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 She’s been replaced by Cyborg, creating an all-male Super Friends.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.