Barbie Turns Superhero After Magical Butterfly Kiss

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Barbie Turns Superhero After Magical Butterfly Kiss

Mattel has announced Super Sparkle, a new superhero Barbie that the toy maker hopes will "inspire girls."

The Barbie brand and I have never been friends. Even considering Mattel's occasional efforts to make the doll line a more positive force for young girls, there's just something about it that's always rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it's just its commitment to the world's most disgusting shades of pink. Sincerely, what is it with toy makers and having to wrap "girl toys" in the most putrid colors ever devised? Are they part of a conspiracy or something to gradually destroy the vision of the world's female population with overloads of pastel?

Whatever shenanigans Mattel and its cohorts are up to, there are a few things I can think of that might make up for it. Standing tall at the top of the list? Giving Barbie superpowers.

According to a recent reveal at the Nuremberg Toy Fair, that's exactly what's going to happen. The product of a magical butterfly kiss, Barbie's new alter-ego Super Sparkle will be able to tap into super strength and flight abilities to fight crime and "inspire girls." That, at least, is the hope of Lori Pantel, vice president of global brand marketing for the Barbie brand. "The world of superheroes has historically been tailored to boys where the good guys beat the bad guys," said Pantel. "But we know that girls, too, enjoy empowered heroes but seek an outcome where the perceived bad characters transform to good and friendship is the lasting result. We thought it was time they were inspired by a new superhero that is playful, has extraordinary abilities and also uses her powers of forgiveness and friendship to defeat her foe - in a way that only Barbie can."

While I'm still not a fan of all the pink (it exists in more subtle tones guys), I will say that I appreciate the sentiments behind Super Sparkle. Granted, not all of the Mattel's female friendly Barbies have worked out perfectly in the past. That said, you have to at least give the company some credit for trying. Barbie fans interested in buying the new Super Sparkle doll will be able to find it in stores beginning in February.

Source: Huffington Post

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I'll wait for the gritty Nolan reboot where the Barbie Dream Car comes with a chaingun.

Besides the shitty character designs and animation and voice acting in the trailer,

"But we know that girls, too, enjoy empowered heroes but seek an outcome where the perceived bad characters transform to good and friendship is the lasting result. We thought it was time they were inspired by a new superhero that is playful, has extraordinary abilities and also uses her powers of forgiveness and friendship to defeat her foe - in a way that only Barbie can."

is total bullshit. Because Nanoha already did the shit out of this premise and is a far better role model for young girls than Barbie.

image

You're gonna get befriended. You're.

So they hope to inspire girls while obviously keeping with gender norms of girls liking everything princessey/sparkles and butterflies?

I mean, I know it's not supposed to appeal to my demographic but does it have to be so... that?

Wait this is going to be a MOVIE?? Like... In actual cinemas??

Oh shit... That's HILARIOUS

StewShearer:
"But we know that girls, too, enjoy empowered heroes but seek an outcome where the perceived bad characters transform to good and friendship is the lasting result.

Looks like somebody needs a subscription to Shonen Jump...

So a bunch of feminist-marxists that think they idealistically know what's best for society are obviously going to hate on this movie because no girl ever should like pink and butterflies. Only when boys like this stuff and form a subculture, it's okay and check your cis-priviege.

StewShearer:

"But we know that girls, too, enjoy empowered heroes but seek an outcome where the perceived bad characters transform to good and friendship is the lasting result.

So, a: Barbie's enemies won't actually be villains, presumably because Barbie couldn't handle that, and
b: We're reinforcing the 'women love to fix broken or bad men' trope? We're teaching little girls that if a man (or woman) is cruel, malicious or violent to them, it's nothing a bright smile and persistent affection can't fix?

We thought it was time they were inspired by a new superhero that is playful, has extraordinary abilities and also uses her powers of forgiveness and friendship to defeat her foe - in a way that only Barbie can."

Okay, so I'm picturing Batman using the power of forgiveness and friendship (and possibly the Bat Hug) to defeat The Joker and I have to admit...

It's pretty awesome.

