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14 Comments on A Call to Action (Figures): Black Widow, Quinjets, and Marvel’s Representation Problem

  1. jon Gawne

    Sorry to say, but the companies are very aware of demographics. No matter what anyone thinks, the simple fact is that when voting with their wallets people have not chosen female characters. Look at Electra, didn’t do too well did it. So they look at the box office numbers and go with what works. If someone could come up with figures showing that profits would probably be ‘as good as’ using a female figure it would get green lighted ASAP. Money talks in the capitalist system. Fact of life. Is Black Widow getting a movie? There’s a script in development (there always is), but maybe the actress does not want to do it, Or her schedule is tied up, Or they are waiting until she is a better known character worldwide (most big movie decisions are based upon worldwide distribution these days). While it is very PC to cry out about the dearth of female role models, The sales so far do not justify it, and like it or not all of this stuff is done to make money. If you can only make X movies a year, you go with what you think will make you the most money. If you want to help promote female characters,, go out and buy all the female character items, figures and books and make them into top sellers. No, I am not a sexist, I’m a realist, and until people put their money hwere their mouth is things will not change.

    • RyanB4890

      Thanks for reading.

      I advocate for voting with your wallet regularly on here. One of my early columns was actually all about that, http://www.actionfigurefury.com/call-action-figures-voting-wallet/ .

      Throwing out Elektra as a reason for female superhero movies not to be made is a straw man argument. It flopped, but it should have never been made in the first place because it was a spin off of Daredevil, which also flopped and is reviled as one of the worst superhero movies ever made. Does that mean we shouldn’t make anymore male led superhero movies?

      The other examples from the email exchange I linked to in the column (http://time.com/3847432/marvel-ceo-leaked-email/?iid=biz-article-recirc in case you didn’t follow it) cites Supergirl from 1984, which is the most egregious example of using outdated information and Catwoman, which I’ll admit is bad, but the sample size of female led superhero movies is much too small to say people aren’t choosing female characters. People didn’t shell out a whole lot for the 2003 Hulk, the 2006 Superman Returns, the 2007 Ghost Rider, and the list goes on long enough that I could fill an entire column with flopped male led superhero movies. Hulk and Superman were rebooted, and Ghost Rider got a sequel. Wonder Woman had a TV show that was in the same ball park in terms of success with the Hulk TV show, and she’s had no movies, ever. People haven’t had the opportunity to vote for female superhero movies with their wallet.

      It is very PC, thank you. I take that as a compliment.

      And if you notice, in the seventh paragraph I talk about how successful I Am Elemental has been with their line of all female superhero action figures. They aren’t linked to a comic, movie, TV show, or any particular mythos and they made enough to Kickstart their line and sold out of their Collector’s Tin complete set. (You can check them out here: http://www.iamelemental.com/) In other words, they have demonstrated a high-level of financial success.

      I do promote female action figures, both by talking about them on here and by buying them. The last picture, the one with twenty-three Marvel female action figures is from my collection. It’s also captioned “My money is where my mouth is.”

      It’s funny that you feel the need to point out that you’re not a sexist. I’ve never attacked anyone’s character in the comment section, and I’d go as far to say that nobody has ever really been insulted in an Action Figure Fury comment section and I’m not going to start that today. I’m curious though, if you’re not a sexist, why do you feel the need to end your argument by saying that?

  2. Floyd Fenris

    Progress in this area seems to have regressed as of late. There was a period in the 90’s where Toy Biz had quite a bit of female figures in their X-Men line. Nearly every female X-Men character was made right down to short lived ones like Penance and Marrow. There were several versions of popular characters such as Storm and Rogue and I don’t recall ANY of them being shelf warmers. And this was 15+ years ago! Maybe the problem is Hasbro?

    • RyanB4890

      I think it’s a combination of Hasbro not being great about gender and Marvel pushing Avengers over X-Men so they don’t need to split the profit with another movie studio. I haven’t gone through and counted, but I feel like there’re way more female X-Men than female Avengers to work with.

      Whether my extrapolation is wrong or right, this is a really good point.

      • Floyd Fenris

        There is definitely more female X-Men characters than Avengers characters. It’s a shame the situation with FOX has Marvel diminishing its X-Men licensing.

        • RyanB4890

          Yarp. X-Men is incredible! Those are the comics I grew up with more than the Avengers, and I kind of wish that the cinematic universe was more about them, but se la vie.

  3. TheRighteousPickle

    As a male child growing up, I never wanted to buy female action figures and continue to hold this stance to this very day for the following non-sexist and unbiased reasons:

    1. Girls are gross
    2. Girls have coodies
    3. Girl action figure boobs are harder than a bag of sand
    4. Girls have smaller brains
    5. Girls have less muscle
    6. Girl action figures have rabies

    In all seriousness though, when I was a kid and still retained my youthful naïveté before experiencing the chauvinistic brain wash of our society, girl action figures just weren’t as cool as the male action figures. And the same will be true for >90% of male children (the main consumer of action figures), because girls heros are simply not as cool to a male child. They didn’t sell, the companies stopped making them, nuff said. Get over it you feminist head-in-your ass freedom fighters. Freedom isn’t free fools

    • RyanB4890

      Those are learned attitudes. Give me an example of when female action figures actually had a chance. What line had majority of female characters and failed to sell? There have been none, to my knowledge, yet an attitude persists that they can’t sell, which makes no sense. I’m not going to back down unless you can give me evidence.

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