Have you seen this year’s big holiday toy craze, Mattel’s “Monster High” dolls? These things actually crept onto the market more than a year ago, but it took awhile for them to really take off. The concept is this: a group of orginal (mostly female) teen characters who are supposed to be the second-generation offspring of famous monster characters-or at least archtypes. The 12-inch dolls are cute and creepy at the same time, and pretty nicely designed. When I first saw them last year, I wondered if the Mattel folks hadn’t miscalculated badly and come up with something that would miss the mainstream and appeal only to the collector’s market. A lot of other so-called “experts” among retail buyers and chain-store magnates originally had the same thought (“Little girls won’t want this SPOOKY stuff.”), but once the marketing machine (starting out with little on-minute animated freebies on YouTube last year to two animated TV specials this year, leading to a live-action theatrical movie next year, but no comic book in sight so far )) got cranked up, all were proved wrong.
Older (and male) collectors covet these things, but the 6-11 year old girls are snapping them up at an incredible rate. I’d tell any of you who are FEMFORCE fans to go check them out at your local Target, Wal-Mart or Toys ‘R Us, but right about now the shelves are BARE, and most retailers seem to be having a hard time keeping them in stock. We at AC always felt that there was a little more range to the youth female market than just pink and frilly stuff, and the Monster High franchise seems to be proving it. Now if only some foreward-thinking toy company would bankroll a line similar to this that focuses on SUPERHEROINE characters instead of monsters (maybe some franchise that ALREADY HAS a long-running comic book?), I know a small group of talented creators who could supply the graphics, comics, videos (live-action and animated) and toy sculpts as sweat-equity. Any takers out there?