Female Action Figures - Lot less of them than male?

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Female Action Figures - Lot less of them than male?

Postby CB2001 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:01 pm

I was talking with someone at another forum on a topic about action figures and customizing. The person to whom I was talking with explained that when it came to female action figures, no matter what line, there were a lot less of them compared to the massive amounts of male action figures. For example, the G.I. Joe line which has almost 1 female character to every 35 male characters. After he pointed this out to me, I began running through all the action figure lines I grew up with or have seen throughout the years and I began to notice them, like how there's only one female figure for The Walking Dead comic book action figures (Michonne) to the three male characters (Rick Grimes and two zombies), while The Walking Dead TV show action figures have no female characters at all.

So, I'm beginning to wonder if this is true with most, if not all, action figure lines. Are there any particular lines that have just as much female characters as the male characters? Or are all the female characters in all lines stuck under the glass ceiling? And what are your thoughts about the lack of female characters/overabundance of male characters in action figure lines?
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Re: Female Action Figures - Lot less of them than male?

Postby therapist » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:24 pm

It is true with mostly all toy lines with VERY VERY few exceptions (none that I can think of at this time). The reason for this is because toy companies believe that boys will not buy toys of girls. This is normally made true by the fact that They dont make girls so boys can't buy toys of girls thus self fulfilling prophecy that "boys wont buy toys of girls"...cuz they can't
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Re: Female Action Figures - Lot less of them than male?

Postby mrjayberry » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:52 am

Some things to consider, most toy lines are loosely based around a theme. Take G.I. Joe, military right. What is the percentage of females in the United States Army? Then take into account that they are like a special ops unit so only the very best get invited it's not so strange that the number of females on the Joe team is almost nil. That said I would like to see them add another couple of ladies to the ranks, I can't name a single female from the Joe line past Scarlett, Lady Jaye, and the Baroness. Also I think there was a female Drednock wasn't there? I'd love to see a G.I. Joe that gives a nod and a wink to say some of Pam Griers characters from the 70s. We need some name recognition women.

The Walking Dead isn't the best example either since we're already talking about a small sample size but go ahead and list what characters you'd want from either source of the Walking Dead. How many women are in the top ten, top twenty? Michonne is the only female in my top ten and I might add comic Andrea or Maggie (but only if it was a two pack with Glen) to the top twenty and sure if I collected this line I would eventually love some lady zombies to round out my horde. This I think relates to how terrible woman can be written, especially the Walking Dead t.v. show none of the female characters have been likeable to me.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a line of action figures doesn't it, I could see it having more females than males but that's about the only one off the top of my head.
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Re: Female Action Figures - Lot less of them than male?

Postby therapist » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:32 am

mrjayberry wrote:The Walking Dead isn't the best example either since we're already talking about a small sample size but go ahead and list what characters you'd want from either source of the Walking Dead. How many women are in the top ten, top twenty? Michonne is the only female in my top ten and I might add comic Andrea or Maggie (but only if it was a two pack with Glen) to the top twenty and sure if I collected this line I would eventually love some lady zombies to round out my horde. This I think relates to how terrible woman can be written, especially the Walking Dead t.v. show none of the female characters have been likeable to me.
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Re: Female Action Figures - Lot less of them than male?

Postby CB2001 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:00 pm

mrjayberry wrote:Some things to consider, most toy lines are loosely based around a theme. Take G.I. Joe, military right. What is the percentage of females in the United States Army? Then take into account that they are like a special ops unit so only the very best get invited it's not so strange that the number of females on the Joe team is almost nil. That said I would like to see them add another couple of ladies to the ranks, I can't name a single female from the Joe line past Scarlett, Lady Jaye, and the Baroness. Also I think there was a female Drednock wasn't there? I'd love to see a G.I. Joe that gives a nod and a wink to say some of Pam Griers characters from the 70s. We need some name recognition women.


I figured that much when it comes to several properties, not just the G.I. Joe line, there's a lot more male than female characters made due to the source material. I mean, look at Kenner's The Real Ghostbusters line (based off the cartoon, not the movies). There was only one primary female character in the cartoon, and that was Janine. So, naturally, there'd only be a figure representation of that character (including alternate versions) primarily because Janine was the only female in the group while other female characters were all guest characters. I'm sure that if Kenner had done the movie characters, the same would have been true when it comes to the numbers, as there was only Dana and Janine in both movies (if you count "guest" characters like the Grey Lady and the female Gozer from the first film, even then the number of female characters are minimum). The same is true with the Jurassic Park line. There were only two female characters in the first Jurassic Park film (not including the Dinosaurs, but the two female characters were Ellie and Lex), only one of them was made as an action figure (Ellie).

