Power Rangers and Female Action Figures Question

Discussion in 'The Toyark' started by misterd, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. misterd

    misterd Well-Known Member

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    Over at JBL there has been a looong running discussion on the viability of female action figures in the current market. Female figures tend to do well with adult collectors, so it's not unusual to see them in lines like Marvel Legends or anything McFarlane.

    With mass market toy lines, like Turtles, females tend to be more rare. The one exception I can think of is Power Rangers, which typically have 2 female leads. My question, then, is how well do they tend to sell? Are they short packed? Do they sell well despite their gender? If so, is there any reason why PR are different from other toy lines?
     
  2. LadyStarscream

    LadyStarscream Queen of Cybertron

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    I collect the female McFarlane figures. I'm a big fan of the Angels, especially Angela and Tiffany, I'm sad they havent done more with those two characters in recent years. But although I am fond of most of McFarlane's work, I only collect the females, if a lot of other collectors do the same, that could make them seem short packed. But I don't know really, just wanted to give the female action figures a little appreciation!
     
  3. VE Telus

    VE Telus Well-Known Member

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    The female Power Rangers are not as highly promoted as their male counterparts. While the initial waves will carry all five Rangers, the non-show toys -- battelized gear, 12" talking, etc. -- are all of the male Power Rangers.

    Just check out Operation Overdrive's offerings. They're mostly in reds, blues, and blacks.

    http://rangerboard.com/showthread.php?t=96784

    If they're female AND a villain, then there's no hope in hades that they will be made.
     
  4. Dolza_Khyron

    Dolza_Khyron Well-Known Member

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    and it's pretty much true for all action figure toy lines, females get 1 or 2 figures each wave, sometimes only 1 wave, and the rest are all guys. so things like in the batman, they got 2 batgirls in the line, but each of them are a different wave, far enough apart that there will only be one of them ever in the store, if that.
     
  5. LigerPrime

    LigerPrime Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, its true on my country also...female characters don't sell ar mass retail. The collectible female figures on the other hand are selling well in my country.
     
  6. Backpack

    Backpack Scattershot who?

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    Not that this concerns Power Rangers... but with Mattel's new line of Naruto figures... I would have collected them, except they didn't bother to make any of the female characters. Seeing as Sakura is one of the three main characters... not representing her really soured me on the whole line.
     
  7. misterd

    misterd Well-Known Member

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    Just to frame the debate:

    The debate at JBL is why Hasbro won't do a Scarlett or Baroness figure for Sigma 6. The thread can be found here http://www.joebattlelines.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8160. Like most stickied threads, it has at least a half dozen precursors, but most of the arguments are summed up in that one.

    Most of us, I think, want the figure, but understand the reality that female figures don't sell well, particularly in kid-oriented lines. Hasbro reps have argued that it makes producing a female figure cost prohibitive, since the molds and accessories are so expensive to produce.

    However, there are those who refuse to accept this argument, and point to other toylines as an example. But toylines are not all created equal. Most action figure lines featuring females are aimed at adults, or, like JLU, TMNT or Batman, cost less to manufacture, making the comparison with S6 a bit difficult.

    The only kids toyline that even seemed to come close was Power Rangers. That is clearly aimed at a kids market, and can feature relatively complex figures. The franchise also pretty much requires the release of female figures. What we were uncertain of is what discrepencies exist between the males and female PR toys and sales.
     
  8. ckhtiger

    ckhtiger old skool fool

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    it's funny, because I didn't realize that jbl stood for joebattlelines, and I was going to mention that they still haven't made a scarlett sigma6 figure, and how a lot of people want one ;) 
     
  9. Chaos Muffin

    Chaos Muffin Misadventure Veteran

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    When kids play with action figure males, they feel lots of fists and guns.
    When they play with action fig females, they feel boobzors and get distracted.

    Then they lose interest and go ride the flagpole
     
  10. Darkravager

    Darkravager Zombie Hunter

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    PR would be a decent comparison with S6, but even that doesn't hold much sway because the figures are smaller and less complicated than the S6 figures. Also, because of the scale of the Joes, it could make a female figure seem too dollish. Like others have said, females are almost always shortpacked and under represented.
     