But yeah, no. Empowered? Inspiring? Superhero? No. This is just more of the same Stepford Barbie. It doesn't matter if she's a mermaid, a fairy, a princess or a cape-wearing cosplayer, this is just the same show rolled out again. I'd lay money on 'Super Barbie' still solving her problems by asking her guy friends to do it for her.

Last desperate attempt to keep Barbie relevant. We don't need Barbie any more.

Pairing "Nuremberg Toy Fair" with this brings up some weird connotations.

If only Super Barbie had been there decades earlier to use her powers of forgiveness and friendship on those characters perceived as Nazi bad guys.

As with pretty much all things Barbie, I will not be buying this for my daughters. There are far too many better options.

And yet, it's still the exact same Barbie movie that they've been releasing for the past decade or so.

Its weird that we already have something that did this much better and with magical multicolored talking horses and they knew when to stop talking about friendship and start just smashing shit.

The first thing that came to mind after reading that is My Little Pony FiM and Twilight Sparkle.

I wonder how bad this movie will be at portraying stuff.

Barbie has taken up almost any career or role imaginable. I'm actually kind of surprised "super hero" wasn't among them before, but then I don't usually try to keep up with... that.

weirdly she looks like my boss from saints row 4, so i was waiting for barbie to beat someone to death with a giant sex toy in that trailer

Worgen:
Its weird that we already have something that did this much better and with magical multicolored talking horses and they knew when to stop talking about friendship and start just smashing shit.

And they're making a spin-off comic all about that now too.
It's great, if that train keeps rolling Hasbro might start bringing out Toys of them as well :P

So superheronies like Wonder Woman, Zantana, She Hulk Catwoman and Ms Marvel (well Captain Marvel) etc are no longer good role models for little girls now?

I will point out with glee that this headline appears in the Popular Forum Posts box as "Barbie Turns Superhero After Magical Butt"..

..after magical butt does what? The intrigue!

Teoes:
I will point out with glee that this headline appears in the Popular Forum Posts box as "Barbie Turns Superhero After Magical Butt"..

..after magical butt does what? The intrigue!

I actually came here to post this same thing.
I was all intrigued because I just got "Magical Butt?! WHAT IS BARBIE DOING WITH MAGIC BUTTS. I MUST KNOW"
And then I was disappointed by the full thread title.

All hail Jesse Cox, prophet of the Space Butterfly, for he has forseen and fortold this.

Scarim Coral:
So superheronies like Wonder Woman, Zantana, She Hulk Catwoman and Ms Marvel (well Captain Marvel) etc are no longer good role models for little girls now?

Oh, lots of people would argue that they aren't. Wonder Woman, for example, started off rathee dodgy, all she did was get tied up.

Oh, and Zatanna gets angry with people calling her Zantana. New52 did not do her character any good, anyway.

You know, it isn't the pink or 'girlness' that has me irritated, it's rather the approach to it. o.O If they were going to go with the whole Girl Empowering Superhero, they could at least have taken a more earnest approach to it than this.

1) Magical Butterfly Kiss. Now, butterfly-related powers, okay, (not sure about them having super strength and agility, but OKAY,) the issue here is rather that it literally sounds like the premise of a superhero a sarcastic ten year old boy would make to belittle his sister. "Oh, YOU want to play superheroes, Susie? What do you think you're going to be?! Oh, I know, how about Princess Power, Kissed By A Magical Butterfly?! SUPER SPARKLE TIME, YOU DWEEB!" This sounds so much like a parody, I double checked the article to make sure it WASN'T a parody, because it basically took Radioactive Spider Bite and tried to 'girl it up' as much as possible. o_o Seriously, if you're going for the whole pink princess demographic, go for something that at least fits into the aesthetic, like a good witch or fairy godmother or some other tall tale mumbo jumbo. This is just so clumsy it kind of hurts to watch.

2) As has been mentioned, the whole 'forgiveness' thing is pretty corny, and yeah, having a Barbie movie where the heroine busts heads rather than, I dunno, super-forgives would probably be a bit out there, but that just kind of makes this thing scream 'Hey, we noticed all those superhero films are super popular, TIME TO CASH IN!' while completely missing the elements that actually made such stories compelling in the first place. Still, this might surprise by tackling the issue of the irredeemable opponent, the guy who is simply a big ol' bastard and can't be changed no matter how many times you try to hug him with the power of friendship. o.o All considered, that's a lesson that COULD use getting across; heck, toss in a redeemed villain, and an irredeemable villain, to balance out of the message. ....but I swear to God, if all the major adversaries in this end up getting 'Redeemed' through the binding ties of love, I am going to facepalm so hard.

