Take That TV Execs! Toys Aimed at Girls Wins Action Figure of the Year!

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It seems like a long time ago that a television show was cancelled because executives didn't believe they could sell action figures to girls. Now, DC's Super Hero Girls have successfully pulled off something those execs never would've thought possible:

Winning "Action Figure Toy" of the year!

Every year since 2000 (sans 2004), the folks at Toy Industry Association, Inc. hold a 'Toy of the Year' (TOTY) Awards contest. This year, DC's Super Hero Girls have won the "Action Figure Toy" category! Ever since the launch of DC's Super Hero Girls, we here at Critical Blast have been proponents of their focus championing strong female characters. 

The category, described as "Toys that include action figures, and their play sets/accessories" also included the following nominees:

  • Fossil Hunter Lottie by Arklu, Ltd.
  • IAmElemental Series 1/Courage by IAmElemental
  • PJ Masks Headquarters Playset by Just Play
  • Pokémon Throw 'N' Pop Poké Ball Duel Set by TOMY
  • Stikbot by ZING
  • Transformers Generations Titans Return Fortress Maximus Action Figure by Hasbro, Inc.

The Toy Industry Association, Inc is a not-for-profit trade association founded in 1916. Representing all businesses creating and delivering toys and entertainment products for kids of all ages. From their website:

The Association serves as the industry’s voice on the cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and creative benefits of play, and proactively promotes play’s positive impact on childhood development to consumers and media. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety, having helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 40 years ago, and remains committed to working with medical experts, government officials, consumer groups, and industry leaders on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.

This is a tremendous victory for Mattel, who produces the action figures. Back in 2013 there was controversy about the cancellation of the show, TOWER PREP, on Cartoon Network. Writer Paul Dini explained on Kevin Smith's FATMAN ON BATMAN podcast that networks couldn't figure out how to make money off of female viewers because "girls don't buy toys". According to Dini, the executives at Cartoon Network told him that "boys buy action figures, girls buy princesses" and they weren't in the business of selling princesses.

This award shows a shift in industry thinking and should pave the way for more action figures directed at young girls.

Continuing with the girl power trend, winner of the overall 'Toy of the Year' was the LEGO Friends Amusement Park Roller Coaster. Another toy directed at young girls, as the LEGO Friends brand is full of girl-centric playsets.