Is DC Super Hero Girls a failure?

LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,520
Just wondering if this line has been a poor seller for Lego in view of the fact that not only the first wave from January but now also the June wave have been available at 50% off (in the UK anyway) from many retailers recently. 
The fact that a line has been reduced so heavily so quickly reminds me of the last wave of Hobbit sets which were similarly discounted at an early date, and that theme died a death soon thereafter. It would seem like this line hasn't been given much of a chance though if this really is a sign of it ending. 

Overall I think the Super Hero Girls sets were actually OK, had interesting parts and designs but in my opinion lacked a bit of the charm and detail of Friends, Disney and Elves. The RRPs were not that crazy either, with many sets below £30. The figures were decent too, though as with other minidoll themes there are never enough,  and in general I prefer minifigures and would just rather see more female oriented minifigure sets in the DC Superheroes offerings. 

What are your thoughts of the range? Do you think the line is ending? If so, why? 
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Comments

  • WhiteDoveWhiteDove AustraliaMember Posts: 69
    I don't know if the line is ending, but I can say that my kids have never seen the TV show for this range, and (perhaps because of that) weren't remotely interested in the sets.

    I liked that set in the first wave with the dark nougat and pink building, but as you say they just aren't detailed enough yet the price was high due, presumably, to the licensing fee. So I wouldn't be surprised if the line ends. I am tempted by the black castle that was recently reviewed on Brickset though, that looked great!
    gmonkey76
  • rawbobrawbob UKMember Posts: 516

    I believe it has been cancelled. Toysrus staff confirmed it if I recall correctly. The first wave was discounted quite early too so it may not be over yet!

    I thought the builds look good but I don't like minidolls. They look cheap.

    I have all the sets for my daughter stashed away as she is getting them

    Wave 1 birthday

    Wave 2 Christmas


  • Toc13Toc13 Member Posts: 1,048
    edited August 2017
    Lego have their own SHG film being released shortly  (as opposed to the previous animation style). This doesn't seem the action of a company about to end a line, so I'm cautious about taking the word of a random employee of a different company ( there's been no official word, just a manager in a shop saying so)

    The second wave isn't as interesting to either me or my eldest daughter as most of the minidolls are just minor costume changes, so even with the heavy discount I'm still only going to get the three new ones (Flash, Mad Harriet & Eclipso)
    There's plenty of core characters still to draw on- Katana being the obvious omission but I'd expect to see Beast Boy, Hawkgirl, Frost, Starfire & Cheetah given the ranges currently available from other toy companies involved.

    As for minifigs versus minidolls, that argument has been hashed over so many times & usually comes down to the personal preference of the poster. The market research shows that the target demographic tends to prefer minidolls.

    Wrt the cartoon, it's shifting away from short webisodes to longer format part-written by Lauren Faust so I'd expect it to become a lot more visible
    LostInTranslationsnowhitiemak0137brickventures
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,779
    I find they are overpriced at RRP. While the sets are reasonably cheap, they appear poor value compared to similar priced Friends and Elves sets. This is based on both minidoll count and the build. I also think the material is not so well known (based on my sample of one girl! so that is probably due to her young age) compared to regular Super Hero material. I think also the minidoll does sort of rule out boys being interested in them as they cannot be mixed with the Super Hero sets. I wonder here if the minidoll is a failure - not because it is bad per se, but because it rules out mixing Super Heroes with Super Hero Girls and thus does cut down the audience. I have no problem with the minidoll for Friends or Elves (I quite like them).

    LostInTranslationmak0137
  • gmonkey76gmonkey76 ChicagoMember Posts: 1,443
    Not a fan of the Minidolls, but for parts they have a few good hairdos/headgear. The builds are so so, but again good part packs on discount.
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,214
    My suspicion is that LEGO got a bit screwed over on source material. They were quite late to releasing DC Superhero Girls toys compared to the other toy makers she took up the licence.

    The comparison to the hobbit is interesting because I think LEGO got screwed by the last minute change from 2 to 3 films as well.

    I'm always cautious of using discounts as indication of sales as discounts are often the result of a store/company's purchasing and stock control. It does always seem a little suspect when multiple shops offer deep discounts at the same time, but equally we live in a time where it is incredibly easy for companies to watch their competitors prices and react accordingly.

    For what it's worth I think the theme has a lot going for it. Some of the designs could have done with a bit of refinement but on the whole the sets I built I've enjoyed.

    one further note on if this was a failure - WB & DC started the franchise to try to get more girls interested in their superhero franchises. With that in mind I'd imagine the companies that bought into the licence were probably given better terms than normal.


