Back in April, DC announced a major new initiative to market its characters to girls primarily aged 6-12 with books, action figures, “action dolls,” Lego sets, animation and more. Funnily enough, this seemed to find favor with folks who normally want stores to stop classifying action figures and toys into gender categories.
I’ll say this – the action figures look like accurate depictions of the characters as drawn, which is more than you can say about a lot of mass-market toys.
As for the action dolls – they have more obvious articulation points than a Barbie, and can indeed stand up by themselves, which is apparently a revolutionary new concept in the doll world (“They want to be in comfortable footwear” is a radical notion). Their waists are still kinda tiny by human standards, but I like that they’re allowed to have non-slender hips and legs.
And yeah, one could argue that this all a rather cynical marketing initiative designed to push product first and foremost – but so were most toy lines of the ’80s. Hell, the reason so many people are mad about Michael Bay’s interpretation of Optimus Prime is that a cartoon made purely to sell you toys ended up having more resonance than that.
Per USA Today, which revealed the toys first, DC Super Hero Girls (they call themselves that, “DC” and all) will have animated specials rather than a steady series – the story sees all the major DC characters (save Superman, depicted as an adult role model via statue) in high school, embodying the sort of roles you’d think: Harley Quinn is class clown, Hawkgirl is hall monitor, and so on. Yes, there are males – Hal Jordan and Beast Boy appear to be the main ones featured, putting a lie to the notion that it’s not easy being green.
Ready for an instantly catchy theme song? Click if you dare…
Yes, “get your cape on” – even though only two members of the large cast actually have capes.
So far, what do we think – Friendship Is Magic potential, or more like Equestria Girls?
Luke Y. Thompson has been writing professionally about movies and pop-culture since 1999, and has also been an actor in some extremely cheap culty and horror movies you will probably never hear much about (he is nonetheless mostly proud of them, as he met his wife on one). As editor of The Robot's Voice since 2012, he can take the blame for the majority of the site's content, all of which he creates because he loves you very, very much. (Although he loves nachos more. Sorry.)
Prior to TRV, Luke wrote for publications that include the New Times LA, Los Angeles CityBeat, E! Online, OC Weekly, Geekweek, GeekChicDaily, The L.A. Times, The Village Voice, LA Weekly, and Nerdist