As we get closer to the release of Avengers: Endgame, which serves as the climactic ending to not only the Avengers franchise but the third phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans are trying to glean as much information as possible about the highly anticipated film. This has led to thorough examinations of set photos that leaked during filming, as well as intense scrutiny of various interviews from those involved, primarily the directors of the film, Joe and Anthony Russo. During a recent interview, Joe Russo made waves when he commented on the leaked merchandise from the upcoming film that seemingly spoiled a huge part of Endgame.
"What’s interesting about toy leaks is that 99 percent of the time they’re not accurate. Because toys are, frankly, tailored to either old concepts or completely different concepts than what’s in the movie," Russo said. "I laugh a lot when those toy leaks show up because I’m like, well, that’s great, because that’s a misdirect, because it has nothing to do with the film.”
This comment was likely in response to the then-most recent leak from and upcoming tie-in toy line featuring the surviving members of the Avengers wearing matching "Quantum Realm" suits, seemingly confirming an ongoing time-travel theory about how the Avengers will be able to undo Thanos' Decimation that killed off half of all living beings in the universe. However, despite the Russos' protestation, we've seen toys spoil key movie moments before, including several parts of Avengers: Infinity War. We've also seen a number of toy reveals from Infinity War that turned out to either be incorrect spoilers, or misdirections. Here, we take a closer look at the right and the wrong toy leaks we saw for Infinity War, in the hope that they may help us weed out any inaccurate Endgame leaks that have hit online.
One of the most common spoilers of superhero movies is LEGO, which usually releases entire buildable scenes that can give out a bit too much information for some fans. LEGO produced a few sets for Infinity War that weren't actually full of major spoilers, but did feature a bit of unplanned misdirection. LEGO's "Thanos: Ultimate Battle" set features the titular Mad Titan, Iron Man and members of the Guardians of the Galaxy alongside their ship, the Benatar. While the characters involved mostly allude to the Battle on Titan, Gamora is present with the team, which we later learned was not the case in the film.
Similarly, LEGO's "Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown" featured Spider-Man in his Iron Spider costume complete with extra arms, even though Spidey didn't appear in the armor until after they left Earth. These may be small differences for merchandising purposes, but they did mislead fans, preserving at least some surprises in the process.
Thor's new battle axe, Stormbreaker, was first revealed by advertising for the electronic handheld toy, and gave fans the first hints of what would go into the construction of the replacement for his hammer Mjölnir. The Stormbreaker leak turned out to be accurate, but another Thor figure was revealed that also featured Heimdall's sword Hofund, which was needed to travel on the Bifrost Bridge. While this inclusion accurately teased the death of Heimdall, Thor never carried Hofund in the film; its inclusion with the figure likely came from earlier concept art before it was decided that Stormbreaker was able to call the Bifrost. The toys also featured both one-eyed and two-eyed versions of Thor, which led to a lot of speculation and confusion until the film released in theaters.
One of the biggest Infinity War toy leaks was the reveal of a Hulkbuster, and is an example of both a huge spoiled plot point and something that never actually happened in the film. The spoiler revealed by toy merchandising was that Bruce Banner would pilot the Hulkbuster armor instead of Tony Stark, as we saw in the LEGO set "The Hulkbuster Smash-Up." This leak was absolutely true, as Tony was off in space and Banner was unable to Hulk out following his battle with Thanos. Yet, despite Banner's inability to transform into the Hulk in Infinity War, several Banner-piloted Hulkbuster toys also showed Hulk breaking through the armor... a moment which never happened. While this may have just been an early idea that was abandoned for the film, it was featured in a number of toys, including as a Funko POP! figure.
So while it's hard to not get excited about seeing the team in matching Quantum Realm suits in the upcoming Endgame, we've learned from the Infinity War merchandise leaks that these things aren't always as they seem. We'll have to wait to see which toys were right and which toys were wrong when Avengers: Endgame finally arrives.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Chadwick Boseman, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland and Anthony Mackie. The film arrives on April 26.