In 2015, DC Comics teamed up with Mattel to create DC Super Hero Girls, a line of dolls, action figures and role play toys as well other spinoff items like clothing and bedding. There’s even a LEGO series focused on the brand. To promote the toys, a series of cartoon shorts was also created and made available on YouTube.
The series focuses on Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn, teenage roommates at Super Hero High, a boarding school for heroes in training. The toy line also includes Batgirl, Bumblebee, Katana, Lashina, Lena Luthor, Poison Ivy, Starfire, and Supergirl, while the shorts include teenage versions of other heroes like Cyborg, The Flash/Barry Allen, Green Lantern/Hal Jordan, Hawkgirl, Star Sapphire and more. Steve Trevor is a supporting character and the crush of Wonder Woman. Batman and Superman are full-grown, established heroes and role models to the students.
Now the brand is expanding even further with an ongoing Cartoon Network show. The current shorts are VERY brief. (The theme song is longer than the actual cartoons!) But nowadays, CN’s shows are likewise brief. ‘Teen Titans GO!’ and ‘Justice League Action’ executive producer Sam Register is also spearheading this initiative, so expect a similar short format for ‘DC Super Hero Girls’. Lauren Faust, of ‘My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic’ and ‘The Powerpuff Girls’ is handling the character designs and scripts. So it’s likely that ‘DC Super Hero Girls’ will follow a similar short format.
“The DC Super Hero Girls franchise provides kids with a relatable world filled with aspirational characters, immersive stories, and action-packed missions that inspire viewers to be smart, courageous and empowered to be an everyday Super Hero. [The show will be] centered around the most renowned DC Super Heroes and Super-Villains as they learn to develop and harness their super powers, work as a team and strengthen their friendships, while still getting their homework done on time.”
Gal pals Bumblebee, Zatanna and Green Lantern Jessica Cruz are always there to lend an ear, a shoulder to cry on and a fist to punch with, and their bros in the Justice League amp up the fun whether they’re at a concert or taking down a crime ring. But what happens when Diana and her favorite study buddy and fencing partner, Tatsu, can’t agree on how to dole out justice as Wonder Woman and Katana? Or when Barbara finds out her Gotham-Con bestie is teen-fiend Harley Quinn? Along with all their friends, foes and frenemies, this squad of super teens navigates the unique growing pains that come when you’re a teenager trying to fight the battles of the world and the battles of growing up at the same time.
It sounds as though the show is being retooled, possibly to appeal to those that haven’t watched the current YouTube shorts. For one thing, there seemed to be a conscientious attempt with the originals to keep Harley and Ivy (as well as Cheetah and others) not TOO evil. It sounds like the bad girls will be a little badder in this new version.
The toys were a smash when they first came out, disappearing from Target shelves upon arrival. Things have cooled a bit as Mattel hasn’t issued many new dolls and when they do, it’s one at a time like Starfire and Katana. But with superheroes in general so hot in pop culture– and ‘Wonder Woman’ headlining her own movie in just weeks, hopefully the Cartoon Network series will help boost the brand even further. (My four year-old niece loves them and even mistook a cashier at Publix for Bumble Bee!)
Do you have a little crime fighter in your life? Are you glad that this brand is coming to regular TV?