Friday, May 16, 2014

"Action Figures for Girls"

The Twitter account for Geek Girl Con shared this IAmElemental Kickstarter campaign. I didn't hesitate.

Much as I love my girls (and I really do love them, run-through-a-burning-house-to-save-them love), I completely recognize that many of them were made with the adult male collector in mind. "More hooters than heroines," indeed. So, where are the action figures for girls?

Well, Mattel gave us the marvelous She-Ra line... in 1985. Galoob had the equally wonderful "copycat" line of Golden Girls, and there were several other knock-offs at the time. Ten years later, Mattel tried again with a much more insipid line Tenko and the Guardians of the Magic, and Kenner with Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders. Japanese author/artist Naoko Takeuchi gave us Sailor Moon in 1992. The toys that went with Sailor Moon were never called action figures; they were "adventure dolls."

The paucity of adventuring toys for girls is pretty apparent. The gender gap in the toy aisles is pretty immense. If you're a girl, you get dolls -- fluffy, pretty, pink dolls. Boys get to have the adventures. Action figures reflect the art in the comics; most of it is pretty sexy, and some of it is salacious. I like sexy -- in its place. Kids don't need sexy toys or comics.

This Kickstarter campaign was already funded when I clicked through, with 26 days to go! That's exciting! It tells me, and I'm sure it tells the creators, that there is demand for this. I look forward to everything this creative team has to share.

I gripe about the sexism in comics and in toys, and I put my money where my mouth is when I can. I'm clearly not alone.

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