Earlier this summer, we brought you news that DC/Warner Brothers were launching a new initiative for girls which would include animated online shorts as well as TV specials and direct-to-DVD movies; toys; apparel; and partnerships with Random House Publishing and LEGO. The time has come!
The first animated clip is now available online and introduces young girls and their geeky parents to the faculty and student body of Super Hero High School, where Amanda Waller, Gorilla Grodd (in glasses and a tweed suit, no less) and (it would appear) Poison Ivy are training the super heroes of tomorrow, in classes like Flyers Ed and clubs like the Junior Detective Society of Metropolis. The student body includes a Who’s Who of DC super stars. It would appear the show focuses on Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Katana and Bumblebee as well as Harley Quinn, who is the prim Wonder Woman’s messy roommate. (It’s sort of hard to tell if Poison Ivy is a student or a faculty member in the brief clip.) A statue of Superman seems to imply that he is an established adult super hero, inspiring this class.
The short definitely bears a resemblance to Mattel’s established hits ‘Monster High’ and ‘Ever After High,’ the first of which focuses on a vast student body composed of the children of famous monsters, while the second features the children of fairy tale heroes and villains. Both properties are popular toy lines, with loads of ancillary merchandise and tie-in cartoon shorts online. ‘DC Super Hero Girls’ seems to follow the ‘Ever After High’ model a bit more, as it includes characters like Harley, Star Sapphire, Cheetah and Killer Frost, who are villains in the comics.
Diane Nelson, president of DC Entertainment and president/chief content officer of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment explained:
“When you’re that age, whether it’s as young as 6 or — on a more aspirational level — when you’re moving into a high school environment, you’re trying to figure out who you are, and that’s what these characters are going through.”
Obviously, since this is a more juvenile take on the characters, some of the characters’ distinguishing characteristics are translated to more relatable adolescent foibles. Big Barda is the tallest girl in school. Harley is the class clown. Meanwhile, Batgirl is a “brainy science whiz.”
DC’s chief creative officer Geoff Johns said:
“I don’t think anyone can argue against the fact that we have the best female superheroes and characters in all of comics… There are some creative changes that we’ve done, but they’re all in spirit to who the characters really are.”
As for the short itself, you can check it out below. Having watched the ‘Monster High ‘and ‘Ever After High’ cartoons, I must say ‘DC Super Hero Girls’ has MUCH better animation, which should be expected from Warner Brothers. The video is also worth multiple viewings just to name all the various DC characters depicted (including some that have been missing from the comics for a few years). Watch below:
And don’t forget, there are toys!
There will actually be two major lines, a more traditional all-plastic action figure assortment as well as dolls, but don’t expect twiggy waifs. Mattel is balancing traditional fashion doll style with the fact that these are super heroes (well, at least in training).
“[Girls]’re not just looking for dolls with great hair play or fashion accessories. They want something that’s dynamic and they can have fun with in ways that maybe people haven’t given them credit for before.”
Mattel’s senior vice president for marketing in North America, Lisa McKnight added:
“[The designs] are these really strong, athletic physiques and have great qualities and represent female empowerment… These girls are practical. They know that if they themselves are going to role-play being the superhero and save the day, they need to be in functional fashions. They can’t have a lot of adornments that can get caught on something. They want to be in comfortable footwear. So we definitely tapped into that.”
The dolls will be 12″ tall, while the regular action figures will stand 6″ tall.
LEGO will also be adding a ‘DC Super Hero Girls’ subset to their LEGO Friends line, while Random House will publish tween novels. And of course, DC will be producing their own graphic novels.
‘DC Super Hero Girls’ will have a major presence at NYCC where the toys will make their official debut before swooping into toy shelves in the spring.
Super heroes are red hot and appeal to a broad audience. Kids and parents have bemoaned the lack of female super hero toys and apparel, so this certainly fills that void! And if kids can embrace the offspring of famous monsters, which aren’t all that popular in pop culture at the moment, they should really dig junior versions of some of the most famous super heroes in the world!
Do you love the idea of a super hero line for girls? Do you think your little kiddy crimefighter will dig this new take on the DC pantheon?
Source: USA Today