The DC Super Hero Girls Shine Bright at NYCC
Back in April, DC Comics and Mattel (as well as other merchandising partners) revealed the DC Super Hero Girls to the world. Back in the spring, there was little information about what the line would be beyond vague promises of figures, dolls, comics, books and clothing themed around a new interpretation of DC's incredible stable of female superheroes. At New York Comic Con, the world got its first in-person glimpse at the stylized line, including dolls based on Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Harley Quinn and more, along with other items like skateboards, t-shirts, notebooks and headphones. It seems DC and its partners are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to the DC Super Hero Girls line. Good.
For too long, the market has been devoid of items targeted specifically at the one demographic that's been desperate for this kind of attention--young girls. DC Super Hero Girls takes a bit of inspiration from lines like Monster High and Ever After High, both of which have seen tremendous success under Mattel's watch. Instead of crafting original figures based on monsters or storybook characters from hundreds of years ago, this line has the advantage of featuring familiar heroes and villains from DC's vast stable. I'll admit to being a little worried about the style based on those previous Mattel figure lines. After seeing the DC Super Hero Girls in person, those worries were assuaged. It's clear that DC and Mattel, and more importantly the fans, are going to have a lot to look forward to when the DC Super Hero Girls launch in 2016.
Though there will be two different figure lines for DC Super Hero Girls, very few of the 6" action figures have been revealed to this point. A short time ago we got a look at Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn, but Supergirl was the lone representative on the show floor at NYCC. It looks decent, but just on its own, it's hard to judge this portion of Mattel's line. The big stars of the show were the "action dolls," Mattel's 12" toys featuring fabric clothing and real hair. All of the major players from the big branding DC and Mattel have been using since April were on hand, including Bumblebee, Poison Ivy and Supergirl. The dolls don't appear to be as rail-thin as Monster High's, which is good, but more importantly, they all have some great style.
Not every figure based on a character has to be exactly like its comic book counterpart. For the universe of DC Super Hero Girls, the active wear makes much more sense than traditional hero garb. It helps that the designs are still informed by how these characters have looked in the past, but giving them more modern, everyday outfits does make them slightly more relatable, too. Outside of Poison Ivy, the clothing these characters are wearing is easily something a normal girl could find in her closet. Maybe not Wonder Woman's bracelets, but you get the idea.
There were items on hand from other merchandising partners as well, and the t-shirts and socks were definitely something I can see a lot of young girls (and some adult women) wearing. The branding extends through backpacks and helmets, though I'm a little less keen on items that focus on text blurbs versus those that have the Super Hero Girls plastered all over. The "Biff," 'Bam," "Pow" stuff has been overused for too long, and it's still not all that appealing even in this new format.
The DC Super Hero Girls line will launch in full sometime in 2016, and I'm eager to see which dolls and figures will start things off. There's a lot of promise here, and with the right execution, DC could have one of the biggest toy lines of the year wrapped up before anything's actually been released.