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Avengers: Endgame Iron Man insult helps power stuffed-animal sales

Rocket Raccoon may not have liked Iron Man's insult, but Build-a-Bear Workshop is loving it.

Rocket does not appreciate being associated with Build-A-Bear Workshop.
Marvel Studios

When popular films poke fun at giant brands, those companies usually just have to grin and bear it. But in at least one recent case, a movie joke was a boon for a big corporation.

Early on in Avengers: Endgame, you may remember, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) gets in a dig at Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper).

"I thought you were Build-A-Bear," Stark cracks to the genetically enhanced raccoon/trash panda. (In case you haven't been to a mall lately, Build-A-Bear Workshop is an interactive toy store where shoppers build the stuffed animal or other creature of their choice.)

That was meant as an insult to Rocket, but it turned into a big boost for the store chain. On the company's recent first-quarter earnings call, CEO Sharon Price John said the joke helped drive shoppers to the store.

Price John credited Avengers: Endgame for driving sales of movie-related products. The store sells numerous Marvel hero-themed bears and outfits. Total revenues increased by $1.2 million to $84.4 million, she said on the call

"(The sales) were further enhanced by Marvel's generous and welcome to nod to Build-A-Bear in the movie's first 10 minutes," Price John said, according to a call transcript published by SeekingAlpha. "(That's) just one more example of Build-A-Bear's top culture presence and power."

The store seems happy to Make Mine Marvel, even tweeting out a photo of an Iron Man bear along with a tweak of the line referencing the chain.

That Iron Man bear looks pretty savage. Build-A-Bear? Damn near killed a bear.

Originally published June 4.