Music to many little girls ears comes this week in the form of a brand new licensed range of DC Superhero Girls dolls by Mattel. Girls all over the globe have longed for female action figures as the market has historically been flooded with ‘boys’ versions like Action Man, Batman and GI Joe.
DC Superhero Girls will launch with both a range of action figures and a larger-scaled series of dolls. The first six are based on the new tween designs for Batgirl, Poison Ivy, Super Girl, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn and Bumblebee.
With never a high heel in sight (well, Poison Ivy looks to be wearing more of a wedge), these comic book heroines are gymnasts, athletes, dancers and basketball players, so the physique of these dolls is notably more muscular whilst still maintaining youth and beauty which makes them every bit, if not more, aspirational to girls than Barbie. The designers also opted to stick to the characters’ trademark colours rather than changing the main colours to pink.
This is another positive step towards breaking down gender divides when it comes to toys. After all, anyone who has a daughter knows that they are every bit as interested in action role play as their brothers. And girls aren’t the only ones being pigeon holed. In my experience, boys love pink every bit as much as girls but are made to feel embarrassed by this and most young boys will race towards a play kitchen.
Parent led campaign Let Toys Be Toys has been key to this movement by calling for toy and publishing companies to stop limiting children’s interests by promoting certain products as only suitable for girls, and others only for boys. As a result, they successfully persuaded Toys R Us to banish gender toy categories in store and the retailer has aspirations to eventually make their marketing more inclusive with adverts showing boys and girls playing with the same toys, such as kitchens and Lego. Jumping onto the bandwagon, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, The Entertainer and TK Maxx have all agreed to remove ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ signs from the aisles following pressure from Let Toys Be Toys.
This can only be a good thing and comes as a welcome relief to those of us who cringe at the thought of buying ‘the pink version’ of the latest boys toys!