Female Action Figures: Hits and Missed Opportunities

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NoOneofConsequence
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Female Action Figures: Hits and Missed Opportunities

Post by NoOneofConsequence »

So, I'm a child of the 80s (and very late 70s), and as such, the mass numbers of action figure lines, including their their associated media and mythologies, were a big part of my child hood. And for some reason, I've long had a fascination with the female characters that were often a part of these lines. But, as far as the toys went, they were often a small part, if any part at all. I always found this disappointing. Apparently, this has been attributed to them not selling as well. (Of course, it's hard to sell something that isn't there.) A lot of action figure lines had female characters in the cartoons or comics that never materialized as figures. So, I felt like looking at some of them.

I'll note that I'm only going to be talking about the original toy lines from the 70s, 80s (and in some cases 90s). A lot of these have had new lines over the past 20 years, many of them with all sorts of characters we never got originally. But this is about the old days.

And, because it was the single biggest game changer for the toy industry and action figure lines, I figured I'd start with Star Wars. The film came out in 1977, and the toy line quickly followed. In a lot of ways, this set the template for later toy lines, in that you had a collection of male heroes and one solitary female heroine: Princes Leia Organa. The toy line managed to last until 1985, two years after Return of the Jedi was released. During that time, we got five different versions of Princess Leia. The original film gave us the classic original version, with her white dress/gown, including that infamous plastic cape/cloak Kenner liked to use so much. The Empire Strikes Back gave us two new ones, Hoth Leia and Bespin Leia. Jedi again presented two new versions, one as the bounty hunter Boussh, and one in her Endor fatigues.
Kenner never made a Leia figure in her Jaba's Palace slave outfit. This probably isn't all that surprising, given that some parents might've objected to it. Still, such a thing probably would've been a wildly successful mail away exclusive figure.
We also never got Leia in her Bespin escape outfit. This is actually her Hoth outfit without the jacket. But it would've been cool to have a version of Leia who came with an Imperial blaster.

Beyond Leia, there aren't a lot of female characters in the films. But there is one who got her own figure. That would be Sy Snoodles, the lead single of the band at Jaba's palace. Of all the characters to get figures, the band was a weird one. After all, the Mos Eisley band in the original film never got figures. (They were part of the cardboard backdrop for the Cantina Playset.) But there you go. If anyone ever tells you that Leia was the only female figure from the original Star Wars line, you can correct them.

Mon Mothra, despite being one of the leaders of the Rebellion and having a major speaking role in Jedi, never got a figure. This isn't really surprising, but then you look at the fact that we had Imperial Dignitary, one of the most infamously useless figures in the entire line. And honestly, would she have really been any less useful to your collection than General Nadine and his Power Point Presentation Stick?

From the original film, Aunt Beru never got an action figure. Again, this isn't totally shocking. I think she would finally get a figure in one of the later lines. Also, the fan-made joke figures of her and Uncle Owen post-Storm Trooper murder.

Apparently there are two women in the Mos Eisley cantina. I've never seen them named, but I'm sure they have them. Everyone in the cantina seemed to have a name and backstory.

In Empire, we have a fairly prominent but unnamed Echo Base Technician. She never got a figure, which isn't a total shock. But again, this was a line with a Death Star Droid, Power Droid, and Lobot. So, really, a Rebel tech support person wouldn't have been totally out of place here.

The Return of the Jedi line was very all-in on Jaba's palace. (That and Ewoks.) Oola is the name of the Twi'lek dancer who gets fed to the Rancor monster. Believe it or not, her name pops up fairly frequently in New York Times crossword puzzles. She never got a figure, but I suppose this was because someone was afraid her most popular use would be being fed to the Rancor monster toy.

There's also a few women hanging around in Jaba's palace. And I mean in the original version, not the Special Edition with its very obviously spliced in eye candy. None of them are named, save one. Yarna d'al' Gargan is a rather ... interesting looking person seen dancing at one point. Until researching for this, I'd always though she was the Rancor Keeper in a different hat. That or just a very obese man with questionable fashion choices. But she never got a figure either. If she had, I'm not sure anyone would've known she was a woman. Star Wars figures never had character bios, after all.

