I’m hoping you didn’t come here looking for facts. Or statistics. Or anecdotes from former toy company big wigs. All you’re gonna get is a flimsy theory pulled from CantinaDanny’s Action Figure Observer’s Field Guide. But it is true that, from the early days of the little plastic people, action figure lines have been light on the lady folk. Granted, the Star Wars movies themselves were pretty male centric but its funny to note that out of 100 vintage Star Wars figures, six were female. Five Princess Leias and a Sy Snootles. Somebody is probably going to correct me by saying something like: “The Death Star Droid was really a fembot!”
Mattel wins my G.R.O.S.S. award for not making Dale Arden for their Flash Gordon line. And for not including any females in their Battlestar Galactica line. And for not making Medusa, Andromeda, or the Stygian Witches for their Clash of the Titans line. AND, and this is a biggie, not making Mindy to go with their Mork figure!
On the other hand, MEGO was pretty good about including the gals. MEGO’s Love Boat had the best proportions: four male / two female (Julie and Vicky). Buck Rogers had Ardella and Wilma. Black Hole had Kate McCrae. All this despite the fact that MEGO had some missteps with a couple lady figures. And exhibiting that was kind’uv the purpose of this blog. There are at least two examples of female action figures that MEGO sculpted and released, then at some point realized were fugly, and then re-sculpted and re-released. Wow, good on you MEGO. Who does stuff like that?
fig 1. MEGO Comic Action Heroes Wonder Woman
fig 2. MEGO Dukes of Hazzard Daisy Duke
When my colleague, Professor Pretticute saw Wonder Woman #1 her comment was: “WTF is up with this figure? Dare I say, lady? That’s not my beloved Wonder Woman is it? It looks more like Chief Running Bear in drag. Yikes.” She wasn’t very forgiving with Wonder Woman #2, however: “She looks like she is a he and he is getting ready to drop the kids off at the pool, as they say.” Hard to argue. But IMHO, both #2′s are vast improvements. I know the toy companies will dig their heels in and say that female action figures just don’t sell. But maybe the truth is that sculpting female action figures is just really tricky!