However, there are some properties that have a lot of female characters, but I don't know how many of them make the jump over into figure form. All the Star Trek shows and movies are one example. Star Wars is another one. But can it be said depending on pre-existing properties, they also have a barring on the figures produced. Farscape is one I can think of. When ToyVault produced the line, which was around Season 2, the only primary female characters for the show were Aeryn Sun, Zhaan and Chiana (thus they were produced as figures), but the ratio of the primary female characters to primary male characters are still smaller, because there were more primary male characters on the show (such as John Crichton, Rygel, D'argo, Pilot, Crais and Scorpius, with all but Pilot being produced).
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Re: Female Action Figures - Lot less of them than male?

Postby leafman343 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:41 pm

Masters of the Universe Classics seems to have a decent amount of figures, granted that comes from not only being an online exlusive but folding in Princess of Power characters.

I wonder if part of why there are fewer female figures has anything to do with boys not being supposed to hit girls? Like if they don't produce many female figures then little boys won't pretend Spider-Man is karate kicking Black Cat through a wall or something and get the idea it is ok to hit girls.
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Re: Female Action Figures - Lot less of them than male?

Postby Dagger » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:02 pm

Wow girls probably has more female figures than guys... just sayin
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Re: Female Action Figures - Lot less of them than male?

Postby mrjayberry » Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:18 am

CB2001 wrote:
mrjayberry wrote:However, there are some properties that have a lot of female characters, but I don't know how many of them make the jump over into figure form. All the Star Trek shows and movies are one example. Star Wars is another one. But can it be said depending on pre-existing properties, they also have a barring on the figures produced. Farscape is one I can think of. When ToyVault produced the line, which was around Season 2, the only primary female characters for the show were Aeryn Sun, Zhaan and Chiana (thus they were produced as figures), but the ratio of the primary female characters to primary male characters are still smaller, because there were more primary male characters on the show (such as John Crichton, Rygel, D'argo, Pilot, Crais and Scorpius, with all but Pilot being produced).


I would have to believe every female I would recognize from Star Trek or ST:TNG is represented in plastic form. Keep in mind I'm a very casual fan. So there might be some glaring omissions to you I'm not seeing it and I can't imagine there is a Stars Wars character with a line in any of the movies who doesn't have a figure yet. Also keep in mind most lines don't last a long enough to enrich the line up with females. If you get a line into it's second or third year you'll often times see female figures sneaking in there.

The best way to make your argument would, I think, be through the comic lines. I love Marvel, I collect Marvel Universe. So where they certainly do a better job than say G.I. Joe (although they have a much larger pool of options) it still seems like not enough. You can ask why was Sue Storm the last member of the FF to be made? You can ask why when dealing with the X-Men it's not a more even split, aren't X-Women as popular as the guys? You can ask if you go to say comics should be good and look at their list of top 100 Marvel characters and start at one and move backwards you start hitting the females with no figures first? The top 3 who don't have a MU figure yet Emma Frost, Beast, and Rogue,and I assume they don't want to spend the money molding a Beast.
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Re: Female Action Figures - Lot less of them than male?

Postby CB2001 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:50 am

mrjayberry wrote:I would have to believe every female I would recognize from Star Trek or ST:TNG is represented in plastic form. Keep in mind I'm a very casual fan. So there might be some glaring omissions to you I'm not seeing it and I can't imagine there is a Stars Wars character with a line in any of the movies who doesn't have a figure yet. Also keep in mind most lines don't last a long enough to enrich the line up with females. If you get a line into it's second or third year you'll often times see female figures sneaking in there.

The best way to make your argument would, I think, be through the comic lines. I love Marvel, I collect Marvel Universe. So where they certainly do a better job than say G.I. Joe (although they have a much larger pool of options) it still seems like not enough. You can ask why was Sue Storm the last member of the FF to be made? You can ask why when dealing with the X-Men it's not a more even split, aren't X-Women as popular as the guys? You can ask if you go to say comics should be good and look at their list of top 100 Marvel characters and start at one and move backwards you start hitting the females with no figures first? The top 3 who don't have a MU figure yet Emma Frost, Beast, and Rogue,and I assume they don't want to spend the money molding a Beast.


