Is collecting action figures a male dominated hobby?

* this blog is simply my thoughts on the subject, nothing more or less **

Is collecting action figures a male dominated hobby?

The short answer, yes.

Should it be? Not a chance!

One of the coolest cats I know is a young lady named Mimi. That’s all you get, her first name-ish. Anyway, I met her a 5 years ago and since that time one thing we have in common is our love of collecting Sailor Moon figures, specifically S.H. Figuarts Sailor Moon figures. These figures are more male orientated in that, while they may be pretty much anime accurate the target audience is men. If you know Mimi like I do, she won’t let anything that is dominated by men stop her from kicking the door in and making herself right at home.

This is something I think the hobby of action figures needs. Girls, young women and really any age females, coming in and kicking the door in and making themselves at home. Having the perspective of women in this hobby adds more value I think. In my years of collecting transformers, there have been many girls that have come in and posted on fan sites talking about their collection. Granted, because we are males we tend to pounce on any girl that shows up in our hobby and to you I say; STOP IT! Don’t scare off the new blood in our hobby.

Brian Golder, from Hasbro recently came out and said;

“We look at our brands more inclusively than ever. In fact, we eliminated the old delineation of gender. And if you think about a brand, be it My Little Pony, where 30 percent of our global TV audience is boys, or Star Wars, where we are launching [all-female animated series] Forces of Destiny with Lucas and Disney, you’re seeing people who want to be engaged in these stories. And we don’t care who they are. We just care that they love that brand.”

Valiant words, and I agree we shouldn’t care who loves what brands. Be it boy or girl, Transformers or My Little Pony, collect what YOU want to collect. The rest will sort itself out.

Here is my thing regarding this though. Don’t change the brand to meet the gender. I am all for an all-female Star Wars. But, and correct me if I am wrong, why should we change action figures to be more girly? I mean it’s my experience that girls collect action figures because of the way they look now. Not because they prettied them up. Take Nerf for example. More girls are now playing with Nerf guns, but when I look outside to see my kids play Nerf with the girls in the neighborhood, the girls aren’t using the guns with the make-up mirrors. They are using the same guns as the boys. I really don’t think you have to change the overall market to capture an already willing consumer.

I am sure that making figures that play up to the female market at a younger age is a great gateway, into transitioning to more traditional action figures. But it has been this collector’s experience that if any girl wants to collect a “boy” action figure they are going to do it whether it’s marketed to them or not. My advice to Hasbro, Mattel and the others; leave well enough alone. If you make it, they will come…….whatever gender they are.