    LostInTranslationpreverechuckp
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 5,821
    I have noticed that not just the Lego sets but everything SHG branded seems to be doing poorly. Several shops I have been in have had ridiculous amounts of dolls and other toys marked down 50-75% off and still no signs of selling.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,905
    Toc13 said:
    Lego have their own SHG film being released shortly  (as opposed to the previous animation style). This doesn't seem the action of a company about to end a line, so I'm cautious about taking the word of a random employee of a different company ( there's been no official word, just a manager in a shop saying so)

    You have to remember that the companion media has to be put in production months (or years) in advance of the initial release of the toys - assuming there is a partnership to produce certain toys in conjunction with the release of the initial media.  (In this case, the television show.) 

    Consumers want a steady stream of new content - so it wouldn't surprise me that there are other projects in the pipe that may be released well after Lego has pulled the plug on the theme.  Or other projects that are cancelled mid-production and we never hear about it.

    Reminds me of the last wave of Agents sets that only made it to the US market, and never materialized in Europe of elsewhere.

  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 1,625
    In my opinion, yes. 
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,520
    edited August 2017
    Sorry for the clickbaity thread name. Just wanted to avoid a boring "General DC Super Hero Girls discussion" title :-)
    Interesting to hear the different views though! 
    ShibToc13snowhitie
  • JenniJenni JapanMember Posts: 1,382
    I wonder if this is a regional thing. I've just begun to find clearance SHG sets as stores prepare for the new wave but some stores have only discounted one or two sets. Lashina's tank seems to be the worst seller which makes sense because who would choose her over Supergirl or Wonder Woman?

    I do think they're less appealing to adult builders than Elves or even Friends, they don't seem like good parts packs.
    LostInTranslation
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,905
    Oh, and as an aside, considering we don't have any idea what the internal expectations for the theme - including profit margins, production numbers, licensing fees, and the sales figures (versus production numbers), unless Lego downplays the success of the theme, we'll really never know.

    (If there ends up being no Wave 3, or the primary cartoon gets cancelled - that'll be a good indicator.)

    This is a company that was going to originally cancel Ninjago at the 'natural end' of its run as a theme.  But instead, I'm going to be building a beautiful boat next month and a highly anticipated movie is being released later in the year.  
    Toc13lentilLostInTranslationgmonkey76sid3windrsnowhitie
  • lentillentil WisconsinMember Posts: 53
    I purchased the Super Hero High School and Wonder Woman Dorm Room for my daughter, because I thought both were pretty cute. Honestly she thinks they're just ok, and she and her friends have not been as interested in playing with them compared to her Elves and old Harry Potter sets. So the Superhero theme just does not seem to have the same appeal among young girls, in our nabe at least. The sets themselves are pretty good imho - nice colors, good graphic design, and somewhat different from the usual fare. The little Wonder Woman set in particular is pure eye candy.
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 1,196
    I like the mini dolls but I wasn't excited by the sets - from a play feature point of view. Lots of bits and bobs that were just stand alone (like Wonder Woman's bedroom). I also saw some of the cartoon on TV - it was rubbish. And my daughter thought so too - she likes things like that usually. Perhaps they should of done a Totally Spies range instead!! 
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,950
    My daughter is a huge super hero fan. We honestly were both excited when we heard DC Super Hero Girls was coming out. It sounded like such a great concept and fit. 

    Then I saw the line of dolls at Target. 

    It was a complete let down, and I knew my daughter would feel the same. (She did.)

    There is no question that the line was skewed very young. While something like Monster High (when it first came out), had dolls that looked older, and new, and slightly edgy, Super Hero girls looked like it was targted towards your average 6 year old. The size of the dolls, faces, color... all just skewed the line very young. Basically, my huge super Hero fan wanted nothing to do with the line, and I did not blame her. 

    Now... as to how it is doing... the line did win an action figure award.
    http://www.dccomics.com/blog/2017/02/22/mattel-wins-action-figure-toy-of-the-year-award-for-dc-super-hero-girls

    Looking at the Mattel Q1/Q2 earning transcripts, though, there is really no mention of the line at all. The good part is that it is not doing as bad as other lines like Monster High, AG or Mega. Of course, not being mentioned means it is also not flying off the shelves.

