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The Styled Side: 'Wonder Woman' could be big for superhero merch

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in a publicity still.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in a publicity still.
Warner Bros.

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The Wonder Woman movie hits theaters on June 2nd, and it'll be one of the first times there has been a movie devoted entirely to one female superhero from the comic world.

"This will be a big market grab, too," says Michelle Dalton Tyree from Fashion Trends Daily. "Merchandise brands are watching eagerly to see how 'Wonder Woman' does."

That's because most of the $144 billion in US superhero merchandise sales have been for male characters.

"We’re pretty much in uncharted territory," says Marty Brochstein at the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association, "and I would say that the merchandise selection and the breadth of the collection that’s built up is larger than we’ve ever seen for a female superhero character."

Few experts believed that there was a strong market among women for superhero merch.

But Ashley Eckstein did.

"The money is out there. The girls are out there," she says. "You just need to make us the right product."

Eckstein is the founder of LA-based fangirl fashion apparel company Her Universe, a subsidiary of Hot Topic.

"When we started Her Universe back in 2010, honestly I was laughed out of the room in many places," she recalls. "People flat out told me no. They told me I couldn’t build a business based on female fans and there wasn’t money there."

In its first six months, however, it made a profit of $200,000.

Now, they are a multimillion dollar business.

Her Universe did a Wonder Woman line for Kohl’s that included performance leggings, a sports bra and a tank top with a gold Wonder Woman shield logo emblazoned on it.

It will also have a special line for Hot Topic set to debut later this month that includes dresses with a gold lasso around them, a Wonder Woman bomber jacket and dresses with her shield on it.

Elsewhere, Valentino debuted a Wonder Woman-inspired collection last spring and fashion jewelry line Alex and Ani launched a collection of Wonder Woman bangles that you can get at Bloomingdales.