I’ve discussed in the past how kid’s superhero merchandise is important in creating a new generation of comic readers. Books, toys, hand soap, shampoo all emblazoned with the face of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are just as important as TV shows.
That’s why I was pretty pleased when I stopped into one of the many “Dollar Stores” that are nearby and found some Wonder Woman books. Usually these books only feature Batman (and only male characters) so the idea there would be not one but two books featuring Wonder Woman was a thrill. (My day was made when I also found the Little People Batgirl car I have been looking for. What can I say? My life is boring and my thrills are cheap).
The books are simple but the most important thing is that they are inexpensive making them accessible for a variety of budgets.
But there is another item I was recently frustrated to find has no gender parity.
Last year I did a post on the bifurcation of marketing and superheroes by examining the history of Underoos commercials. Underoos were hugely popular a few decades ago and many readers may have grown up wearing them.
The other day a comic creator who is potty training her daughter asked me if I knew of any superhero underpants for little girls.
First know that when it comes to boys you have your choice.
But for little girls? I searched Walmart, Target, J.C Penneys and KMart. I went international and searched Target in Australia and Spencer and Marks in the UK. And what did I come up with?
That’s right, nothing. No Wonder Woman, no Batgirl, no Ms. Marvel, no Storm, no Supergirl.
If you are a BIG girl, there is plenty to choose from. But for little girls you get the My Little Pony, Barbie, Princesses and the Smurfs. Not there are anything wrong with Smurfs (perhaps you can pretend they are Mystique?)
I really don’t understand it when there are plenty of licensed costumes for superhero costumes for young girls - Batgirl, Supergirl, Wonder Woman - but nothing licensed to wear UNDER the costume.
If you’d like to see some underpants parity drop a note to the folks at Fruit of the Loom who makes a lot of licensed kids underwear and let them know. They actually have a place on their site to offer suggestions.
This may seem like a minor thing, but it really isn’t. Getting or nurturing girls interested IN superheroes requires that there be the same items that are available for boys to spur and gratify their interest. And for kids this age, underwear is very important. And having only superhero things targeted for boys .. hey just listen to this girl.