    I do not know I would say it is a failure, but I do feel it is the weakest of the lines targeted towards girls, and I do feel it is better to get out of this and move into a better franchise.  I did finally buy one set, but only because the high school was marked to $30. I have no plans of buying more. 

    catwrangler
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 2,835
    You can't get away from the fact that Marvel is far more popular than DC (Batman excepted).

    I bought all the sets at half price, would never have paid much more than that for them.
  • Toc13Toc13 Member Posts: 1,048
    It's made my daughter a lot more aware of who the various superheroes are, I consider that a success
    Jennicatwranglermaaaaaaa
  • SeanTheCollectorSeanTheCollector BirminghamMember Posts: 752
    I was told by a Toys R Us store manager that the line was cancelled and that lego had requested they discount the stock to clear it from shelves. I'm not sure if they are getting some kind of rebate on stock already purchased?
  • blade_guyblade_guy Member Posts: 193
    I'm in Germany at the moment where the second wave aren't in stock anywhere. I've asked in a few stores and been told they aren't getting them. The Polish catalogue for the second year half doesn't even have them in at all. It's like they never existed.
  • gmonkey76gmonkey76 ChicagoMember Posts: 1,443
    Target reset the lego aisle by me recently. Wave 2 of the sets are out. Some of the wave 1 sets that were on clearance are back to full price, but others are gone.
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,876
    Super Heroes in general via Lego or movies or tv is getting to be too much over-saturation for me. SHG got cannibalized by TLBM and the other DC offerings.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,905
    I was told by a Toys R Us store manager that the line was cancelled and that lego had requested they discount the stock to clear it from shelves.
    Frankly, I think TRU people have less information than Lego Store employees. Other than the plan-o-grams and periodic section resets, there is little advance information.

    TRU does not have a buy-back arrangement with Lego.  That's why some of the sets (Chima!) stay on the shelves for years after retirement.
    gmonkey76prevereCM4Sstluxsnowhitiecatwrangler
  • LEGO_Dad77LEGO_Dad77 Northeastern CaliforniaMember Posts: 243
    I'd buy Super Hero Girls, Elves, Friends, all the minidoll stuff, IF they had been packed with minifigures instead. I like my entire collection matching, and have MANY female minifigures. The minidolls just don't fit imo. Plus they're even less articulated, which I don't get at ALL.
  • Penkid11Penkid11 Member Posts: 781
    Well when you create a theme that is consistently $5-$10 more expensive than they have any right to be, they tend to be discounted heavily.

    I also don't understand why people haven't been talking about this sooner. My local Lego Store has had these sets on 20% markdown permanently for more than 4 months!
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,214
    prevere said:
    Super Heroes in general via Lego or movies or tv is getting to be too much over-saturation for me. SHG got cannibalized by TLBM and the other DC offerings.
    This was also on my mind, there's so much similar content that LEGO are putting themselves in major competition with themselves.
  • HanzoHanzo VAMember Posts: 607
    I can only offer my anecdotal evidence, but my 5 year old daughter passes by all the superhero girl stuff and heads straight to Friends or Elves.  The only exception is Harley Quinn sets, she has asked for those.
  • LuLegoLuLego UKMember Posts: 930
    Hanzo said:
    I can only offer my anecdotal evidence, but my 5 year old daughter passes by all the superhero girl stuff and heads straight to Friends or Elves.  The only exception is Harley Quinn sets, she has asked for those.
    Same here. My daughter just had her 8th birthday and we are big super hero fans in our house. We have to buy duplicates of female Marvel and DC character minifigures as my daughter frequently takes an interest.

    she was so excited when the series was announced...

    But we haven't bought a single DC girl set. Even at half price and a pocket full of birthday money, she still doesn't want them.

    She can't explain why they are so unappealing.

    There's something about Harley Quinn that everyone loves!
    Hanzo
  • monkey_roomonkey_roo Member Posts: 1,360
    Don't know about success or failour, but my nine year old likes the sets and the dolls, but more broadly she enjoys reading the half dozen or so comic books and the three or four novels that are already out, the toys a good and all, but at its heart it is still a comic book and in that form it seems to be doing well enough.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,702
    Can't imagine why anyone would consider them a flop.
  • monkey_roomonkey_roo Member Posts: 1,360
    Kinda agree, there are pre-orders for books going through to mid 2018 right now so clearly there is continued investment in the theme as a whole.

    i think the first wave of Lego sets are discounted to clear way for the new stuff, nothing more. The second wave has some nice looking bits in it, the castle is lovely and the little Harley dorm that clips onto the high school from the first wave is fun.

    more books to come, a Lego specific film, more animated films etc. etc. I can see a third wave of Lego sets for next year, certainly hope so.
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,174
    I collect all the Lego Super Heroes minifigures, but I have no interest in the DC Girls line. I'm an adult male, not Lego's target audience, and my 2 boys have no interest, so I consider that a fail. 

