Friday, 22 January 2016

Nerdversity Discussion: Female Characters in Toys


The big debate going round at the moment is the lack of Rey figures in the Star Wars toy line. Well, this debate has been going on since toys first became a big thing. It's not about misogyny, it;s not about feminism at all.  

We have to remember that these toys are NOT being made specifically for collectors at all. We need to stop blurring those lines, there are lines made for collectors, but those 4 inch Star Wars figures with the Kenner articulation and weapons? well, they're made for the general public, not collectors, infact in terms of sales data, us collectors make up 2-5% of the overall sales. The fact of the matter is that in terms of the general audience, female characters don't sell well with children. No matter what we may say or think, but that little kid browsing the Marvel toys would much rather have an Iron Man helmet and action figure or Cap Shield than Widow's gauntlets and figure to match. I'm not saying that this is true of all children, but the shopping majority will pick an Iron Man over a Black Widow and to be perfectly honest, Hasbro are only following the majority shopping trends,

Female characters don't sit well with boys and it's been said before that most female characters in the 70s and 80s cartoon worlds such as GI Joe, were almost cut completely because sales of Scarlett and Baroness figures slumped over the male figures. Yes, shopping trends are changing and so are the executives on the other end, but so far the collectors and the trend changers are so minor, it's not really worth paying attention to them from a business standpoint. 

Could Star Wars see the turning point of the trends?