3) This part actually really irritates me, from the trailer, where she announces "I'm going to save people, blah blah blah, just like a real superhero.' The reason it bugs me is that it just seems kind of backhanded way of suggesting that, despite the fact that she has powers, and apparently will be going around doing superhero-y things, she will only be 'like a real superhero,' not actually, well, a superhero. o.O Anyone who told Wonder Woman, to her fictional face, 'Hey, you're like a real superhero!' would be fictitiously kicked through the nearest wall. The last time I saw an attitude like that was the Powerpuff Girls episode featuring the 'We're Totally Not Tongue In Cheek Superfriends Impersonators,' wherein the big, manly superheroes talked down to the cute wittwe girls who wanted to join their super serious group... and that was a parody that ended with the Powerpuff Girls pretty much out-heroing all of them.

Uh, well...They have their hearts in the right place, certainly. I can see the execution being a bit problematic, though.

Like others have said, My Little Pony and Powerpuff Girls have done this before, and they did a good job with it, too. (I, too, am a little bit surprised that Barbie is getting a super hero alter-ego just now. It seems kinda obvious, actually) I mean, many girls like pink and butterflies, so I don't find the choice of color too iffy. I guess it's just because pink is pretty much a good word to use for Barbie. Everything about her is pink. Everything I remember about her is pink. Pink dress, pink ribbons, pink shoes, pink accessories. Nothing wrong with that, though.

I guess the bit that most people are going to have opinions about is the "Befriending villains" bit, as if a girl super hero shouldn't resort to violence or something. (The MCs in Totally Spies beat the shit out of pretty much everybody, so I don't think violence should be problematic. Then again, the spies weren't super heroes, so maybe that's a different story?) But it might be a bit too early to tell, considering that the movie has hardly started getting produced yet. Barbie bringing out the ol' fisticuffs would be kinda sweet, though. (I really like saying "though", it seems)

If they could combine that with the friendship bit, it might not turn out too bad. Teaching people that they shouldn't be afraid to resort to violence if they need to, but that it might not solve everything all the time. Isn't that a good moral?

small:
weirdly she looks like my boss from saints row 4, so i was waiting for barbie to beat someone to death with a giant sex toy in that trailer

Dude, I would watch the shit out of a Barbie movie if this happened in it.

I click on one god damn video linked by the escapist and it still won't leave my recommendations. God fucking damn it, Google are a bunch of jizz stains.

Well now that i'm back here, might as well say something on topic. It looks like a shit disney movie rip-off. Just another "Barbie does X". I don't think it's immoral like some others have mentioned, I just think it looks second rate.

Absolutionis:
So a bunch of feminist-marxists that think they idealistically know what's best for society are obviously going to hate on this movie because no girl ever should like pink and butterflies. Only when boys like this stuff and form a subculture, it's okay and check your cis-priviege.

Pretty much this.

It's kind of hysterical the hoops that some people will jump through to pretend that there are no differences between the genders and what they like or want out of life and it's all just culture. Regardless of how many times they're proven wrong, they just have to keep insisting that we're all noble savages that just need to be civilized.

So she was already a princess to begin with?

Eh, it's a start.

This has just reminded me that i still need to play lollipop chainsaw, for some reason!
Hmm i wonder if they would Bayonetta Barbie her up? All they need now is the ridiculous attire and many angry angels trying to kill her.

*Sparkle time!!!*

Absolutionis:
So a bunch of feminist-marxists that think they idealistically know what's best for society are obviously going to hate on this movie because no girl ever should like pink and butterflies. Only when boys like this stuff and form a subculture, it's okay and check your cis-priviege.

I feel like you're talking about bronies here, and if that's true, then you are way off on what the extremist feminist types think of them. To be blunt, the louder elements out there hate bronies with a fiery passion and think they are hijacking the show from the intended young girl audience, there are a few lengthy rants out there from small time blogs that are pretty much convinced that bronies are the worst thing to ever exist on the internet.

