IAmElemental Dolls Could Kick Barbie's Butt

by Elizabeth Ballou

Like most little girls growing up in the '90s, the toys I played with were industry standards — mainly Barbies or Disney princess figurines (because my parents were not about to shell out $75 for an American Girl Doll). But luckily the trend of overtly feminized dolls like Barbie and her crew are starting to get pushed aside for more realistic alternatives. Kids of the 2010s, meet the IAmElemental action figures.

Coming in December, you'll be able to scour the shelves for this new line of toys, created by Dawn Nadeau and Julie Kerwin. And you'll want to check them out, because they represent a new phenomenon in action figures: superheroes whose powers come not from something external (like falling into a vat of toxic waste or donning a bat-winged costume), but from within. What's even more exciting is that the toys, which are inspired by Joan of Arc, will feature a more realistic portrayal of the female body than what you'd find on my childhood mainstays. Nadeau and Kerwin wrote on their Kickstarter page that "we set out to design a series of figures with healthier breast, hip, and waist ratios; fierce, strong females worthy of an active, save-the-world storyline that fosters creativity in kids." For only 10 bucks per toy, what's not to like about that?

"We set out to design...fierce, strong females worthy of an active, save-the-world storyline."

The IAmElemental action figures are, thankfully, one of a few new toys hitting the market that present diversity, creativity, and better body image to girls. Goldie Blox, a construction toy aimed at aspiring engineers, presents an alternative to Legos. Lammily, a response to the lack of realism inherent in a Barbie doll, has fully articulated knees, ankles, elbows, and wrists, and doesn't sport legs that, in real life, would literally go on for miles. (OK, not literally, but Lammily's legs look like they actually belong on a real woman.)

The action figures (shown here, underneath their very....well-endowed and scantily-clad counterparts), are "more heroine than Hooter's," say Kerwin and Nadeau.

OK, I am not the maturest of people (I have been known to enjoy Lego-building more than the kids I babysit do), but I would absolutely sit down and play with one of the IAmElemental dolls. The line's creators say that comic books and other tie-ins are in the works, which I fervently hope will come true. Come December, if you have a daughter (or son!), cousin, niece/nephew, or friend in need of a toy, you might just want to shell out $10 for for one of these awesome models.

Image Credit: Dawn Nadeau and Julie Kerwin/Kickstarter