DC Super Hero Girls: Supergirl and Batgirl by Mattel

It was waaaay back in April that I first dipped my toe in the pool of DC  Super Hero Girls 6-inch figures with a look at Wonder Woman. At the time, these figures were impossible to find on the pegs, and going for crazy money online, so I was content with a one-and-done look at the line. Well, times have changed and these are now all over the place. A few weeks ago, I was able to pick up the rest of the initial assortment at a deep discount, so let’s take a look at a couple more today.

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The packaging is bright and colorful and features some attractive character art on each card. They’re not collector friendly, but then these figures aren’t aimed at collectors. The bubbles do, however, give you a great look at the figures inside. The back of the cards features a little blurb about Super Hero High and the character. My only bone to pick here is the way they call out the cape and backpack as accessories. All that really does is just draw my attention to the fact that these two figures don’t come with any accessories. Let’s start with Supergirl…

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Of all the Super Hero Girls, Kara’s look has changed the least from her more classic appearance. She’s still got her blue top with her S-shield, red skirt and red cape. The top features a white collar, which is a little evocative of a school uniform, she has a pair of high top red sneakers with painted white laces and tiny S-shields sculpted into them. She also has red and white wrist bracers. Apparently, one of Supergirl’s powers is to use her intensely bright red and yellow plastic to throw my camera’s light sensors for a loop, so please excuse the color balance on some of these shots. It was the best I could do. ARGGHH! The red is burning my retinas!!!

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The “accessory” cape is removable, but I don’t see why anyone would want to. Also, the paint on her “sleeves” is a lot darker than her top. It seems like it should have been easy to make the blue match better. As it is, it looks like the one area of plastic was faded by sunlight. Other than that, I dig the costume a lot. It’s bright, colorful, and the paint applications are clean.

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Supergirl has the typical young and cutesy head sculpt with blond hair and a blue head band. I’m getting a little Gwen Stacey vibe off of her. Hey, you got your Marvel in my DC! The paint for the eyes and lips is very clean and clear, but the plastic is really waxy and makes Kara look like she’s suffering from a Kryptonite induced flop sweat. Moving on to Batgirl…

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Batgirl’s costume is a lot more original for this series, although I feel like there are some nods to the recent Batgirl of Burnside comic style. She’s got a purple top with a sculpted yellow bat symbol on her chest, black pants, and bright yellow boots, wrist bracers, and utility belt. The belt even features lots of sculpted pouches and a bat-shaped buckle. I really like the mix of colors on this figure a lot. And speaking of bat-shaped…

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Batgirl also features a batpack. And yes, that’s just a backpack shaped like a bat. It’s held onto the figure with arm straps, and it seems to be removable if you work at it, but I wasn’t willing to try. Batgirl also has a bunch of copy stamped on her back and tush.

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Batgirl’s hood is removable so you can get a better look at what’s going on under it. I like the head sculpt here a lot and once again, the eyes and lips are painted perfectly. She has a sort of domino mask, which is both sculpted and painted and she has bright orange hair.

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The articulation on both girls is identical. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and knees, ball joints in the hips, and swivels in the wrists and ankles. Supergirl is is a lot more limited in her hip movement because of her cape. The articulation here seems fine for playing, but it’s lacking when it comes to getting many fun poses.

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I’m not sure why, but I genuinely expected to dig these figures a lot more than I do. Yeah, that’s admittedly strange, since they’re toys aimed at little girls and not collectibles aimed at middle aged borderline alcoholics comic book geeks like me. I’m also surprised that DC couldn’t whip up a genuine animated series for this line, rather than the Flash-animation-looking webisodes that they went with. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate these figures for what they are and if I had daughters I’d be delighted to have them want to play with these, so long as they played with Transformers and GI Joe and Marvel Legends too! Another important factor to toss in is that these are 6-inch figures being sold at the ten dollar mark and that’s a rarity these days in any toy aisle. And since I got these at essentially half off, I went all in and I still have two more Super Hero Girls to check out, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, and I just might do that on the next DC Friday.

