DC Anime-Influenced Action Figures

The DC Direct line has been displaying at Toy Fair a line of anime-influenced figures of girl heroes. They’re all boobs, baby faces, and look-at-my-body-parts poses. (via)

Obviously, they no longer care about the complaints of many of their female readers, because this line sums up most of the problems with their characters, presenting them in an overly sexualized fashion aimed at male fans.

Update: James sends along a link to another picture of the set which seems to indicate plans for a Hawkgirl, Wonder Woman, and Poison Ivy as well.


43 Responses to “DC Anime-Influenced Action Figures”

  1. James Schee Says:

    Wow… really that’s all I can say as that’s just so weird. I actually had to think who Catwoman was there for a minute.

  2. J. Teeple Says:

    That’s not anime; that’s ecchi. Businesses trying to play to the “anime market” need to learn the difference. The anime market is mostly not lecherous men. Yes, ecchi sells well, but if they truly anime-ized their figures & characters, they would probably sell even better.

  3. Jer Says:

    Yeah, I saw those earlier today on Sterling’s site, and I was fairly disturbed by them. Without any male heroes done the same way, it really feels like the only reason that they’d get made is to sell to guys with a particular hentai/superhero fetish.

    On the other hand, I think I may be more disturbed by the fact that my first thought when I saw the Power Girl figure image on Mike’s site was “Why is Power Girl wearing an oven mitt?”

  4. Monk Says:

    “They’re all boobs, baby faces, and look-at-my-body-parts poses.”

    Did you really expect the Power Girl to be any other way?

  5. Andrew Wickliffe Says:

    Given Eddie Berganza’s plea for teenage girls to read “Supergirl”…

    I can’t even finish the snide remark.

    It’s nice to know DC’s going for that “creepy, in the back of Previews” section.

  6. Rob Staeger Says:

    Bleah.

  7. Loren Says:

    Okay…while we probably expected Power Girl to be booblicious…is that pose or her anatomy at all physically possible? I mean, wow! Could it have gotten any worse?

    That said, aside from the sculpting, I kind of like the Batgirl costume design.

  8. Kitty Says:

    What is Catwoman wearing?

    These give me the same creeptastic feeling I get from statuettes of the 14-year-old girls from Neon Genesis Evangelion.

  9. Colleen Says:

    Honest to god, everytime they do crap like this, it gets harder and harder to be excited about something like the Minx line.

    I mean really, who would want to encourage teenage girls to read comics if this is what DC thinks of them?

  10. one diverse comic book nation » I didn’t think it was possible to make a Power Girl with bigger boobs! Says:

    […] (Hat tip: Johanna from Comics Worth Reading) […]

  11. Dwight Williams Says:

    I can sum my reaction up in one word: Ergh.

    And it is not a good “ergh” either.

  12. Amy k G Says:

    Is it wrong of me to think batgirl actually looks pretty cool? The rest are kinda ugly… they remind me of every other big-boobed anime figurine out there ( http://www.hk-gensen.com/ )

  13. caleb Says:

    To be fair, Power Girl and Supergirl aren’t much worse than the DCU versions starring in the comics though, are they?

  14. Tommy Raiko Says:

    OK, ecchi-esque superheroine figures aren’t my thing, so I don’t have a lot to say about these toys themselves, but the larger issues here seem to me to be a new iteration of an older controversy which, I think, boils down to the question:

    To what degree is it possible (or advisable) for comics companies to use the same characters for material directed at very different audiences?

    Thus far, this conversation has largely been about young audiences, and much (but certainly not all) of fandom has come to accept that, yes, there can be a mature Batman in The Dark Knight Returns and a Batman for kids in Justice League Unlimited and that’s OK.

    Isn’t this sorta the same argument, only with gender instead of age being the difference in audience?

    Is it OK to have a Supergirl in comics or cartoons that’s supposed to appeal to girls and young women (set aside, for the moment, whether or not that material successfully appeals to girls and young women) and another version intended toward boys and adult men?

    Does it have to be either/or? Or maybe it works for some characters but not others?

    I honestly don’t have any real answers, but I do see a whole mess of questions. And I sense that as comics companies get more invested in their characters’ individual brands, that this is a question that they’re going to have to address, and be comfortable with their answers. (And, perhaps, they already are: I note Wonder Woman isn’t among these anime-themed toys; perhaps they’ve determined the Amazing Amazon isn’t suited for this sort of treatment…)

  15. Andrew Wickliffe Says:

    I think it’s funny, given how upset DC got about how their superheroes were parodied in the Boys, to turn their flagship (except Wonder Woman?) female characters into… well, whatever these are

  16. John Says:

    Actually, seeing Power Girl stylized like that may actually make her a little less offensive than usual! Her breasts weren’t quite the size of Humvees there . . .

