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Mattel Consults Feminists and Academics for Superhero Dolls

Mattel Consults Feminists and Academics for Superhero Dolls
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Designed strong and athletic, Wonder Woman and Batgirl are among a batch of DC Super Hero Girls designed to do the saving

Emma Hutchings
  • 14 october 2015

Mattel, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Bros. Consumer Products joined forces to launch DC Super Hero Girls, a universe that aims to build character and confidence. Hoping to empower girls to discover their true potential, DC Comics’ female characters have been reimagined as more relatable teens at school.

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Inspired by the powerful students of DC Super Hero High, a line of 12-inch dolls and 6-inch action figures have been developed for girls aged 6-12, which come with accessories and gadgets that showcase each character’s unique abilities. Iconic heroes and villains from the comic books have been adapted for a younger audience, with a new art style for Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Bumble Bee, and more.

Bloomberg notes that during the creation of these new figures, a number of feminists, bloggers and academics were consulted by Mattel to make sure they were developing relatable dolls that girls would be happy to play with. Researchers found their target audience didn’t want the superheroes to be too girly, so the design team sculpted more muscular versions that look strong and athletic rather than super-skinny. They also stuck with existing colors, rather than changing Supergirl’s cape from red to pink.

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The result is a collection of figures that look ready to save the day instead of being the ones who need to be rescued from danger. When the DC Super Hero Girls were first announced the President of DC Entertainment, Diane Nelson, commented:

DC Entertainment is home to the most iconic and well-known Super Heroes including Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl. 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 new Mattel toy line, which was unveiled for the first time at New York Comic Con, will be released next year.

DC Super Hero Girls

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