Strangely, no female Ewoks. We'd have to wait for their own animated series for that. And I think I'm going to save that and Droids for another post.

Next, I'll be looking at one of 1982's major debuts: Masters of the Universe.
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Re: Female Action Figures: Hits and Missed Opportunities

Post by Davies »

NoOneofConsequence wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 2:18 am Apparently there are two women in the Mos Eisley cantina. I've never seen them named, but I'm sure they have them. Everyone in the cantina seemed to have a name and backstory.
Most of those names and backstories were invented for WEG's d6 game, about a decade later. It identified them as Brea and Senni Tonnika, a pair of sisters who were con artists and murderers. (Then a short story identified them as a pair of Mystryl Guards posing as Brea and Senni Tonnika.) According to Wookiepedia, they were just called 'the Space Girls' during production.
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Re: Female Action Figures: Hits and Missed Opportunities

Post by NoOneofConsequence »

Davies wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:16 pm According to Wookiepedia, they were just called 'the Space Girls' during production.
So, part of an intergalactic girl pop band then?
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Re: Female Action Figures: Hits and Missed Opportunities

Post by Davies »

NoOneofConsequence wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:37 pm
Davies wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:16 pm According to Wookiepedia, they were just called 'the Space Girls' during production.
So, part of an intergalactic girl pop band then?
... except for the fact that the joke would have made no sense in 1976, or any time up until 1994, sure.
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Re: Female Action Figures: Hits and Missed Opportunities

Post by NoOneofConsequence »

So, Masters of the Universe.

For this, I'm only talking about the original toyline and the Filmation animated series. With a handful of exceptions, I'll not be talking about She-Ra, as it was a girl's doll line with certain action figure overtones and was made up almost entirely of female figures. (Though I may later discuss the fact that a lot of these lines seemed to have token male figures similar to the way action figure lines had token female members.)

So, there are two main female characters in the Masters of the Universe line: Teela and Evil-Lyn. Both were released fairly early in the line - Teela as part of the first wave of figures in 82 and Evil-Lyn in 83 - and featured prominently in the cartoon. Weirdly, the original figure of Teela has this snake thing going on which was never used in the cartoon. I'm a little surprised that they never rereleased her absent the snake staff and head-dress and equipped with a blaster and/or sword instead. Evil-Lyn's figure is a repainted Teela figure with a new head. This was a frequent cost-saving measure back then, both for Mattel and others. (The most noticeable one in MotU was Fakor, the fake clone-robot - clobot? - of He-Man from the line's second year, who was literally just a blue and orange He-Man with orange Skeletor armor and sword.)

The only other female figure would come at the very end of the line with the release of the Sorceress. She'd been a major part of the Filmation cartoon for its entire run, but it was only after that cartoon ended and the toyline was coming to an end in 1987 that she got a figure. It's a fairly nice figure, and isn't a repaint of the previous two. It has spring loaded wings, slightly reminiscent of the Silver Hawk line of figures, but thankfully her arms aren't permanently connected to the wings, enabling them to move on their own.
Weirdly, The Sorceress's design springs from that of Zoar, a 1983 release that was meant to be He-Man's "fighting falcon" (in the same way that Battle-Cat was his fighting tiger). Ironically, given how Teela ended up becoming the Sorceress's daughter, Teela and Zoar were available as a two pack boxed gift set in 1983.

One of the other Filmation inspired releases from that final wave of figures was Prince Adam's dad, King Randor. Given this, I'm mildly surprised they didn't just go ahead and make a figure of Queen Marlina. I can't imagine there was really that much more of a demand for a Randor figure.

I mentioned there was an exception to my talking about She-Ra, and that would be She-Ra herself. If you were a He-Man fan and liked She-Ra, and maybe wanted to do a team up, your only option was a girl's doll. I can't imagine that it would've hurt sales of the girl's doll line any to have released a straight up action figure version of the character for the MotU line. (The most recent line of figures seems to have come to the same conclusion.) Likewise, given how the Horde were all MotU figures, you'd think at lease one or two of them might've been done as MotU action figures. Scorpia, for example, with her overall theme, claw hands, and giant stinger tail, was never going to become a girl's doll in the 80s. But she could've been a good MotU figure, especially if you'd used an adaption of Whiplash's tail attack action gimmick.