  17. Ray Cornwall Says:

    That Supergirl piece is disturbing. I’ve seen strippers with more tasteful costumes.

  18. Adam Arnold Says:

    Actually, I think they’re great. Those would actually look pretty damn nice on a shelf filled with other anime figures…

  19. Lea Says:

    Those are nice sculpts, I like the costume designs okay, except:

    Batgirl’s golden boob outlines.
    Powergirl’s levitating breasts and lack of nipples.
    Supergirl’s anorexic-with-boob-job physique.
    Ditto Catwoman.

    Makes me wonder if someone at DC took my suggestion to Paul Levitz of a Batgirl manga (and then TinTin’s WW manga) seriously. I rather think so.

    Too bad they decided to go this direction. They look, yes, like the Evangelion statues of Rei and Asuka. Those are also beautifully sculpted, but who is served by another iteration of Rei’s pudenda and labia?

    Yet another example of why I quit. What’s the point, when it will always circle back to Default Mode Boy? When creepy men are serviced first, and everyone else has to overlook panties, crotches, cleavage, why bother?

    Sigh. Hate Comics. Well, those comics. I actually did just read a book about four attractive, smart, teeange girls, who often dressed up, and by golly, the artist got through it without a single shot of fanservice.
    That would be Breaking Up. It IS actually possible to make comics about girls and not make them creepy.

    Are you listening, DC?

  20. Hal Shipman Says:

    Holy God.

    Agreed, if it weren’t for the boobage, the Batgirl costume design is kind of neat, but it’s impossible to get past that. And as much as I like Power Girl and the white, red & blue keyhole costume, the hole should never be so big that you’d expect to see nipples.

  21. Rob (another one) Says:

    Yes, specifically, these figures are pretty cheesy.

    But when I saw them I thought “Why don’t they have mangas based on these characters? Taken out of continuity, re-origined, whatever. The designs, with a little tasteful tweaking, are good. (OK a lot of tweaking, I just looked at them again. I gotta go wash my eyes.)

    Next question: why aren’t there any indy creators coming up with thinly-veiled analogues of these characters and doing it right? Are there any? I’m not into the manga, but most seem more fantasy and magic-based than superheroey.

    I just finished ‘Batgirl: Year One’ and it seems like a no-brainer to translate into manga.

  22. Rivkah Says:

    The powergirl one creeps me out . . . it looks like a five-year-old head on a twenty-five year old body.

  23. Lea Says:

    Rob: You’d think, no? But when I talked to Dan DiDio about a Batgirl manga, he pretty much said he wanted a Batgirl manga that would lead its readers straight back to DCU.

    I seem to recall Andi Watson making a BG pitch, too.

    And this is what DC dishes out. And man, is Supergirls neck messed up or WHAT? The more I look, the less I like them, and the more I think, “If there’d just been a little restraint, these could have been REALLY cool, and not creepy.”

    But that’s like expecting Wizard to stop being a low-rent Maxim.

  24. Lisa Jonte Says:

    …I feel ill.

  25. Johanna Says:

    Rob noted that “most [manga] seem more fantasy and magic-based than superheroey”. I think there’s a reason for that — it’s a more universal, older wish. Girls, especially, dream about being fairy princesses or good witches instead of muscle-y or stripper-like power figures.

  26. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Feb. 12, 2007: Spider-Man’s radioactive sperm, and other atrocities Says:

    […] as they point at laugh at the superhero nerds — are encouraged to click this link. (Via Johanna, via […]

  27. Charles RB Says:

    Have Catwoman and Supergirl’s clothes shrunk in the wash or something? It looks like a single hard kick or run will cause their skirts to split apart. Odd way of fighting crime…

  28. Jer Says:

    Re: The Update
    These are called Ame-Comi Heroine Series. So is there a possibility of a male line as well? Something tells me that if there is, the men will be less “sex kitten” and more “ass kicking”. (And there seem to be two more new ones in the bottom corner that are uncolored, in addition to the three new ones that you mentioned).

    I’m not opposed to manga versions of the characters at all, but I’d like to see manga versions that looked more like they were trying to draw in teenagers (both girls and boys) and not draw in 30+ year old guys with a particular fetish. I don’t necessarily think you HAVE to go with a manga look to draw in new audience, but you do certainly have to be drawing something they’ll want to look at.