    I wonder why Lego didn't do a SDCC mini doll raffle to get some buzz? It probably wouldn't have helped since they did Bionicles and Hobbit and those lines died within a year.
  • monkey_roomonkey_roo Member Posts: 1,360
    Whatever the reason, all sets are 50% off on Amazon, just grabbed all of wave two :)
    Legoboy
  • HanzoHanzo VAMember Posts: 607
    Whatever the reason, all sets are 50% off on Amazon, just grabbed all of wave two :)
    Not seeing any pricing like that, you in the US?
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,520
    It's in the UK @Hanzo
  • monkey_roomonkey_roo Member Posts: 1,360
    Yeah, UK, should have said.
  • paulmisonpaulmison Member Posts: 35
    edited September 2018
    I hope nobody minds me reviving this thread, but I just watched Super Villain High movie that came out in May, now it's on Netflix in the US. I wonder whether the characters portrayed - including Catwoman, Frost, Jessica Cruz, and Cyborg - would have appeared in another wave? There are also a bunch of vehicles, generally in the last 20 minutes, that seem built to be produced as sets, including a mech for Lena Luthor (what is it with Luthors and mechs??), and a nice little jet for Cyborg.

    I can't say I did much to stop the theme dying - I bought a few sets on heavy discount, although none of the larger ones - but it still feels like a bit of a shame these vehicles never got made. On the other hand, at least the film means they can be reverse engineered, if anyone cares enough.
  • Toc13Toc13 Member Posts: 1,048
    There's also a couple more films, including one with Mera who does seem to be being pushed in other media.
    The theme is still going & quite well from what I can see but for some reason Lego don't appear to be involved (despite doing multiple films)
  • KaitchKaitch N. IrelandMember Posts: 372
    I am female, and a superhero fan. I have a knee-jerk repugnance towards SHG, because it feels like they've given up on trying to make female-friendly mainstream stuff, and have decided to pat us on the head and go play with our own special toys. Which then also has the implication that they're going to be sloppy with the mainstream stuff, rather than trying to be all-inclusive. Meanwhile, I despise the idea that only boys like superheroes.

    This is a personal hangup I have, so don't take it too much to heart. I have a similar opinion of SW Forces of Destiny.

    Also, as I understand it, the idea is that all the female superheroes are going to high school together. That is what is known as a "bad fanfic trope". It is bad, because I have never seen any version of it that works. So I think that the whole concept of SHG was awful, and am more amazed the TLG managed to shift any of the drekk at all.
    paulmisondmcc0catwrangler
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,950
    My issue and my kids issue....the entire theme was geared towards a young age. By that, I mine the entire DCSH theme, not just Lego. When Monster High came out, the dolls were unique and edgy and appealed to a slightly older kid. This theme... everything looked like it was geared towards 6-8 years of age max. My kiddo loves superheroes, and when we finally saw the products at the store, we both had a very negative reaction and were very disappointed. It was not at all what we expected it to be.

    Our issue, was never about Lego, but the theme as a whole. 
    gmonkey76catwrangler
  • LyichirLyichir United StatesMember Posts: 723
    Kaitch said:
    I am female, and a superhero fan. I have a knee-jerk repugnance towards SHG, because it feels like they've given up on trying to make female-friendly mainstream stuff, and have decided to pat us on the head and go play with our own special toys. Which then also has the implication that they're going to be sloppy with the mainstream stuff, rather than trying to be all-inclusive. Meanwhile, I despise the idea that only boys like superheroes.

    This is a personal hangup I have, so don't take it too much to heart. I have a similar opinion of SW Forces of Destiny.

    Also, as I understand it, the idea is that all the female superheroes are going to high school together. That is what is known as a "bad fanfic trope". It is bad, because I have never seen any version of it that works. So I think that the whole concept of SHG was awful, and am more amazed the TLG managed to shift any of the drekk at all.
    I would think that the current Star Wars saga and its plentiful female representation should be evidence enough that Forces of Destiny hasn't been an excuse to ease up on representation in the main media or its associated merchandising.