The Snake Men became the big new evil force for 1986. And again, just being me, I was always a little disappointed they didn't have their own token female member. It might've been a good excuse to reuse some of Teela's original snake themed gear.

1986 also gave us the Rock People. We only had two of them, Rokkon (what may be simultaneously the single most MotU and most 80s name ever) and Stonedar. They only appeared in the She-Ra cartoon, but when they did, there was a third female one, Granita.

The cartoon managed to produce a lot of one-off female characters. Stratos's bird people did provide us with a female member of their race in the form of Hawke. We had Kittrina from a race of jungle dwelling cat people. Dree-Ella was Orco's girlfriend from his own weird race.

Interestingly, when the Masters of the Universe Classics line was running during the 2010s, they would end up making a lot of these obscure female figures into characters.

Next, the other big launch of 1982, GI Joe.
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Re: Female Action Figures: Hits and Missed Opportunities

Post by MacynSnow »

Now which Version of Joe are you doing? Original 13 only had Scarlett for the Joes & Baroness for Cobra(and only if you could find the OG H.I.S.S. Tank). They didn't get Cover Girl or Lady Jaye untill '84 or '85. They added Jinx & Zarana in Late '86-87, so it all depends on where you start and if you even count the MASK toyline as part of the Joe brand.
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Re: Female Action Figures: Hits and Missed Opportunities

Post by NoOneofConsequence »

The original line (82 to 94 IIRC).

MASK will come later.
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Re: Female Action Figures: Hits and Missed Opportunities

Post by NoOneofConsequence »

So in 1982, Hasbro relaunched their classic GI Joe concept as a line of 3 and 3/4 action figures. Instead of a single guy, it was now a team of specialists. And one of them was a woman, the Counter Intelligence agent Scarlett. GI Joe would go on to be the biggest toy line of the 80s, lasting to the end of the decade with a constant output of figures and vehicles, before finally sputtering to an end in the early 90s. And, in something of a unique feature of 80s toy lines, they introduced a new female character/figure for the line each year.

Scarlett was one of the signature characters for the line, especially in the comic books. Part of this is because she visually stood out among the original line up. Of the original nine figures, she's one of the only two not wearing olive green, instead wearing a blue and light orange/tannish leotard like outfit. (The other is Snake Eyes, who is entirely black.) The only other character with that level of color pop was Flash, the laser rifle guy, who had orange pads as part of his suit. (This was apparently a laser thing, as Grand Slam, the operator of the laser cannon artillery piece, had the same outfit.) It also helped that writer Larry Hama clearly enjoyed the character and used her a lot, working to make her come across as competent, confident, and sometimes snarky, and tried to have ever using her as a damsel in distress. (Seriously, even in the famous issue 21 Silent Interlude issue, where she's kidnapped by the debuting Storm Shadow and imprisoned in Destro's castle, prompting Snake Eyes to come rescue her, by the time he finds her, she's already freed herself and is just looking for a way out of the castle itself.) The first year figures all had arms which only bent at the elbow in addition to the ball joint at the shoulder. They would all be reissued the next year with the new "swivel arm battle grip" upgrade. Incidentally, Scarlett is the only figure in the entire line who has no peg holes in her feet to work with the ubiquitous foot pegs used in the Joe line, both for play sets, vehicles, and the figure stands. Scarlett's signature weapon was her cross bow. Sadly no backpack with an extra supply of crossbow bolts. (Though I would frequently upgrade her with the recolored Grunt M-16 rifle and backpack that came with the first weapon accessory pack. Unfortunately, her plastic hair sculpt meant it was impossible to give her a helmet.)
In 1993, Scarlett would finally get a second edition figure. (This after Snake Eyes had four versions - and a fifth as part of this wave - while other characters were on their 3rd or 4th variant.) This figure is kind of terrible. For one, by this time GI Joe looked less like a military special forces team and more like sci fi cartoon heroes, with pretty garish costumes, often in neon. (Even those that looked semi military were still a bit off, such as Leatherneck with giraffe-skin camo pants or Bazooka dressed like he was going fly fishing.) Scarlett was now in this neon-green Asian-esque fantasy armor that wouldn't have looked out of place in some Mortal Kombat games. This was because she was now part of Ninja Force. Unfortunately, Ninja Force was all based around spring loaded "Martial Arts" action gimmicks. And Scarlett's was a kicking thing, which necessitated a total lack of the articulation that Joe figures were originally famous for. She has what is often described as "T-crotch". Her hips can only move in the one way (similar to the Star Wars figures) and her waist can't move at all. She's also lost her signature cross bow, now having bright yellow swords, nunchucks, and a part of Wolverine-esque claws. On the plus side, at least they went to the effort of giving her long hair, using a length of fake hair to give her a pony tail.