    And while I think caleb is right about Supergirl being slightly better than the DCU version by Michael Turner (talk about damning with faint praise, I know), the Power Girl statue is atrocious. I may not always like what they do with Power Girl in the various books she appears in, but at least she’s supposed to be a grown woman. Juvenilizing her the way they did in that figure, but leaving her large chest as is, and then sculpting a pose where she’s trying to thrust her chest out at the viewer is seriously disturbing. I think the Power Girl one is the one that creeps me out the most of all of them.

  29. Sal! Says:

    Don’t know exactly why, but these figures brought to mind the ‘BRATZ’ line of dolls. My 4 year old daughter is mildly interested in these (due to her older cousins) and it frightens me. This isn’t the image I want her growing up with. I don’t want her thinking this is how young women should dress or look like. It’s disturbing.

  30. Andre Says:

    I like the Batgirl, and see a Zatanna is underway, but Powergirl [who now that I’ve seen a better shot at the Beat does have major back issues 0_o]and Supergirl are kind of skeevy. Though they’re basically as skeevy as the current DCU versions, just with generic anime girl faces [especially on PG]….. when your basic comic versions look just like the sexy/pervy anime collector figure verisons, it might be a problem. The earlier Kia Asiyama were a bit nicer.

  31. Jonathan L. Switzer Says:

    I guess DC finally noticed all the money in creepy anime-style girl figures (see: the back of Previews EVERY. DAMN. MONTH.) and decided to go for it. I saw so many similarly appalling, vulgar figures pass through my former place of employment that I can’t even work up more than a disappointed sigh. I want anime-styled versions of these characters to be cool, not more damnable wank objects.

    Though I’ll admit, I’d almost buy the Batgirl. Really, my only problem with it is the bat insignia curving ’round the utterly ridiculous melon breasts. But boy, that costume’s neat looking … just a shame about the body filling it out.

  32. Bill D. Says:

    The person up there who compared the Supergirl figure to a stripper is dead-on. That’s totally a stripper costume there. There’s even space in the skirt’s waistband for dollar bills and everything. I hope some enterprising exotic dancer sees this figure and makes a similar outfit for herself… she’d clean up, especially if she works in a city with a major comic con at least once a year. Oy.

    Seriously, though, it makes the current DCU Supergirl outfit look positively modest.

  33. Monk Says:

    Yeah, yeah, outrage and all that . . .

    Anyone else think Batgirl look’s like she’s disco-dancing?

  34. Lea Says:

    Monk: Yeah! She’s doing a move that was called “picking stars.”

  35. Josie Says:

    Reminds me of an MST 3K episode. I can’t remember the film, but a woman was doing a slinky dance in one of those poses and Crow was singing “Lookie, lookie, lookie! Look at my torso!”

  36. James Schee Says:

    Of course it isn’t just the Anime versions that ar ehead scratchers, though this one makes me wonder at the camera person too:

    http://www.wizarduniverse.com/magazine/toyfare/003432582.cfm?popup=3

  37. Lea Says:

    Makes me wonder where the Joker is looking. Naughty Joker.

  38. Vic Vega Says:

    I actually like the Catwoman one. I don’t think it looks anything like her but I still like it.

    As for the other figs, especially Powergirl, well kudos to D.C. for making something that is actually CREEPIER than the Negima and Evangelion fetish stuff.

    Who do they think will buy this stuff? And will it be put in brown paper bags on sale?

  39. Blog@Newsarama » Matty told Hatty about a thing she saw. Had two big horns and a wooly jaw. Says:

    […] I almost forgot the other bit of controversy that Johanna spotted. This post about the DC Anime Influenced toys seems to be bringing in a lot of comments against the figures. Me? I don’t see the figures as […]

  40. Tommy Says:

    Sal mentioned those godawful Bratz dolls. Just about every little girl in my daughters kindergarten class has some of these and I have done everything in my power to explain to Mackenzie why I won’t let her have them. When we pass the aisle in the store she always says “I can’t have those”. It seems a little mean to deny a 5 year old a doll but I MORE than make up for it with gobs and gobs of art supplies. When she grows up and draws Supergirl it will be a book worth reading.

  41. Lea Says:

    I thought whenI grew up, I’d draw Batgirl. If you’re gonna withold Bratz, aim higher than Supergirl, too.

    Because DC’s demonstrated no intent whatsoever in having anyone make a Supergirl or Batgirl worth reading.

  42. shannon Says:

    well…i am getting the supergirl…think it is so cool

  43. Dennis Says:

    I think Power Girl had two soccer balls painted a flesh color, and then glued to her chest. I like the Batgirl though, awesome uniform, and hardly showing any skin! It’s like sex appeal, without being overtly sexual! By the by, I never knew that Selina had to be forced into prostitution to get by.




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