Whilst there have been some feminist writers out there that praise the cross gender appeal of the show, they are usually the more moderate types, and thus aren't really against girls liking the color pink and butterflies, they usually only rail against the idea that there needs to be pink butterfly sparkles everywhere otherwise girls won't watch it. Sort of like how thinking the number of Call of Duty clones out there is too much, doesn't mean you think the genre of modern military shooters in and of itself can never be used again.

Jake Martinez:

Pretty much this.

It's kind of hysterical the hoops that some people will jump through to pretend that there are no differences between the genders and what they like or want out of life and it's all just culture. Regardless of how many times they're proven wrong, they just have to keep insisting that we're all noble savages that just need to be civilized.

I'm curious what elements in this Barbie superhero movie you think are inherent to what the female gender wants out of life? I don't really see anything in the posted trailer that seems to be trying to appeal to something unique to the female gender, unless you think the color pink and butterflies are inherently appealing to girls. You seem to just be using this topic to soapbox about a pet peeve of yours, but maybe there is something I missed in this trailer.

Pink?! It's salmon. It's obviously salmon. And "magical butterfly kiss"... well, still more believable than Twilight.

Teoes:
I will point out with glee that this headline appears in the Popular Forum Posts box as "Barbie Turns Superhero After Magical Butt"..

..after magical butt does what? The intrigue!

...now that's a movie I'd go see.

Teoes:

..after magical butt does what? The intrigue!

I've seen a magical butt

It was mesmerizing

Barbie doesn't have a superjump?
Cause she landed on that bandwagon pretty darn well.

Children deserve so much better than this. At least put some effort into your work. The whole thing looks unbelievably listless.

did anyone notice that Mattel's CEO got shown the door on Friday? In large part because of how badly the Barbie line has tanked under his rule. (well not to mention losing the #1 toymaker spot to Lego and losing their most profitable line, Disney Pricesses adn Frozen to Hasbro as of this month).

So yeah, I'm thinking Magical Butterfly Superhero Barbie will have a shelf life of weeks before the new guy guts it to "go back to basics and the core business". This is one of those truly horrid and embarrassing products that you see when a flailing and failing leadership is trying anything to see what sticks. The classic example is Lionel Trains bizarre military action sets in the 60's and 70's. The toymaker tries to be "edgy and hip" and do what all the cool kids are doing, with absolutely no understanding of any of it. This one just reeks of that sort of thing. Something to jump on the super heroe craze two years too late designed by a committee that had never read a comic book, seen a super hero movie or actually met a child in the flesh.

While the movie does look rather silly (as everyone pointed out, this premise has been done better, and I agree 100%), I don't see anything inherently wrong with Barbie being all sparkly and girly. Barbie and similar toys aimed at girls seem to always spur accusations of woman-hatred from progressives. The idea is that if they play with this toy, girls won't focus on the important work of fighting the evil male sex or something. It's the flipside of the anti-video game argument, which states that violent video games turn boys into brutal thugs so boys shouldn't play them.

The second thing is that Pantel genuinely found something new for Barbie to do: superhero! I don't think Barbie has ever held that job before, so it's good that she's taking a risk.

The following are random thoughts

-

The "Moral Majority" will interpret the butterfly kiss as bestiality.

I can't help but think that if Ken got powers by kissing a magical equine he'd become more popular than Barbie.

If only Barbie wore yellow & was out for revenge.... Oh wait that's Kill Bill.

Barbie already was a super hero going by the name Wanda Wilson. Just remember if you tick her off to say something nice about her hair.

Belle, Merida, Mulan, & Pocahontas all take cracks at trying to prove Disney Princesses were more diverse. When that failed they all took their anger out on Aurora for being a blonde princess in a pink dress.

This would be the worst female super hero stereotype if it wasn't for Nintendo's Super Princess Peach.

Pink is actually empowering to Women; in the Victorian age pink was considered too loud and brash for Women who got subdued shades of blue to wear, as part of the movement towards equality Women took pink from Men.

Do not take your pink for granted, some people fought for your right to have it.

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