When I first wrote about DC Super Hero Girlsjust over a year ago, I knew that the initiative would be something special - a long-overdue chance to fill some gaps in entertainment and play. As parents of two young girls, my wife and I have seen the little ones embrace iconic superheroes like Supergirl, Wonder Woman and Batgirl (along with their male counterparts) without really having anything substantial to back it up, quite unlike the multitude of other pop culture interests out there. These characters were underutilized to reach new generations, their stories and adventures scattered through un-unified worlds and mediums. DC Super Hero Girls changed all that, bringing together the female heroes and villains of the DC Universe into a new realm - placing them as High School-aged students learning their paths in life, but in a way relatable to younger kids. With an online animated series, books, toys and more, it's all been given purpose - a mission that DC's Diane Nelson described as "stories of empowerment, inspiration and optimism." First rolled-out exclusively to Target stores this Spring, DC Super Hero Girls toys and products will go out en masse starting in June, with the full collection of poseable action dolls and figures starting to hit the toy aisles of retailers everywhere. The folks at Mattel recently sent us the first wave of six action dolls to check out, and we're presenting them now in this edition of UNBOXED + PLAY!
As with some of Mattel's other doll lines (particularly Monster High and Ever After High), these "action dolls" are beautifully-designed with a nice mix of materials and detail - great for kids, yet also nailing that "adult collector" market. What makes these dolls "action" is that they're able to stand on their own (a rare thing) and are articulated in ways more akin to a traditional action figure... which DC Super Hero Girls also offers, but we haven't delved into that realm just yet. I say "yet" because our youngest daughter, Finley, is a noted action figure and playset enthusiast, while big sister Addie is more into traditional dolls.
These dolls even come with personalized school I.D. cards...
Moving forward, I fully expect that DC SUPER HERO GIRLS is poised to become huge by year's end, and I'm already eyeing certain upcoming offerings as potential "Hot Holiday Toys" when my annual "Holiday Wish Guide" rolls out this Fall. Availability beyond one retailer is a great thing, and having just revealed that the first-ever San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive for the line will be present at SDCC this July, you can bet that the buzz is just getting started.
James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance. Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.
As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.
He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. Current special projects include promotional campaigns for PJ Masks (eOne/Disney Junior) and Beat Bugs (Netflix).
James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.