DC Super Hero Girls.jpg

Updated with art, above.

Little girls like superheroes! At least that’s what WB’s hopes with a while new universe created just for girls aged 6-12. As announced in a news blast the new line will come with heavy hitting partners, including Mattel, which will launch its first ever action figures for girls, Random House and Lego. Dolls for girls! Inconceivable!

While the news is a stunner for the long boy-focused DC Entertainment line, with the swift evolution of comics to a co-ed undertaking, it’s only good business. Plus, if you hang around Disney long enough you’ll notice two things: #1 girl-based licensing programs like Disney Princesses make billions of dollars. #2 people like superheroes.

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Put em both together and you MIGHT have a winner.

The last time DC went after girls proper was the ill-fated Minx line, which launched in 2006 with a line of short graphic novels aimed at girls. Creative teams that were mostly male and distribution confusion made this generally a non-starter, but it was definitely ahead of its time. In years past pundit after pundit has wondered why there is no Wonder Woman program for young girls, as the aspirational nature of the character makes it a no brainer, and merch sells well to moms already. Well, the wondering is over.

In addition the announcement makes it clear that the “bildungsroman” genre will be well represented here—and so the giant pile of rejected “young Diana” pitches over the years from Tintin Pantoja, Ben Caldwell and many more are now ahead of their time.

One thing’s for certain: West Coast DC is going to be a VERY VERY DIFFERENT PLACE than East Coast DC.

PR below:

WARNER BROS. AND DC ENTERTAINMENT

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.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. This is great news! I look forward to buying some of these new items for my 10 year old niece. I hope there are some actual comic books attached to the program as well.

  2. As a parent and comic book household, this is the best news I’ve heard come out of DC in a long time. Now my daughter will have something else comics-related to enjoy aside from Little Lulu collections and the Smile book.

  3. I can’t help but think the old Minx line was sabotaged by people inside who wanted to falsely prove that girls don’t read comics. It also seemed a stunt to keep girls out of mainline DC Comics. Given that the New52 reboot only had one writer and one artist at the start of it, I think DC had maintained that kinda status for too long.

    Now we see that same boys club logic applied to cartoons and toys. I see this as more of a tactic to give girls a bright pink corner to play in while the boys play with the ‘real DC superheroes’. I don’t think this is a solution. I think this is a stalling tactic to avoid real change.

    I don’t think West Coast DC is gonna be different. It’s the same yahoos running the show.

  4. Can’t wait for the LEGO sets. Presumably they’ll be part of their pink, purple and pastel girl-targeted collection (Friends, Disney Princesses, Elves, etc). When I take my two 9 year old boys to the store I sometimes threaten to buy a set, just to bait them. They’re terrified someone will think it’s for them. Looks like I’ll finally have to make good on that threat.

  5. Looking closer at the promotional art. I love how Wonder Woman’s (Girl’s?) double W flares up and forms shoulder guards. And the white collar on Supergirl’s top is super cute. Hope they keep those details.

  6. Yeah, as the father of a seven year old girl that loves comics and superheroes, this is great news. We are on board!

  7. The breadth of this announcement is pretty impressive. Bringing Mattel and Lego to the table means this isn’t just some PR stunt.
    @xenos Mattel and Lego do not throw money at things that are designed to not grow markets.

  8. Don’t forget that Random House is also involved!

    As for Minx, the big mistake was shelving it in Young Adult in bookstores.
    1) The YA buyers, they didn’t know what graphic novels were… that readership was already reading manga in the adult section. Barnes & Noble ordered the first title for stores, but not the rest.
    2) No other publishers were marketing books to that section of stores… there was no “YA graphic novel” section, or even a shelf. Even the juvenile graphic novel sections were still underdeveloped, being mostly Scholastic Graphix titles.
    3) DC has a “trail of tears” with imprints. Minx, Helix/Matrix, CMX, Humanoids, Paradox, Piranha, Impact…
    Had they developed the series organically, like with Vertigo, it might have succeeded. “My Faith in Frankie” should have been the template. Create a backlist of teen-friendly, manga-inspired titles, then use that as the kernel for a new imprint. Vertigo was built on Constantine, Swamp Thing, and Sandman.

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