figures. Yet for the majority of these toys, the bio only gives away a couple of minor things. Yet for the first film in the DCEU, Man of Steel, the bio on the back of the major toy lineup revealed many of the major plot points and details of both the heroes and villains of the film, making it less likely to be surprised if you’d been one of the unlucky few to read the toy’s bios.
1 Quicksilver’s Demise
One of the biggest shocks of Avengers: Age of Ultron had to be the sad destruction of the newly introduced speedster hero, Pietro Maximoff, aka Quicksilver. The brother of Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlett Witch, the arrogant yet charming speedy hero shocked viewers by saving the life of Hawkeye, who was shielding a child from Ultron’s attack.
Yet his saving of the hero and child left him hit by Ultron’s attack himself, leading to his quick demise. Fans kind of speculated about this before the film’s release however, as the marketing team inadvertently made the decision to downplay Quicksilver in the toy lineups, and his only toy was dulled down a bit as well, leading to instant speculation of the hero’s ultimate fate.
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