With talks on women empowerment and gender equality on the rise, parenting today has been on the spotlight. What we teach our kids today -- values, skills and all -- they will carry with them when they grow up.
So it's no surprise that not all young girls today are attracted to "girly" toys. While some admire the nail polish-loving damsels-in-distress, girls now want diversity and the freedom to choose who they want to be.
With the trend growing strong, Mattel, DC Entertainment, and Warner Bros. created DC Super Hero Girls, a world where girls can be inspired to be their own heroes, alongside female superheroes such as Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Batgirl. The collaboration of the three companies will give birth to a line of Legos, TV shows, movies, books, and dolls that look like and embody actual girls.
Toy manufacturer Mattel has conducted new research and found that girls don't want their superheroes to be too girly; they want them to be able to fight the bad guys without worrying about their hair getting in the way.
Caroline Kim, who designed the new toys, decided to use gymnasts, dancers, and basketball players as models for the doll action figures. The dolls will have bendable joints to highlight their physical prowess. They will also have fabric outfits and soft hair so they can still be styled the way young girls want. That’s hitting two birds with one stone.
The new action figure toy line aims to reconnect with girls who don't quite relate to Barbie anymore. Mattel calls this new line "its most powerful diverse line-up of female characters" and focuses on the women superheroes' and super villains' "formative years prior to discovering their full super power potential." The toys, geared for girls age six to 12, will be released in the second half of next year.
Along with the toys, DC Super Hero Girls also has an online presence with DCSuperHeroGirls.com. Warner Bros Animation Studio is making animated shorts or webisodes that girls can already watch on the website. Random House is also publishing chapter books; the first one entitled Wonder Woman at Super Hero High.
DC Entertainment believes it can “offer a diverse array of strong female characters in a fun and action-packed universe.” It’s a way to empower young kids -- and not just girls. Ma. Rochelle Buenavista-Pacifico, M.D., a developmental and behavioral pediatrician, says that we should guide our kids, show them the world, both the good and the bad, and answer their questions the best way we can. And when they do develop their own ideas, don’t hold them back. Let them discover their own place in this world.
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Sources: October 9, 2015. “Here’s Why Mattel’s New Superhero Dolls Are a Game-Changer” (time.com) October 8, 2015. “Step aside, Barbie: Girls want a superhero who can fight” (qz.vcom) October 1, 2015. “The DC Super Hero Girls Universe is Live!” (dccomics.com)