Itty Bitty Justice League – Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman Plush Toys

While the latest comic book to screen adaptation Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice looks dark and gritty, we much prefer these DC superheroes Itty Bitty. The new movie hits screens this month, and Hallmark – knowing how much we love our superheroes – sent us their own Itty Bitty Justice League: plush toys of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman – who makes her big screen debut in the movie.

My daughter’s Itty Bitty Star Wars toys (especially Yoda) are already a firm favourites, as they are based on characters she loves. These heroes are no different, as she is very into the adventures of all three of these DC icons. The Itty Bitty versions – especially Wonder Woman – have been a big hit with her.

The cuteness and childlike features of the Hallmark Itty Bitty range of plush toys are well represented in these figures, and offer a nice counterpoint to the po-faced seriousness offered up by the new movie. The characters’ costume designs are so iconic that they are all easily recognisable in their Itty Bitty incarnations (I tested this on the 4-year-old!). The bright and bold looks remind us that these characters look far better when rendered in lively primary colours (although Batman does look a little happier than his characterisation usually allows).

As with the other plush toys in the range, they are all well made, nicely weighted, and perfectly sized for little hands to grasp onto.

While onscreen, DC are creating their own dull and muted Justice League, begin forming your own primary coloured one now, with these great Itty Bitty plush toy versions.

Superman Plush Toy, Batman Plush Toy, Wonder Wonder Plush Toy, Justice League Plush Toys

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Check out the full range of Hallmark Itty Bitty plush toys here. We were sent these items free of charge for the purposes of this review.

All characters trademark and copyright DC Comics.

Family Fever

If Kids Can’t See Batman V Superman, Superhero Movies Have Lost the Plot

Is Batman V Superman suitable for kids? Don’t be silly.

This is a golden time for the comicbook nerd. As a superhero loving child, I never dreamed that my beloved comicbook heroes would be dominating both the box office and the cultural conversation in the way that they currently are.

As I was growing up, it used to drive me nuts that people could only see superheroes in terms of the sixties Adam West TV show. Superheroes were primarily silly as far as the general population was concerned. I knew better.

That slowly began to change in the 1980s, with the likes of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One, and Alan Moore’s Watchmen and breakthrough Batman: The Killing Joke. Finally, the idea was getting into people’s heads that superheroes weren’t just for kids.

Except now, things have gone too far. Way too far.

These great superhero movies that are filling up screens on an almost weekly basis? They’re all rated 12/PG-13 as standard. So despite having toys, clothes, and other merchandise marketed to them with these characters – the films that are driving this superhero resurgence are being deliberately produced to be unsuitable for young children.

In terms of movies, I’ve barely had the chance to share my love of Marvel superheroes with my 4-year-old daughter as yet. They are all pitched to an early teen audience. We have watched a couple. The plots are fine, even when they include death they are useful ways of discussing mortality. But the tone of violence is just too visceral to really be considered suitable.

It gets even worse. Warner Bros. have released an R-Rated version of Batman V Superman, so is not recommended for anyone under 17.

This is absolutely insane. Perverse even. The idea of having a mainstream movie with Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman that children are not supposed to see is mind-blowingly ridiculous.

Should Batman V Superman be ok for children?

These characters are first and foremost for kids. Yes, the revisionist takes by Miller and Moore I mentioned were useful pop culture reference texts. But instead of informing our fundamental understanding of these characters and genres, they have become go-to texts in themselves.

I (mostly) love what Chis Nolan did with Batman. But he took it as far as it should go, and even then he gave the character a real heart at the centre of his darkness. Conversely, I almost totally hate what Zach Snyder has done with Superman. Disaster-porn was a correctly used phrase to describe Man of Steel. It was a travesty of what Superman represents.

Currently, Deadpool is rightly rated R, and Jessica Jones on Netflix is also correctly pitched as adults only too. That network’s Daredevil I’m on the fence about, but doing justice (again) to Frank Miller’s interpretation is the right way to go.

But looking ahead we have DC adult movie Suicide Squad, and even the promise from Hugh Jackman of an R-Rated Wolverine.

So in all of this, where are the superhero movies for kids? In the past it seems.

DC had some great animated series, beginning with the Batman Animated Series in the nineties. Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980) are amazing (I would like someone to lock Zach Snyder in a darkened room to watch them repeatedly one day).

