Thursday, August 12, 2010

Girls and Comics

Every geek man's heaven, no? Probably not the version I'm about to tell.

I was reading an article in the NY Times today and found this gem. Specifically it deals with marketing groups attempting to reach a young girl audience at Comic Con as more children are attending the convention these days. What items are they marketing? Things like Strawberry Shortcake, Monster High via Matel, Polly Pocket dressed up in attachable superhero costumes, and My Little Pony.

Yeah. Not really geeky, is it?

But if you think about it, Comic Con has become a different entity unto itself. It's not just about comics. Studios premier new movies and television shows at the convention. LucasArts tends to unveil new Star Wars games here over E3 and TGS. Even SquareEnix was there to unveil new action figures from non-comic areas.

The fact of the matter is there have been 41 Comic Cons. I know. I can't believe that myself. A lot of those people who went to the earlier conventions have grown up, had kids, and now their children are in tow. It's a perfect place to get one-on-one attention with a child, in the marketing mind. They'll soak up what's around them and spread the glory of the product with their friends back home. So you'll see Spiderman next to My Little Pony at the booths.

Here is my deal. Products are still being targeted towards young girls and expect all ages 3 to 21 are going to want the same things: pink, frilly, cute, glam dolls. I had Barbies when I was young, but I never liked dressing them up in the pink stuff. I would find ways to cut and make my own clothes for them that reflected more of my style. To me, it feels that the marketing teams are not hitting the right areas of interest. They need to bring in a more mature aspect to this group of con-goers. Because if you're a girl and you read comics, you're probably not going to buy into the Monster High stuff.

The collaborations with DC and Marvel are a bit more interesting. DC will be working with MAC cosmetics for a line of make-up featuring the Amazon Princess. That's a little more for my demographic, and considering MAC's reputation, that's not a bad idea. Marvel comics is planning on a releasing a series specifically titled "Girl Comics" (lame) as part of a year-long campaign to celebrate the women of the Marvel universe. I support the latter, not the former. More female super heroes that don't weak a bikini would be awesome please! But I'll take the collaborations over the My Little Pony booth. Thanks.


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