Associate Professor and Graduate Director Dr. Ethan Tussey, recently co- authored a chapter for the anthology Point of Sale: Analyzing Media Retail (Rutgers University Press, 2019). The chapter “Get Your Cape On: Target’s Invitation to the DC Universe” describes how Warner Bros. crafted its presentation of Wonder Woman based on the lessons learned in partnership with Target and the spatial strategies used to present the character in the physical location of the toy aisle.
This research combines theories of conglomerate business strategy, childhood development, and retail spatial dynamics to explain how the meaning of an iconic character is formed at the intersection of a particular space as well as the imagination of its storytellers.
Co-author Meredith Bak (PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara) is an Assistant Professor of Childhood Studies at Rutgers University-Camden. Her research and teaching interests focus on children’s film, media, visual, and material cultures from the nineteenth century to the present. “It is always a thrill to collaborate on a piece with a brilliant partner.
Meredith Bak brought her vast knowledge of childhood media and toys together with my understanding of media industries strategies to develop a piece that explains how the toy aisle is part of the meaning making process that informs our understanding of heroism, femininity, and maturity,” says Dr. Tussey.