    Marvel has a similar new animated series/comic coming out called Marvel Rising that has a line of dolls/action figures produced by Hasbro. While DC Super Hero Girls' disappointing results for Lego may well ensure we don't get similar sets for this new Marvel series, I like to hope that at the very least, great characters featured in the show like Squirrel Girl or America Chavez might find their way into other Super Heroes sets thanks to the more prominent spotlight.
    Toc13Aanchir
  • Toc13Toc13 Member Posts: 1,048
    My girls are within the demographic (well, the older one is, my middle one is a bit younger but has taken to it).
    They prefer minidolls. Not sure why. There were only a couple in the house when they started playing with Lego & vastly outnumbered by minifigs. Now they're probably about 40-50%. They're quite happy to mix the two.
    They have, however commented on the lack of male minidolls. I think we currently have 3 (although a couple more are on their way)

    Forces of Destiny- they've not seen any of the animation but do have several of the dolls. Mostly because they've picked up on my love of Star Wars & have been introduced to the films at an early age (& had lightsaber fights from the age of 2)

    DCSHG - They like watching the cartoon & have a couple of the films. They also have some of the dolls. They like playing with the High School & the vehicles.
    Probably the biggest thing to come from it has been their introduction to Superheroes generally & it has kindled a big interest in that (& not just the characters from DCSHG).
    It has also led to arguments with some of their female friends who are still of the opinion that superheroes are for boys (Given my older two were wearing a Captain America & a Spiderman t-shirt at the time, I think the argument was fairly short-lived)

    I've been keeping an eye out for the Marvel Rising stuff- saw issue #1 in a local comic shop yesterday. I'm a bit torn as I'm not a fan of Squirrel Girl but Captain Marvel is up there as one of my favourites
    catwranglersnowhitie
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,803
    It's possible that one thing that may have held DC Super Hero Girls back from lasting success is that compared to America, some of LEGO's big markets like Germany and China have both a lower general interest in the superhero genre AND more traditional attitudes towards kids' gender roles. So superhero-themed action toys targeted at girls have both those factors working against them.
    catwrangler
  • CaptainRogersCaptainRogers Greensboro, NCMember Posts: 734
    I often saw them at a steep discount here in the USA. I only picked up a few myself becuase they were often 65%-80% off. So I'd say yes, this line was a failure.
    gmonkey76
  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,782
    Interesting discussion. I was happy to hear about the theme when it came out, but I think @Kaitch has a point about how it might inadvertently reinforce the idea that other superhero stuff, in general, is just for boys. I wonder if girls felt pandered to by it, or if girls who were never going to be superhero fans (or, not at the age where they want to play with the various toys on offer) just didn't buy into it. I dunno, sometimes you just can't make 'fetch' happen. 

    I haven't seen the cartoon or comics so can't comment on those, but I've noticed that superhero stuff done well will appeal to kids regardless of gender - obviously I was once such a kid, but re: the present generation I'm thinking particularly of my friend's 7-year-old who I'd always thought of as quite traditional in her interests (and not due to any insistence by her parents), but who has recently got really into superheroes thanks to watching Teen Titans Go. She's also starting to be super into Lego, after previously being lukewarm, so that warms my heart and she may get some DC SHG sets for her upcoming birthday...

  • MrJacksonMrJackson Member Posts: 322
    I can tell you that when I worked at Lego, we sold very, very few DC Superhero Girls.  The kids who were the target audience for the line gravitated toward Friends sets, and, to a lesser degree, Elves.  In my experience Elves didn't see as well as I would have thought, which is surprising as I think some of the sets in the line are really, really cool.  We had some of the DCSHG sets on shelves for literally months. Regardless of which wave, none of them moved. Between that and Nexo Knights, I can see why profits were down last year. 
    gmonkey76SumoLegocatwrangler
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,905
    Overall, I think it was a failure - as the action figures and dolls did not sell well.  I think one could have purchased the entire doll line at TRU for under $50.00.
  • monkey_roomonkey_roo Member Posts: 1,360
    Not sure the entire line was a failure. the novels and comics have gone down quite well (I think). there are still fresh publications coming out, so maybe not an entire fail.
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,467
    Of course, the original question posed was whether it has been a failure for TLG. I feel like there’s a consensus that is true.
    CaptainRogers
  • CM4SCM4S United StatesMember Posts: 1,290
    They're also like rebooting the entire show so all the stuff LEGO'd put out would be inaccurate in a year and by then it'd be too late
    AanchirAyliffestarwars4ever
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,439
    If by failure you mean the sales aren't where LEGO hoped they'd be, I would agree.

    But the fact that they actually created a Friends version of Super Hero females would be a "win" in my book.
    sid3windrryjay
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