Warner Bros.’ DC Super Friends Toy Line Removes Wonder Woman

Toy Fair is coming up soon, and I’m super jazzed because toys are awesome.  It’s always fun to see all of the action figures, Lego, and other great toys that will be coming out in the next year.  On account of my pre-Toy Fair excitement, I’ve been perusing some sites to see hints of what’ll be coming up.

On Wednesday, Warner Bros. put out their official pre-Toy Fair press release.  They mention some fun stuff, including a line of action figures based on the classic 1960s Batman TV show.  There’s also information about the Super Friends line, toys for small children that are released through Fisher Price’s Imaginext line.

We all know the Super Friends from their comic books and previous toys.  You’ve got Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Aquaman, and, of course, Wonder Woman.  Except this is the art that came with the press release:


Wonder Woman is nowhere to be found!!  She’s been replaced by Cyborg, creating an all-male Super Friends.  Wonder Woman’s been associated with the Super Friends since the classic cartoon started in the 1970s, but now she’s gone.

This is not cool at all.  These toys are for little kids, so now they’re learning from their earliest days that superheroes are boys, and thus meant for boys.  First off, this is just stupid.  Way to not create future generations of female fans, DC.  Second, UGH gender binaries.  GOOD LORD.  It’s 2013.  We shouldn’t be thinking about things as “girl toys” and “boy toys” anymore.  Including a female in a traditionally male environment a) shows girls that they can be part of it, and b) teaches boys to not exclude said girls who want to play too.  The comic book world is SUCH a boy’s club, and now it seems DC is instilling that mindset from as early an age as possible.

Now, Cyborg is black, so we’ve got some race representation.  However, Green Lantern is white now.  The recent Super Friends comic and toy lines featured John Stewart as Green Lantern, who is black.  Now he’s been replaced with the white Hal Jordan.  So what we’ve got is a situation where the race representation stays the same (except the black guy is now the least recognizable character…) and there’s no longer any female representation.  Not good.

The line may be more expansive than this image suggests.  Past Super Friends toys have included sidekicks and villains, and there have been Batgirl and Catwoman toys.  Wonder Woman might be included in future toys.  But nonetheless, the branding for the line is all male.  This piece of art will be on a lot of packaging, making female characters seem like even more of a rarity than they already are.  They’ve removed the most iconic female superhero from their core team, and that’s just sad.


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21 Responses to “Warner Bros.’ DC Super Friends Toy Line Removes Wonder Woman”

  1. Wendy Whipple Says:

    Well crap… that’s not good news at all. Are they trying to erase WW altogether? She’s vanishing from her own book, and now this? 😦

    As it happens, I’ve just returned from a mission at Toys R Us to get photographic evidence of “girl toys” and “boy toys.” If you’re interested in my perspective, you can read the blog post here: http://plasticheroines.blogspot.com/2013/02/blue-is-for-boys.html

    (I hate it when people only comment for the purpose of luring people to their own blogs, but this one was relevant.)

    • Tim Hanley Says:

      Thanks so much for sharing that link, Wendy. It’s super interesting. It’s ridiculous how strongly the boy/girl divide is hammered into kids. I know some people will say “it’s just toys” but that sort of thinking gets into their heads and colours their later life too, like boy careers and girl careers, or even men go to work and women stay at home. It’s sad to see it so very blatant at Toys R Us!

  2. Your Senior Drill Instructor Says:

    Wow. It seems like the sky is falling for WW fans. I can’t say that I’m really surprised though because DC has stated that their target demographic is males between the ages of 18 and 35. What they don’t realize is that many of us males who fall into that category shake our heads in disgust at some of their practices just like female readers do.

    It seems like every other day brings out a different anecdote about how the current regime at WB/DC just doesn’t know what the f*ck they’re doing.

    • IronBerserk Says:

      I hate to bring up this terrible shallow counter-argument…but don’t 18-35 year old men actually like buying sexy super heroine books? I mean, WW is probably the hottest super heroine of them all 😛 She’s strong, kind and loving, understanding, and a drop dead gorgeous dark haired who wears a tight outfit while at the same time fighting gods. She’s like the perfect woman! What 18-35 year old wouldn’t want to read a book like that? LMAO!

      • Your Senior Drill Instructor Says:

        Oh I agree with you on all of the above. 🙂
        What I was saying is that not all 18-35 year old men approve of certain practices like excluding WW from the Super Friends toy line.

      • Tim Hanley Says:

        That was pretty much exactly what William Moulton Marston was thinking all those years ago 🙂 He knew boys liked pretty ladies, so that’s what he gave them, and then hit them with subtext about female superiority and the power of women.

    • Tim Hanley Says:

      Sad to say, as much as there’s a solid female fan base for superhero comics, along with lots of men who want good female characters too, it seems that DC’s target demographic will show up in enough numbers no matter what they do. The majority of comic readers buy stunts and events and seem to not particularly care about things like female representation, or minority representation either, so DC keeps doing that and trucking along.

      • Your Senior Drill Instructor Says:

        Well, I don’t think DC really has a firm grasp of their readership. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that all of the cheap stunts, gimmicks and dull twists are not creating new readers but alienating existing readers. Even if you don’t really care about female or minority representation, chances are you still want some good, character-driven stories and don’t like seeing your favorite characters being trifled with.

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