Marvel may be winning the comic book movie war as a whole, but there’s no denying that DC’s doing a better job of pushing out merchandise of female characters.
While Black Widow or Scarlet Witch action figures are a rarity at best, Wonder Woman is already everywhere in toy stores, and she’s only had a single significant cinematic appearance thus far.
You know a pop culture icon has caught the public imagination when she’s able to carry her own line of Lego sets, even if it is part of the weirdly curvaceous Friends range.
Now, in anticipation of the New York Toy Fair, Mattel has revealed a series of articulated toys that will hit shelves in time for the movie in June, and boy, do these look like they’re a much higher quality than the crummy stuff that gave us a character reveal a few weeks back.
What’s nice about this range is that, at the twelve-inch size, Wonder Woman will fit in with the doll collection that any little girl (or forty-year-old man, we’re not judging) might be building, meaning that Diana Prince can turn up for a lunchdate with Barbie or even a Bratz doll, before heading off to save the world.
It’s rare for children of either gender to get a role model who ticks boxes as both a glamorous fashionista and an ass-kicking superhero, so it’s great that Game Developer Barbie can share a slice of cake with Wonder Woman as they swap anecdotes about the challenges of maintaining professionalism in a male-dominated work environment.
Plus, afterwards, they can go for a horse ride, which somehow sounds a lot more epic when Wonder Woman does it.
Of course, the large twelve-inch Wonder Woman toy will get along less well with smaller action figures, but that’s no big deal. If she’s not punching G.I. Joe in the face, she can always be an enormous giant, towering over most Superman figures and mocking Batman for his teeny tiny grappling gun.
It’s important for kids of both genders that a wide variety of female superhero toys are available, which will suit a variety of playstyles. While children will always use what’s at their disposal to create inventive, imaginative play environments, a good range of Wonder Woman toys will encourage kids of all ages to see the classic superhero as more than just a token female inclusion in the Justice League.
Whether kids want Diana Prince to attend teaparties, or break Lex Luthor’s face, they should have these options available.
So enjoy your temporary victory, Marvel Studios. If you don’t start pushing out meaningful female-led movies with decent toys soon, an entire generation of kids will get attached to the DC universe for inclusivity that the MCU and its merchandizing strangely still doesn’t provide.