  11. Dinobot Nuva

    Dinobot Nuva Johnny 3 Tears Veteran

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    Well, I guess I'll have to give props to Lego on this one. The female Toa and female villains usually do get quite a bit of spotlight in their bionicle line. They're also usually the number 2 or 3 selling figure (usually behind the fire and ice characters) in the canister sets. But they do fall under the short packed deal too, there's only one female toa per set of six canisters, but they usually sell just as well as the other 4 canister sets (the sixth one, always the worst selling, would be the brown character, but Lego's trying to fix that by experimenting with other colors instead of brown).
    But yeah, female action figures in a "boys" toy line rarely sell as well as their male counterparts. And Bionicle is really the only exception I can think of off the top of my head that moves their female characters really well.
    DN
     
  12. bigkid24

    bigkid24 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if I buy the line that girl figures don't sell well in lines aimed at kids. When you were a kid didn't you want Scarlett, Lady Jaye, Baroness...etc? I wanted them as much as the other male characters.

    I guess multipacks are the only way we'll really get female characters. Packing them in with other desirable figures will get them sold but it'll be hard to get good data on that figure alone.
     
  13. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

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    The problem is this:

    Female figures are often seen as being a reach-out to the girls. In the terms of Power Rangers, you still have a lot of young girls that watch the show or play as Power Rangers in pre-school/elementary school. It's a show that attracts young kids, not just young boys though they are the strongest portion of the demographic.

    At the same point, those young girl fans aren't as likely to watch the show or stay interested for more than a couple of months total at best. Hence why the female figures are only packaged in the first assortment, the first wave. What they don't buy, Power Rangers collectors (yes they exist) pick them up to finish their set, mostly because PR Collectors don't enjoy anything past the original Rangers, the extra Rangers, the bad guys, and the MegaZords. No one but little kids give a fuck about "Light Up Action Red Ranger!" ... seriously.

    Also, with Power Rangers, female characters are often given more of a feel in the television show. And second, a lot of those figures are coming straight out of Bandai of Japan, so it's not a huge hit to the bank.

    However, with stuff made in the mass market for the United States (see: GI Joe), which the Sigma 6 line does not have an audience outside of the United States (not in Japan, and with the anti-patriotism of other countries towards the US, it's hard to market that outside the US), the cost to create a Scarlett or Baroness figure, other than the 2.5" variety, is just not cost effective.

    Hasbro would then lose money on that venture.

    You want female characters? Convince Hasbro to create a female LEAD character, not just a side character. The tendency to sell that lead character will increase as they are prominently featured in whatever media (cartoon most likely) on a frequent basis.

    (I often believe that Arcee was cut from the movie as it was feared she wouldn't sell toys and that it would be too tough to use her as a segway to get female fans interested in the movie and the toyline)
     
  14. misterd

    misterd Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, I was 13 when GIJoe first came out. By then I was "collecting" the toys, not "playing" with them.:wink:  so I was a bit outside the target audience.

    For me, it would be Star Wars, and in that case, yeah, I wanted a Leia figure, but given the choice I'd always but Luke, Han, Chewbacca, Stormtroopers, aliens, driods first. The thing to remember is that most kids DON'T get everything they want (especially with expensive toys like Sigma 6), and when they have to prioritize, the female figures tend to take a back seat to the male leads.

    Social pressure is also important. A kid might WANT the female Joe, but if he brings her to school, odds are he'll be called a fag and maybe find his underwear firmly lodged between his butt cheeks. Most kids know this instinctively, and thus are cautious to speak out for it. Parents and relatives, barring a specific request, are unlikely to buy a girl figure for a boy, even if it is a boy's toyline, so again the figure may never end up bought.
     
  15. misterd

    misterd Well-Known Member

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    Laddie, don't ya think you should... rephrase that?

    That's a great point, and one I hadn't considered.

    I've said this repeatedly, but, oddly enough, whiny collectors tend to focus more on their needs than Hasbro's bottom line.

    Yeah, I'm pretty much of the opinion that the only way to get girls into action figures is to make a line of action figures for girls, rather than have a girl character ina boy's toyline (sort of like She-Ra, though thatwasn't a HUGE hit either).

    As for Arcee... I know that there was at least one female character that the animation studio wanted to do for GIJoe because Scarlett and LadyJaye had been popular with viewers. However, Hasbro vetoed the character because they didn't think a toy version would sell (probably didn't help that she was black, too). So, yeah, I think your hypothesis quite likely.
     
  16. Insane Galvatron

    Insane Galvatron is not insane. Really!

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    All I know is I didn't buy a single of the 6 inch Fantastic Four toys because I couldn't get all four of them. Stupid shortpacked female figure.
     

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