But I'm saying that pre-existing properties that the figure lines are based may have a limited female cast and, subsequently, the figure line would reflect it. Again, with The Real Ghostbusters, the only primary female character in the cartoon was Janine, so there was only one regular figure for her and then variations of the figure (such as the screaming/frightened Janine from another set). Decided to use Farscape as an example because of the limited amount of female characters that was on the show at the time the figures were produced (which was around Season 2). And even with each of the female figures getting two versions (one episode centric, the other, non-episode centric), they were still outnumbered by the male characters in figure form (because not only are there 5 male characters that were produced in figure format, but each got the same treatment of one non-episode specific and one episode-specific, except for John, who had at least three different versions made, one Season 1 outfit specific, one Season 2 outfit specific and one episode specific one).

I figured that Star Trek and Star Wars would have at least half of their figure lines be female characters, especially with the massive universes that those properties have introduced to fans over the years and the massive amounts of characters also introduced. I would think that the Marvel Universe line would also have that same kind of ratio. But even then, the female to male ratio is still male heavy and female light (at least from what I've gathered from past posts and from the discussion I had at the other forum in which this topic was first discussed.
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Re: Female Action Figures - Lot less of them than male?

Postby mrjayberry » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:04 pm

I'm starting to see the fundmental differences in our arguments, your arguing for a close to 50/50 split (if possible with a large enough pool of characters), I feel that females should be more represented but closer to 30/70 split. So Marvel Universe I want one or two females in every wave five or six figure wave not three and three.

Why would a ST:TNG toy line be 50/50? There are seven or eight (if you count Wil Wheaton) main cast members two are women so if only a quarter of the main cast is female why would half of the toys be female. Especially when you rerelease popular characters over and over sorry if Picard in a zoot suit sells better than background or guest stars.

I think the most successful Star Trek line was Playmates right, feel free somebody to correct me if I'm wrong. Look at the number of female figures that where released for that line its not 50/50 probably wasn't even 30/7 but it was a lot. The first year you got almost nothing but there are couple of the later years had what I consider an acceptable ratio of female figures. Like I said sure there are females on the show who they didn't make figures of but all the main cast members male and female got made and probably most of the more important secondary cast members. Which female character do you want a character of that playmates didn't make?

The only lines I ask why on are the ones missing a key figure, say the Willow line why didn't I get a Sorsha figure, or Iron Man where is my unreleased Scarlett Jo Black Widow but I don't think they should start throwing in figures just to be fair.
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Re: Female Action Figures - Lot less of them than male?

Postby CB2001 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:31 pm

mrjayberry wrote:I'm starting to see the fundmental differences in our arguments, your arguing for a close to 50/50 split (if possible with a large enough pool of characters), I feel that females should be more represented but closer to 30/70 split. So Marvel Universe I want one or two females in every wave five or six figure wave not three and three.

Why would a ST:TNG toy line be 50/50? There are seven or eight (if you count Wil Wheaton) main cast members two are women so if only a quarter of the main cast is female why would half of the toys be female. Especially when you rerelease popular characters over and over sorry if Picard in a zoot suit sells better than background or guest stars.

I think the most successful Star Trek line was Playmates right, feel free somebody to correct me if I'm wrong. Look at the number of female figures that where released for that line its not 50/50 probably wasn't even 30/7 but it was a lot. The first year you got almost nothing but there are couple of the later years had what I consider an acceptable ratio of female figures. Like I said sure there are females on the show who they didn't make figures of but all the main cast members male and female got made and probably most of the more important secondary cast members. Which female character do you want a character of that playmates didn't make?

The only lines I ask why on are the ones missing a key figure, say the Willow line why didn't I get a Sorsha figure, or Iron Man where is my unreleased Scarlett Jo Black Widow but I don't think they should start throwing in figures just to be fair.


After having this type of fact pointed out to me, I kinda wouldn't mind the 50/50 ratio, even more so with franchises that have a lot of female characters (not just primary characters, but secondary characters that have importance). I'm sure a lot of us here can agree that having those numbers being even would be better for all of us (be it as collectors or as customizers). Even more so, especially when the characters are important to a pre-existing franchises only have a small number of women in their cast (like how you pointed out with Sorsha from Willow and a movie version of Scarlet Johansson's Black Widow).
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Re: Female Action Figures - Lot less of them than male?

Postby mrjayberry » Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:33 pm

Wow, I just found out the Willow line did have a Sorscha figure, I don't think I'd ever seen a picture of her until yesterday. So that is another toy line I have no beef with when it comes to female figures.
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Re: Female Action Figures - Lot less of them than male?

Postby CB2001 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:08 pm

mrjayberry wrote:Wow, I just found out the Willow line did have a Sorscha figure, I don't think I'd ever seen a picture of her until yesterday. So that is another toy line I have no beef with when it comes to female figures.


Okay then. :)
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