Welcome! This blog is written by author J.L. Metcalf and will chat about comics, movies, garden gnomes, ghosts or even books and daily life. It is a place where I offer my ladylike perspective on anything and everything my brain can think of.
As with all my blog posts, they are born from reading I do on the internet (a magical tool for writers, let me tell ya). Today, as I was alternately staring out at the blizzard and perusing Facebook, I came across an article that sparked my inspiration and I had to share with my peeps. It’s about the distinct lack of female character toys. Say what, you ask? I am talking about Black Widow, Gamora, even Agent Carter to a certain extent. They barely exist in the collector world and it annoys the heck out of me.
I am sure there are those who will argue with me about the fact that, there have been Black Widow toys, and yes, there have…sort of….
Despite being introduced in Iron Man 2, it would take until The Avengers for Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow to get an action figure: even then, she was shortpacked in the third wave of figures that came out months after the movie hit, with the prime first wave spots going to Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and The Hulk. It took until The Winter Soldier last year for Widow to show up in both Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Infinite 6-inch line and Funko’s wildly popular range of Marvel Pop Vinyls for the first time, a whopping four years after the character first appeared. Fast forward to Age of Ultron today and she’s once again seemingly missing — she doesn’t show up at all in the new action figure playsets. She’s not in the first set of Pop Vinyls, and neither is Scarlet Witch, another prominent female member of the cast. She appears in one of the six new Lego sets for the film (Cap’s in three, Iron Man is in four). She doesn’t appear in the team shots on the boxes of merchandise (to be fair, neither does Hawkeye. Poor Hawkeye.). Hell, the first action figure we’ve seen for her for AoU specifically is Diamond Select. ~ James Whitbrook for iO9
So, you see, they do create the toys, they simply wait EONS to ship them out and they never ship them out with the so-called, “main-cast”. This highlights an issue within the movie comic world (ironically the toys are released quick as bunnies for the comic books), they still think they are marketing these movies to BOYS only. Come on guys, WAKE THE HECK UP! The audience for Guardians of the Galaxy was largely female. San Diego Comic Con had a 40% female attendee rate. WOMEN ARE WATCHING & ENJOYING THIS STUFF TOO and what’s more, people’s daughters are watching these movies. They are seeing these phenomenal, kick-butt women characters and yet, they don’t get them as toys. They have the option of the male cast but these girls don’t want that, they want to play with the toy of the character they identify with. The one they want to be.
I remember, when I was young comic book, Star Wars nerd, I had about ten different Princess Leia toys at my disposal. I would get every Leia they made as they came out. I always noticed though that my brother got all sorts of different characters, Luke, Han, Chewy and yet, I only received Leia (and one memorable year, I received Boba Fett). That was a weird thing my folks did and I don’t blame them, they were conforming to gender rules in the 70’s and 80’s, I loved my Leia figures. I wish I still had them! At least I was lucky enough to be able to GET the toy of the one female character in Star Wars. Today, young girls have tons of female characters to look up to and yet, they get no toys. What the heck!?!?! It’s an unfair disparity that needs to change and the guys who handle these decisions (should they ever read my blog) need to know that women dig this stuff too. A LOT of women. It’s time to start acting like it.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments!