'Ghostbusters' Toy Sales Have Exceeded Sales Expectations, Because Obviously Women Are Awesome
I wouldn't worry about there being a drought this summer, as there's some fantastic news which is sure to replenish the waterworks from the tears of bitter meninists everywhere. Proving that toys based on female characters are undeniably worth investing in, Mattel is reporting high sales of their Ghostbusters toy line, which is made up of a series of action figures modeled after the very female stars of the films. Now please, give me a second to enjoy this perfect moment whilst I go and do a Rocky Balboa style victory lap around my local Toys R' Us. Mattel's successful Ghostbusters toy line, which includes action figures and mini-figures of the main characters, as well as the Ecto vehicle and Proton Pack, have apparently "exceeded expectations," with Joe Lawandus (senior VP of design and marketing for Mattel’s Toy Box) making the following enthusiastic statement regarding the news:
We’re thrilled with the response to the new Ghostbusters toy line ... We worked closely with Sony to ensure each figure featured authentic details from the movie including a wearable proton pack. The early momentum shows the product is resonating with ‘Ghostbusters’ fans!
It sure is, Mr Lawandus. Sales of the Ghostbusters toy line are reported as being strong from both girls and boys, which hopefully goes some way to disproving the myth that a female-inclusive movie and merchandise lines are something that would deter children from wanting to play with such toys.
With the tagline "Everybody wants to be a Ghostbuster," Mattel's marketing approach supported the idea that toys, and the characters they embody, should be inclusive. It's also one which hopefully will encourage more movie studios to not only believe in female characters, but to support them and to merchandise them on the same level as their male counterparts receive.
Not only do young girls deserve to be able to buy diverse sets of toys which they can in some way identify with (just as boys are very easily able to), but by disregarding female-inclusive toy sets and figurines and making them absent from toy shelves children are implicitly being taught a very damaging myth about their place in the world. By excluding females from toy ranges, the toy and film industry are teaching young boys that they're important, powerful and worthwhile whilst teaching young girls that their experiences are less valid. Toy makers and movie studios have a responsibility in realizing the impact of such decisions, and the success of the Ghostbusters range of toys is certainly the first solid piece of evidence that can show them how to positively progress.
Women who grew up rooting for the one female side character (in an otherwise male cast) in the movies of their youth, or who would always play as the token female character in video games understand all too well the power of feeling included in something. Representation is important, and as Ghostbusters has proved (with a successful $62 million domestic gross within it's first six days of release), children and adults alike are more than ready to embrace films which feature female leads.
The massive sales of the Ghostbuster's toy line will hopefully be the defining moment that the film and toy industry needs to believe in women and to invest in them. And as such, I for one am ready to throw money at as many female inclusive movie toys as they can possibly start making. Let's do this.
Images: Columbia Pictures (2)