Let me tell you, friends, the things Lego has in store for 2017 are likely going to bankrupt me. We got an early look at the upcoming slate of building sets in the Marvel, DC, and Star Wars branches of Lego's release slate, and each area left us dreaming of homes with more display shelves than the library at Alexandria. Toy Fair 2017 was home to a lot of great toys, but nothing gets the creative and collecting juices flowing quite like Lego. Especially when they have some dope Batman sets.
This year at Toy Fair, Mattel once again lifted the curtain on a number of new figures and collectibles based in the DC Universe. From the continuing DC Multiverse figure line, which mixes the comics, television and movie properties, to DC Super Hero Girls and Teen Titans Go!, there was little that Mattel showed that didn't elicit excitement from everyone in attendance. However, the biggest surprise was clearly the unveiling of the Wonder Woman DC Multiverse wave, which gave us our first clear look at the DC Cinematic Universe version of Ares.
There are few toys that get the creative juices flowing quite like Lego. Looking at them online gets the blood flowing to the right side of the brain, but seeing them in person is a whole different experience. I can appreciate the sets from publicity stills, but it isn't until I can take in all the nuance of the builds up close that the magic of Lego really hits home. Such was the case at New York Comic Con this past weekend, where the new DC Super Hero Girls and Lego Batman Movie sets were on full display for all the world to see.
DC Super Hero Girls is officially a phenomenon. Every toy store you go to is lined with Super Hero Girls toys, books and merchandise ,and kids can't get enough of the fun and innocent take on some of DC's most popular characters.
The runaway success of the franchise isn't likely to end anytime soon, as DC has announced a third original graphic novel with the characters, and a digital first comic that is already available to buy!
The DC Super Hero Girls debuted more than a year ago, but to this point, the rollout of tie in merchandise has been incredibly calculated. Mattel's action dolls, the flagship figures for DC Super Hero Girls, have only just been in wide circulation for a few months after a soft launch of exclusivity at Target. For what it's worth, the line has apparently been a success. It's hard to find the figures anywhere.
Hopefully fans will have better luck this winter when Lego kicks off its part of the DC Super Hero Girls partnership with a number of building sets set in that universe. The first wave of Lego DC Super Hero Girls sets is due out this November, but today Lego has announced the second batch, which will hit stores in January of next year.
Now that the DC Super Hero Girls toy line has expanded beyond its soft launch home of Target, more of those academic heroes are finding their way to stores around the world. For now, despite releasing new figures in the line, the primary waves still consists of the same characters that have been available since the spring. Though Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Bumblebee and the rest are all great, the cast of DC Super Hero Girls is so expansive it's a shame it's taking so long to get more of them released.
We got our first glimpse at one of the "second semester" releases at San Diego Comic-Con in Katana, who was offered as a deluxe exclusive at the show. Though her actual mass market figure won't see shelves until 2017 --- and it'll be a bit more barebones than this version --- Katana's debut in the line is impressive, and shows there's a lot of promise to still explore in the DC Super Hero Girl Universe.
Despite a soft showing earlier this year, Mattel is still committed to the DC Multiverse line. So much so in fact that there are five different waves planned through 2017, not even including exclusive waves at the likes of Walgreens, Toys R' Us and Walmart. Though the early releases haven't been terribly strong, the upcoming waves do hit some particularly interesting roster choices, which bodes well for the die hard DC fan looking for a Doctor Psycho or Reaper figure.
Multiverse definitely had the largest footprint at the Mattel boot at San Diego Comic-Con this year, but the DC Super Hero Girls were there in spirit if not in force. There was also a lot of attention paid to Mega Bloks Kubros line, which is fairly appealing in that its giving us building sets for licenses we never thought might enter that style of collectible. No matter how you stack it, Mattel definitely had a lot going on at SDCC.
It's not a big secret that we're fans of Mattel's and DC's DC Super Hero Girls. The line's first wave hit retail in limited release, but has been performing so well, Warner Bros. and DC Comics' Diane Nelson believes it could soon be a $1 billion brand all on its own. This July the release of DC Super Hero Girls expands beyond the limitations of Target stores worldwide, and will even add in a number of new products beyond the dolls, figures and roleplay gear. But there's another reason to be excited about DC Super Hero Girls in July, and her name is Katana.
Announced today, Katana will be the first DC Super Hero Girls exclusive figure offered at San Diego Comic-Con. Unlike the first run of dolls, Katana will get the deluxe treatment, adding a number of accessories to the package, as well as a specially designed display box unique to this iteration of the character.
"We think DC Super Hero Girls can be bigger than a $1 billion brand."
I want to let that sink in for a second. DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment president Diane Nelson believes that strongly in DC Super Hero Girls. The only other current billion dollar brands in the dolls/action figure arena? Barbie and Disney Princesses.
For years, all we've heard from major toy makers, including DC's own partners at Mattel, is that girls don't buy toys, and they especially don't buy toys you'd consider to be action figures. While the truths of that matter have been relentlessly shattered over the past few years, particularly with regard to the likes of Marvel and Star Wars toys, there are still very few companies willing to go out on that ledge and buck outdated stereotypes. Fortunately, Diane Nelson is just as tired of those ill-conceived notions as the rest of us.