I just have to ask -- what is it about action figure sculptors and women's feet? I'm constantly amazed by the bizarre feet and shoes found consistently on modern action figures -- I often think the feet are the most unrealistic aspect of any given figure! The main (and weirdest) offender is obviously McFarlane toys -- I don't even want to know the psychology behind those shoe designs. As if the idea of fighting in high heels wasn't silly enough -- fighting in one high heel and one 30-pound object encasing your entire lower leg? I doubt anyone could even stand comfortably, much less move. (And forget about fighting!) Then you have the common (straight from comic books) problem of teeny little feet on a big, pneumatic girl -- hello, stands and poster tac!! And even feet that seem to be okay, when examined up close are so far off it's not even funny -- take the Robot Fighters Storm and Jubilee, otherwise nice sculpting jobs, who have shoes extended about (if they were human-sized) four inches past where their toes end! Maybe a powerful heroine like Storm really can function in those FM heels, but with 3 or 4 inches of empty leather flopping around in front of her foot, I think she'd be on her face in a second. The Monster Armor Mystique has the same problem -- but at least she stands up by herself. If companies are going to continue to produce these pedically challenged girls, couldn't they at least make stands for them? Mystifying question of the universe -- why do the figures that come with stand never really need them? I vote: no more uncomfortable shoes for superheroines!
Brian Engelhardt recently wrote me about a genre of female, um, collectibles that doesn't fit anywhere into this page, but is interesting nonetheless: licensed die-cast cars driven by female race car drivers!! I had never even thought that they might start producing stuff based on female drivers, but they finally have! And as he pointed out, women in the sport of auto racing need all the support they can get! Die-cast replica cars are made by several companies, most notably Racing Champions, Johnny Lightning and Revell (Revell is not dong any female drivers right now, though). I checked out the toy car aisle myself, and found Racing Champions' Shelly Anderson (Western Auto/Parts America dragster) and Rhonda Hartman (Hartman dragster), as well as Johnny Lightning's Shirley Shahan (Drag-On-Lady funny car). Brian said he also knows of cars made for Patty Moise (the Dial/Purex #40), Shirley Muldowney (RCCA dragster), and Shawna Robinson (Polaroid Captiva #35/46).
On published lists I have occasionally found "girl figures" listed -- who
are actually men! Here's the guys who have been listed as "female" in major
articles or lists:
From Galoob's Golden Girl Line: Ogra. From Hasbro's Conan line (1994): Zula. From Mattel's Princess of Power (She-Ra) line: Bow. From Kenner's Princess Gwenevere line: Drake.
|An attempt was made in 1992-93 to develop a "girls" property based on the DC Comics character Wonder Woman, called Wonder Woman and the Star Riders. It was meant for girls 4-10, and involved DC, WB Animation and Mattel -- a toy line, animated special (with video release planned and presumably a series hoped for), and both promotional comics and a regular comics series were planned. Unfortunately (well, that depends on your point of view, I suppose) and for a variety of reasons it never happened. Mattel however, actually showed their planned toy line at Toy Fair 93. For a full report on this weird interlude in female figure history, click here.|
One of the articles that I mentioned as being misinformed stated that Mego had made more female figures than anyone -- I knew this was wrong, but wasn't sure who did. For the record, the company which has made the most female figures in total as of today (May 12th 96) is Playmates, with 70 so far, and more any day now. Mattel is actually next (that She-Ra line sure helped) with 51 so far, followed by Kenner (47), Mego (39) and Hasbro (23). I know that Kenner is owned by Hasbro, but as they operate independently they don't get their points added together. Also, while Kenner seems to have a pretty good number, keep in mind the vast number of figures they've made total, and how long they've been making action figures. I'd be surprised if they make one female character for every 50-60 males. I can't guess the totals, but I think you can pretty much figure out that Playmates has by far the highest number of female-figs-per-line! I award Playmates the non-existent award of "most girl-friendly company"! Update: while I refuse to count again, I think Toy Biz is currently giving Playmates a run for their money on sheer quantity of female characters produced. They're certainly trying! But I'll give Playmates the edge for having realistically sculpted females, which ToyBiz doesn't have many of.
The most produced female, by the way, is TMNT's April O'Neil (all Playmates figs). (Runners-up including ST:TNG's Deanna Troi, Playmates; SW Princess Leia, Kenner; Ghostbuster's Janine Melnitz, Kenner; Wonder Woman, from Ideal, Mego, Kenner & Toy Biz; and Invisible Girl/Woman, Mego & Toy Biz.)