Superhero Shopping Showdown: Which Comic Book Characters Drive Consumer Interest?

We don’t know whether Thor or Hulk will win in the gladiator’s ring in Thor: Ragnarok. But we do know which of these superheroes inspire the most interest from shoppers.

Superhero movies have already earned $1.6 billion in 2017, according to Box Office Mojo — with Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League yet to be released. This is great news for retailers as successful superhero movies should translate to interest in superhero-related merchandise, including toys, apparel, and costumes. Speaking of costumes, the National Retail Federation projects that Halloween spending will increase by more than $700 million to $9.1 billion in 2017. Retailers can expect superhero costumes to fly off shelves, and Halloween revelers should see more of them than ever before.

Capital One Shopping’s exclusive analysis of Amazon shopper behavior pitted the most popular superheroes against each other to determine which characters Americans care about the most.

  • Thor vs. Hulk: Shoppers look at more Hulk products overall, but Thor fans show more intense interest.
  • DC Comics vs. Marvel Comics: Driven primarily by Wonder Woman’s breakout 2017, shoppers show more interest in DC characters this year than in Marvel’s.
  • Wonder Woman is 2017’s most popular superhero costume.

Capital One Shopping also tracked costumes from other fictional universes:

  • Among the top 340 costumes of 2017, Moana by herself beat out the entire Star Wars universe combined in product views.
  • The Harry Potter universe is by far the most popular universe for selling costumes.

How Capital One Shopping Works

Capital One Shopping is a Chrome extension that allows consumers to see lower prices for many products they see on Amazon. Here’s how it works:

1. Someone with the extension visits a product page on Amazon.

2. Capital One Shopping checks other online retailers like Jet, eBay, Walmart, and others, to see if there’s a better deal.

3. Within seconds, the extension shows possible matches with total prices, including tax, shipping, and any coupons that apply.

Every time someone with the Capital One Shopping extension checks an Amazon price, we record the Amazon price they see and the lowest price they can get — then share that price with the rest of the community.

Using this data, which comes from hundreds of thousands of Capital One Shoppers using the extension, we tracked unique views for more than 400 character-branded products, including costumes, from January-August 2017.

Hulk vs. Thor: Hulk Products Are More Popular Overall


No matter the product category, Hulk-branded products get more views than Thor-branded products. Retailers are likely to get more sales by stocking Hulk products, and gift-givers are more likely to have a hit if they buy Hulk gear for movie fans.

Hulk vs. Thor: Thor Fans Are More Enthusiastic


Though Hulk products are more broadly popular, two top-selling Thor-branded products both see more interest from shoppers than any single Hulk-branded product. The two products are:

These products are likely to sell even better once Thor: Ragnarok comes out November 2. And anyone who knows a Thor fan can be sure to score a major holiday or birthday gift hit with one of these.

Hulk Nation vs. Thor Nation: Which States Are The Biggest Fans?


Based on a state-by-state analysis of character-branded products, we now know where interest is strongest for each characters. Don’t wear your Hulk gear if you’re seeing Thor: Ragnarok in Connecticut — you’ll be outnumbered! But if you’re dressing as Thor in Florida, you may be in the minority.

Resurgent Wonder Woman Leads A DC Comics Character Rout


Wonder Woman’s revival didn’t just put money in the pockets of theater owners. Retailers who stocked Wonder Woman products saw a boost too. From January to August 2017, shoppers showed more interest in Wonder Woman branded products than those of any other comic book superhero.

Will Thor: Ragnarok, starring both Hulk and Thor, be enough to put Marvel back in the lead by the end of the year?

Wonder Woman Also Leads The 2017 Superhero Costume Race


Among superheroes, Wonder Woman is dominant in costume interest so far in 2017. Of course, the movie came out in June. We’ll have to see if the Halloween costume rush pushes Batman or Superman higher up this list.

Moana Reigns Among Disney Characters


Moana looks like she’s here to stay. So far in 2017, shoppers have viewed twice as many Moana costumes as any other Disney-owned character. That’s despite Disney’s release of a new Beauty and the Beast movie in March.

A 2017 movie release doesn’t guarantee costume dominance. Moana, a November 2016 release, still leads the way. She even leads all Star Wars characters combined in costume views. Will her lead last through Halloween?

What Else Is Trending In Costumes?

  • No single universe can touch Harry Potter when it comes to costume interest. Harry Potter universe costumes — including Harry, Hermione, and the gang — had more than five times the views of Star Wars costumes.
  • The top costume for pets is the Lion Mane costume, representing 47% of all pet costumes views.
  • Game of Thrones-related costumes are popular this year.
  • Moana and Star Wars are the most popular Disney costumes that aren’t superhero-related. Among the top 340 costumes from January-August 2017, Moana accounts for 32.14% of all human costume product views. That’s more than Beauty and Beast (15.70%) and Star Wars (13.77%) combined.
  • Firefighters, police officers, doctor, astronauts are the most popular occupation-related costumes for kids.
  • Dinosaur costumes were extremely popular this year; they were used in a protest of budget cuts for national service organizations.
  • The most popular non-fictional person? You guessed it, Donald Trump. Trump wigs for both people and pets were among the top 300 costumes viewed by Amazon shoppers.


Hulk vs. Thor Product Category Views: We identified the 50 most popular character-branded products for each character. We then categorized the products and totaled the combined unique product views on Capital One Shopping in each product category, by character, during January-August 2017.

Hulk vs. Thor Top Product Views: We ranked the most popular character-branded products for each character, by unique product views on Capital One Shopping, during January-August 2017.

Thor vs. Hulk by State: We compared unique product views of each character, by state on Capital One Shopping, during January-August 2017.

DC vs. Marvel Top Characters: We selected 7 to 9 similar and similarly popular products for 10 of the most popular characters in the Marvel and DC Comics universes. Representing Marvel: Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, and Spider-Man. Representing DC Comics: Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Aquaman, and the Flash. We then organized the list by character, and totaled the combined unique product views on Capital One Shopping by character, during January-August 2017.

Superhero Character Comparisons: We identified all 340 costumes with at least 60 unique product views or more on Capital One Shopping during January-August 2017. We then organized the list by character, and totaled the combined product views per character during that time period.

Disney-Owned Character Comparisons: We identified all 340 costumes with at least 60 unique product views or more on Capital One Shopping during January-August 2017. We then organized the list by character, and totaled the combined product views per character during that time period.