DC Super Hero Girls: Wonder Woman by Mattel

After many weeks of statues, it’s time for me to get back to action figures on DC Friday, at least for a while. And while I’m setting my sites on Wave 2 of the DC Icons Series, I’m going to make a stop on the way this week to take a look at Mattel’s newest line of action figures… for girls!

There’s been a lot of stir over the last year or so about toys and gender roles: From Target re-branding its toy aisles with gender neutral colors to Kickstarters like IAmElemental introducing empowering action figures aimed at girls. And now Mattel enters the fray with their DC Super Hero Girls. Now, a good part of this line consists of traditional dolls that seem to capitalize on Mattel’s stupendously popular Monster High formula only with DC super heroes instead of freaky girl-monsters. But it’s the 6-inch action figures that got me to sit up and take notice. These figures are exclusive to Target right now, but due to see a wider release later this Summer. Let’s check out Wonder Woman…

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The packaging here is colorful and stands out, even in an aisle full of other toy packages. The figure comes on a custom card with character art in the upper left corner and a large bubble that shows off the entire figure quite nicely. I don’t really plan on consuming any of the media surrounding this line, but the blurb on the back suggest that these versions of our favorite DC ladies are adolescents going to Super Hero High. Hmm… based on that, I’m not so sure this is quite the empowering, gender-busting concept that I thought it was going to be, but…

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Wonder Woman sports a fresh take on her iconic costume and I really dig what they did with it. Here she’s got a red top with a gold belt and a cool “WW” collar that extends out to form flared shoulders. The costume is rounded out with blue pants, complete with stars running up the sides, red boots with white wings, white short sleeves, and her trusty bullet deflecting bracelets. In this case, maybe they only deflect spitballs.

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The coloring on the figure is bright and satisfying, but the plastic quality isn’t the best. It’s a little on the mushy side, and her ankles are a little warped from being in the tray. That last bit is rather ironic since the back of the package actually says, “Action figures stand on their own” and that’s a bit of a stretch with this one. The combination of soft plastic and tiny feet make standing Wonder Woman to be a chore half the time.

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The head sculpt features a youthful, wide-eyed, hyper cute take on the character. The tampos used for the eyes are nice and clean and she has her iconic tiara. The purple hair is a little odd, but it’s so dark that it almost looks black. The whole thing had a definite Disney Princess vibe going on and indeed, I’d be surprised if Disney doesn’t jump on this train with young, cute Disney-fied versions of their Marvel gals. I can see it now… super cute, teenage Black Widow sporting her twin Glocks… hmm, maybe not.

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Articulation is not bad. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and hips. The knees are hinged and you get swivels in the wrists and boots. There’s no torso articulation, but the neck is ball jointed.

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Wonder Woman comes with one accessory and that’s her golden lasso. It looked like string in the package, but it’s actually soft molded plastic. The coiled end has a tab to attach it to her belt. It makes for a decent looking display piece for a limited number of poses, but I’m a little bummed that it isn’t more versatile. I think string might have been better. At the very least they should have included a fully coiled one that she can wear all the time.

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While the quality and articulation isn’t up to most action figures in the boys aisles, it’s worth remembering that this is a 6-inch figure priced at $9.99. That in itself is a bit of a miracle in this day and age. Granted, I’m a bit let down by the fact that these figures are wrapped in the same sort of pedantic school drama as Monster High or Ever After High or Whatever-the-hell-other-High. Then again, having not sipped from the cup of DC Super Hero Girls fiction, it could emphasize the adventure and crime fighting just as much, and I hope that’s the case. Without getting tied up in semantics, it’s safe to say that this is still a legit action figure aimed at girls and I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw something like this in the toy aisle. In the end, she’s a fun little figure, and I’ll definitely be picking up some more of these.