And that silly Batman TV show that used to bug me so much? I love it. It’s awesome. It is visually inventive, has great actors terrific playing characters, and is great family viewing – working brilliantly for children and adults. It has one of the best title sequences in TV history. And it gave us Batgirl!

Saying something is ‘for kids’ has been seen (including by me in the past) as saying something is dumb, simplistic, stupid. A bit rubbish.

Well, that’s rubbish. It doesn’t mean that. Making a superhero movie work as a great story with compelling characters, without resorting to ‘gritty’ violence, is a real challenge that takes great skill, effort, and ability.

It is interesting that the best superhero movie ever made is still Superman: The Movie (1978), an epic movie that spans galaxies, has a cast of legends, and gave the source material – comic books for children – the reverence it deserves.

Perhaps things weren’t so bad for onscreen superheroes in my childhood after all.

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‘Batman v Superman’ images courtesy of Warner Bros. The Ultimate Edition has been rated 12 in the UK.

Review: DC Comics Secret Hero Society – Study Hall of Justice

Existing somewhere between a comic and a book, DC Comics Secret Hero Society – Study Hall of Justice, is a fun way to explore the characters of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman in an all new setting.

Set in an alternative timeline, this sees a young Bruce Wayne attending the exclusive school Ducard Academy, where he befriends a certain Kansas farm boy and a foreign young woman of royal descent (Superman and Wonder Woman in case you were wondering).

But all is not right in the school, and if you’re a follower of the DC universe in either it’s comic, film, or TV forms, the names of the teachers – and the academy itself – should be a hint at what’s really going on there.

It’s written by Derek Fridolfs and illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, who were the team behind a similarly cute Li’l Gotham. While ostensibly a comic book, this also has tracts of text and graphics as part of the story – such as text messages, letters, articles, diary entires, and more. It’s a book equivalent of a multi-media story telling approach that works really well, and encourages more reading than your usual comic book.

The characterisations are spot on, and close in spirit with their comic equivalents while being a wry commentary on them. While this centres on the young dark knight detective, it’s also nice to see the bond forming (and sometimes cracking) between him and Superman & Wonder Woman.

I liked a sequence when Diane Prince (Wonder Woman) tried to go undercover and get on the cheerleading team, followed by an unsuccessful athletics try-out. There is also a nice nod to her mission in fighting war – by trying to stop Superman and Batman fighting. Plenty of other female characters from the DC universe show up too such as girls called Harley, Pamela, and Talia 😉

This is a fun little book, that’s may be of particular interest to a young reader looking for something a little more relatable to them, while still staying true to the classic characters.

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DC Comics Secret Hero Society – Study Hall of Justice

by Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen, is published by Scholastic and is available now.

First Look at Wonder Woman in ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’

While it’s pretty clear that Star Wars – The Force Awakens was the big winner at Comic-Con 2015, the Princess Leia reveal overshadowed another iconic female character who’s returning to our screens soon.

A new trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice gave us our first look at the brand new big screen Wonder Woman (played by Gal Gadot) in action.

Wonder Woman, Dawn of Justice, Batman V Superman, Gal Gadot

Wonder Woman, Dawn of Justice, Batman V Superman, Gal Gadot. comic-con 2015, female superhero

You can also check out the full trailer here:

I showed these images of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman to my daughter (who has numerous items of Wonder Woman merchandise) and she had no idea who this was. However, she recognised Henry Cavill’s Superman and Ben Affleck’s Batman instantly.

I think it’s the colours. When I showed her this image, she recognised it straight away.

Wonder Woman, Dawn of Justice, Batman V Superman, Gal Gadot

What do you think of this first look at Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? Does she look like Wonder Woman to you?

Wonder Woman’s Movie Outfit – Latest Images

While a gloomy image of Gal Gadot in her actual movie costume was posted last year, the colours were so muted it was difficult to have an idea of what it might actually look like in the movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (although this being Zack Snyder, that might be exactly how it looks!).

Some images of promo/production artwork have been surfacing in recent weeks (thanks to Latino Review’s “El Mayimbe,” aka Umberto Gonzalez), that give us an idea how the outfit might look if not almost totally desaturated of colour and presented in sepia.

What do you think?


 

 

 

 

I’m still worried this Wonder Woman outfit could come across like a ‘sexy’ Halloween costume instead of a super-warrior’s garb.
 
Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot, Batman v Superman, Wonder woman Halloween, Fancy dress, dress up, Wonder woman movie,

 
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (where Gal Gadot makes her debut as Wonder Woman) will be released in 2016.