Female 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' Toys Will Finally Exist & It's About Time
Everyone knows superheroes are supposed to be inclusive, and yet finding female superhero toys on store shelves for little girls and boys to play with is next to impossible. Happily, though, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn wants to change this sad reality, at least for his franchise. Over the weekend, Gunn, who's making the upcoming 2017 sequel Guardians of the Galaxy 2, took to Twitter to promise the new Guardians toys will include Gamora and all of the other primary female characters in the film.
This is a huge step forward for Disney and Marvel, and for Gunn, who apparently took notice of the dearth of Gamora action figures and merchandise after the release of the first Guardians of the Galaxy. At that time, fans took to Twitter to call out Marvel on the lack of female representation in the tie-in merchandise, particularly in items where all of the Guardians were meant to be featured. Out of frustration, the #wheresgamora hashtag was born, and it appears Gunn took the outcry as a call to action.
There is not a single superhero or action franchise immune to leaving out prominent female characters when it comes time to produce toys. When companies choose not to include women characters like Gamora, Black Widow, Princess Leia, Rey, and the Wasp in their merchandise, it sends two clear messages. One, that they don't want money from female fans young or old, and two, that they are OK with perpetuating the idea that little boys will not want to play with female heroes. Both of these things are inherently wrong, and not even smart moves for the companies; by not including female character toys, the studios are cheating themselves out of extra revenue.
Happily, Gunn is stepping up to make a change in the industry, starting with his own franchise. Having him be one of the first directors to publicly go to bat for his female heroes is fitting considering Guardians of the Galaxy is about a band of misfits in space begrudgingly saving the universe. There is no group of superheroes more disparate or unusual than the Guardians. Star-Lord stands alone as the sole human, and his companions are Gamora, a deadly assassin, Drax, an overly literal alien, Rocket Raccoon, a brilliant, but belligerent raccoon, and Groot, an adorable plant alien who sometimes dances.
They are a group of heroes people of all ages who feel out of place or different can respond to, which makes it all the more important that Gamora, Nebula, and new character The Mantis are available right alongside Groot and Rocket. If a little girl absolutely loves Gamora, and maybe even sees a bit of herself in the character's good heart and badassery, then she should be able to find a Gamora action figure to add to her collection. The same goes for little boys. Gamora is just as much a part of the Guardians as anyone else, and when it comes time for kids to play with their action figures, they cannot be expected to recognize Gamora's value when the studio who put her on the big screen doesn't bother to.
Heroes are for everyone, and it is so refreshing to see a director as prominent as Gunn making sure he not only brings female heroes (and villains) alive onscreen, but that he is also committed to making sure they are well-represented in the merchandise for his film. The lack of female superhero toys is not going to be fixed overnight, but Gunn just ensured Marvel will take a big step forward when Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is released.
Making female action figures available may seem like a small thing to most people, but when you notice a little kid's eyes light up when they find Gamora alongside Star-Lord on a store shelf, you will understand why having them is so vital if superhero fans of all ages and genders are ever going to feel like they truly belong and are valued by their own community. This is a major win for everyone in the superhero fandom, no matter their age, race, or gender, and fans should be proud to support Gunn and Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
Images: Marvel; Giphy