Disney theme parks are a great place to get exclusive merchandise and souvenirs featuring all your favorite characters. That is, unless those pieces of merchandise make awful, embarrassing mistakes.
Like now: According to Disney Pins, a website devoted to tracking the various pins purchasable at Disney parks and other outlets, the latest Black Panther pin reportedly being sold at Walt Disney World has a problem. Here, just take a look:
That pin was not made in Wakanda.
It’s possible this is an attempt to show the lenses of the costume’s mask, with T’Challa’s eyes underneath. But that is not the way it looks. It looks like, according to Disney World, Black Panther is a white dude.
Whoever this guy is, it is not the Black Panther. In fact, I cannot imagine who that is, other than an incarnation of someone in a design studio somewhere not paying adequate attention to their work and a bunch of other merchandising people somehow not catching this in quality control.
I am very, very confused. As pointed out by Alex Zalben, the Managing Editor at TV Guide, on Twitter, the design here bears a resemblance to a mug being sold on Disney’s website. Only that one has the right colors. What happened here?
I’ve reached out to Disney PR, and will update this post if/when I hear back. In the meantime, if you’re at Disney World this weekend and can substantiate this pin’s existence, get at me. But maybe don’t buy it.
UPDATE 1/7/18 4:19PMEST: Some have claimed that the above image is photoshopped, and Julia Alexander of Polygon reached out to the author of the post on Disney Pins for clarification. This is what she found out:
Okay, that’s maybe not as egregious. At this point, I’m just confused. Waiting for updates from Disney, will report back when they respond. And if you see one of these in the wild, please take a picture and send it to us!