The Return of the Super Queens?
Mattel's DC Comic Heroines
By John Medeiros
In 1967 Ideal Toys took a gamble and released four dolls based on popular DC Comic Heroines. Batgirl, Supergirl, Wonder Woman and Mera were to be the girl's dolls to compliment the company's Captain Action superhero series. They did not appeal to the boys much and perhaps they were a bit exotic for the girl's market so they were not very big sellers. Sears tried to sell them as exclusives with a changeable "mod" alter-ego outfit to boost sagging sales. But, they remain one of the most desirable and hardest of all superhero dolls or figures to locate today. A mint and complete one will fetch between $700 to $1000. A boxed and sealed example can sell for several times that price. Collectors have come to refer to these scarce dolls as the "Super Queens".
This month Mattel released three of the DC Comic Heroines in 12" form. Batgirl, Supergirl and Wonder Woman are available again at play doll prices.
Their colorful packaging, and tacky outfits looks actually have a great nostalgic appeal for me.
The example I have for review is the Batgirl, my favorite of the three. The dolls use the flex type bendy arm with a wire built in. This is perfect for "super-posing. They have jointed necks, hips and knees that click three times. This is the only time I have ever like the "bendy-arm" use by Mattel. Somehow it works with these dolls. I do wish they would have used a twist waist and ball jointed neck as these gals would be all that more dynamic to pose.
Batgirl is a redhead and the hair used is of very high quality for a playline doll. It is soft, silky and manageable with a great color and sheen to it.
Her outfit is a one piece stretch jumpsuit fashioned of black spandex with metallic blue speckling and the classic yellow Batman logo emblazoned across the chest. A removable yellow vinyl belt with round yellow buckle is at the waist. She wears high heeled yellow vinyl boots and of course her matching vinyl fabric "Batgloves". The cowl is removable and made of synthetic shiny fabric with a black vinyl facemask. It is attached to her cape which is metallic blue on the outside and lined in yellow. Her accessory is a very cool black Batarang. She comes with a deluxe stand that features the classic 60s bat logo on it.
There also a special gift set available that includes the doll and her "Batcycle"! It is basically the "My Scene" bike souped up a bit and molded in blue and yellow. Oddly, Mattel chose to use the newer movie related Batman logo on the cycle rather than the classic one used on the doll. It is still a very sharp looking vehicle and the doll looks amazing on it.
The other two dolls come in colorful packaging like Batgirl. They all include a collectible miniature lunchbox keychain featuring characters from the animated series.
What is it that I like about these dolls that speaks to me? It's the similarities they have to the 1967 Comic Heroines. Back then, Ideal used a Misty doll for all the gals. They used the same head and just gave them each different hair color or styles. Mattel has done the same thing here with making these dolls Barbie "as" Batgirl, etc. The 1967 dolls had vinyl arms with a wire armature to pose it, much like Mattel has used here. The use of the inexpensive, almost cheesy fabrics adds to the resemblance.
So, we didn't get a Mera in 2004.but we got that cool Batcycle.