Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies
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Marvel Entertainment, Inc. engages in the licensing, publishing, toy making, and film production businesses with a proprietary library of approximately 5,000 characters.
Its library of characters includes Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Ghost Rider, The Fantastic Four, X-Men, Blade, Daredevil, The Punisher, Namor, Nick Fury, The Avengers, Silver Surfer, and Ant-Man.
The company operates in four segments: Licensing, Publishing, Toys, and Film Production. The Licensing segment licenses its characters for use in various consumer products, including toys, apparel, and video games; feature films; television programs; DVD animated feature films; theme parks, shopping malls, and special events; promotions; and publications. The Publishing segment publishes and sells comic books and custom comics to the direct market and the mass market, as well as to teenagers and young adults through comic book specialty stores and retail outlets, including bookstores and newsstands. This segment also sells advertising and subscriptions. The Toys segment designs, develops, creates, markets, and distributes character-based toys, such as Most Marvel and Spider-Man, as well as based on licensed-in characters, such as Curious George and characters from Code Lyoko and TNA wrestling. This segment markets its products through specialty toy retailers, mass merchandisers, mail-order companies, and variety stores, as well as independent distributors worldwide. The Film Production segment develops, produces, and distributes films. Marvel Entertainment, Inc., formerly known as Marvel Enterprises, Inc., was founded in 1988 and is based in New York, New York.
Marvel has licensed its characters for theme parks and attractions, including Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure[in Orlando, Florida, which includes rides based on their iconic characters and costumed performers, as well as The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride cloned from Islands of Adventure to Universal Studios Japan.
Years after Disney purchased Marvel in late 2009, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts plans on creating original Marvel attractions at their theme parks, with Hong Kong Disneyland becoming the first Disney theme park to feature a Marvel attraction. Due to the licensing agreement with Universal Studios, signed prior to Disney’s purchase of Marvel, Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disney are barred from having Marvel characters in their parks. However, this only includes characters that Universal is currently using, other characters in their “families” (X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four, etc.), and the villains associated with said characters. This clause has allowed Walt Disney World to have meet and greets, merchandise, attractions and more with other Marvel characters not associated with the characters at Islands of Adventures, such as Star-Lord and Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy. (Updated as of Feb. 2019)