DC SuperHero Girls To Make A Billion Dollars? Diane Nelson On Diversity, Pink, Action Figures For Girls – But Forgets Something Important?


In an edited interview for Forbes, DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson talked about the development plans for the DC SuperHero Girls line.

Girls in our research groups wanted action stories with heroes, so we started with animated shorts on YouTube, an hour-long animated special on Cartoon Network and Boomerang, and a website of adventures available in various languages. Now come the dolls, action figures, and books, with animated shorts, direct-to-video and apps underway. Mattel will launch a 12-inch Katana action doll as a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive. It's a big business opportunity.

Is it worth pointing out that DC are making comic books, with an upcoming graphic novel promoted on FCBD as well?

But these are DC SuperHero Girls that Diane Nelson wants to stand on their own two feet. Literally.

Mattel's perspective on what's historically worked for girls made them a great collaborator. At the same time, there were points of constructive tension about everything from the form of the figures to their costumes. We wanted the dolls to stand on their own. There are many dolls that don't, and require a stand to be upright. We wanted clothes that are fashionable, but not trendy.

And as for the lack of pink in the palette of the DC Super Hero line, and making the first action figures for girls?

If you walk down the aisle of girls toys in a store, everything's pink. Girls love pink, but we wanted the color palette to be consistent with superheroes in our DC universe. So we have golds, greens, and reds that really pop on aisles that are full of pink. The characters wear practical uniforms instead of swimsuits and high heels. We have 12-inch action dolls and 6-inch action figures, which is the first time action figures have been made for girls. There's a great Wonder Woman shield, capes that appeal to younger girls, and novels that appeal to older girls.

The success of the Wonder Woman toys….

The official rollout is in July. We've tested the apparel, Wonder Woman's role-playing shield and bracelets in Target stores since April. It's selling like gangbusters, and we can't keep it on the shelves. All of our retailers are excited about getting their hands on the products. We have 30 product categories out now, and will have 70 product categories in more than 35 markets globally after the rollout in July.

Exactly what DC – and this line – is worth to Warners. And they're looking for more than a billion dollars.

Our overall consumer products represent a $6 billion business. The DC brand brings in about half of that. We think the DC Super Hero Girls can be bigger than a $1 billion brand.

Yes, I'm thinking Austin Powers too. As for Diane's own favourite character?

Wonder Woman is my favorite character. It's about her strength and compassion, which is how I like to think I operate in business and in life. She's a bad-ass warrior who cares about people. She's a pacifist at heart, but can be a warrior when she needs to be, which is how women need to be in business.

Possibly not a big fan when she was God Of War then?

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

twitter   facebook square   instagram   globe