DC Teams with Toy and Apparel Brands for ‘DC Super Hero Girls’
In the latest sign that publishers are waking up to the idea that young readers and women represent the future of the comic book industry, DC Comics has announced a new initiative in partnership with Mattel, Lego, and other brands, which focuses entirely on superhero products for an audience of young women; DC Super Hero Girls.
The official press release explains that this is a new super hero universe "designed just for girls," though it builds on familiar DC properties with teenage versions of Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Supergirl, and even villains such as Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. No doubt in recognition of the lack of diversity in the main DC hero line, DC also placed a couple of non-white heroes, Katana and Bumble Bee, in the launch line-up.
The DC Super Hero Girls product line will feature apparel and toys --- including action figures and Lego construction sets --- plus TV, video, and digital content. Publishing initiatives are also part of the plan, though it's not clear how many actual comics may be launched as part of the line.
Despite the huge popularity of superheroes, there's been a far too noticeable lack of merchandise aimed at girls, with the current shortage of Black Widow merchandise tied into Avengers: Age of Ultron just the latest stark example of how that audience is neglected. Today's announcement shows that at least one comics publisher understands the value of this audience.
We'll have more thoughts on this announcement later this week. In the meantime, check out the full press release from DC below:
Mattel to Launch Company’s First Action Figures for Girls
Unprecedented Initiative to Include Digital Content, TV Specials, Made-For-Videos,
Publishing, Toys, Apparel and Other Products
Random House Children’s Books to be Master Publishing Partner
The LEGO Group to be Exclusive Construction Partner
Beginning in Fall 2015, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Mattel join forces to launch DC Super Hero Girls, an exciting new universe of Super Heroic storytelling that helps build character and confidence, and empowers girls to discover their true potential. Featuring DC Comics’ most powerful and diverse line-up of female characters as relatable teens, DC Super Hero Girls will play out across multiple entertainment content platforms and product categories to create an immersive world.
Developed for girls aged 6-12, DC Super Hero Girls centers on the female Super Heroes and Super-Villains of the DC Comics universe during their formative years—prior to discovering their full super power potential. Featuring a completely new artistic style and aesthetic, DC Comics’ icons such as Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Bumble Bee, Poison Ivy, Katana and many more make their unprecedented teenaged introduction. Each character has her own storyline that explores what teen life is like as a Super Hero, including discovering her unique abilities, nurturing her remarkable powers and mastering the fundamentals of being a hero.
“DC Entertainment is home to the most iconic and well-known Super Heroes including Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl,” said Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment. “DC Super Hero Girls represents the embodiment of our long-term strategy to harness the power of our diverse female characters. I am so pleased that we are able to offer relatable and strong role models in a unique way, just for girls.”
The initial launch of DC Super Hero Girls in Fall 2015 will include an immersive digital experience, original digital content and digital publishing—providing opportunities for girls to interact with characters, learn about the storylines, and engage in customizable play. TV specials, made-for-videos, toys, apparel, books and other product categories will begin to rollout in 2016.
“Developing a Super Hero franchise exclusively for girls that includes all of the key components of a comprehensive entertainment experience—from content to consumer products—is something we are excited to be doing in conjunction with our great partners,” said Brad Globe, President of Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “It’s really an honor to be part of this cultural moment and to be delivering a concept so rooted in a relatable and empowered theme that the characters of DC Comics are uniquely able to present.”
As master toy licensee, Mattel is collaborating with DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Bros. Consumer Products on DC Super Hero Girls’ narrative creation, interactive digital activations and ultimately a toy line launching in 2016. Mattel category-leading firsts include a line of characters for the action figure category, an area of the industry that has been primarily developed with boys in mind, and fashion dolls featuring strong, athletic bodies that stand on their own in heroic poses.
“Partnering with the best and being the best partner is of paramount importance,” said Richard Dickson, President, Chief Operating Officer, Mattel. “Together with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, the DC Super Hero Girls franchise will further expand our already powerful girls portfolio. We know Super Hero is a culturally relevant theme and the DC Super Hero Girls franchise will engage and inspire girls, providing cues to explore heroic acts through play and into real life.”
The Random House Books for Young Readers imprint of Random House Children’s Books has been appointed the master publishing partner for the franchise and will be creating a portfolio of books that will bring the DC Super Hero Girls world to life, beginning in Spring 2016. Random House’s publishing program will be complemented by a series of original graphic novels from DC Entertainment. The LEGO Group will also be key to building the DC Super Hero Girls franchise, leveraging their experience and success engaging girls in creative construction play to bolster this universe through an array of LEGO® building sets designed to inspire girls' imaginations. Additionally, consumer products partners around the world will be engaged in creating a merchandise line dedicated to DC Super Hero Girls across all key categories.