The second year gave us Cover Girl. Two things make her unique among female Joes. One is that she is the only one to come with a vehicle, the Wolverine missile tank. The other is that she is the only female character made who isn't an Intelligence agent. Instead, she's a mechanic and tank driver. Unfortunately, the cartoon tended to spend more time playing up her model background when they bothered to use her at all, and when Devil's Due picked up the comic license in the late 90s, they tried to ret-con her into another Intelligence agent. Still, this was better than the live action film, which kind of slotted her into the role of Hawk's secretary. Even worse, apparently legal issues over her code name with the cosmetic company continue to dog the character to this day.
(There's been some speculation over the years that Cover Girl may have originally been intended to be a blonde, but for some reason the figures ended up with brown hair and they just went with it. This would at least explain why the version you see in the original five part cartoon miniseries looks nothing like the actual figure or her later appearances.)

The Baroness was originally introduced in the first issue of the Marvel Comics and was a very prominent part of the story line (especially during the second year, with her relationship with Destro, her part in the Latin American story arc, and her near death in a tank explosion). Hasbro very smartly decided to make her the female figure for the 1984 line. And I personally think it's one of the best figures of the entire line. Her outfit was updated from a normal Cobra blue with yellowish accents to an all black leather like suit with a lot of sculpting detail. But best of all was her hair, forgoing the solid plastic sculpt used by Scarlett and Cover Girl in favor of a separately sculpted and excellently detailed rubber hair piece that was plugged into the plastic head. It really is a beautifully designed figure. (I suspect that the hair was the result of the work they had to do to design Zartan, with his rubber head cowl that supported his rubber disguise mask.)

1985 would bring us Lady Jaye, who would go on to rival (and depending on your exact age, possibly supplant) Scarlett in popularity. A lot of this probably as to do with the GI Joe cartoon finally making the leap from a yearly five part miniseries to a full 65 episode syndicated show. Because they wanted to push the new stuff, the 85 (and to a lesser extent 84) figures got pushed really heavily, with the earlier ones being less used. I often wonder what kind of stories we might've got about the class of 82 or 83 if we'd had a full 65 episode series a year earlier. Lady Jaye looked a bit more military than Scarlett, with her green outfit that might look military if you squint a lot. Like the Baroness, she had rubber hair, which was cool. Less cool was that they decided to give her a ball cap. This was a permanent part of the plastic head sculpt, making it unremovable, which is unfortunate, as she never wore the cap in the cartoon, and it meant she didn't have a full head of hair like the Baroness. Even more wonky was her choice of weapon. While Scarlett had her cross bow, and the initial cartoon apparently liked to have her use certain trick arrows at certain points, cartoon Lady Jaye leaned entirely into this silliness with a back pack full of collapsable javelins that rivaled the Silver Age Green Arrow for gimmickry. This was made weirder with the figure, who got a backpack and a video camera that matched her outfit, and what is apparently supposed to be a javelin launcher, with a single javelin. But it was a good character and a really solid figure. (Also, in circumstance I have no explanation for, she's the only original figure that I have a mint-on-card example of. I've no idea how that happened.)

1986 would see GI Joe start to lean more into the science fiction angle. And part of that included giving Zartan (whose abilities and background were always murky and unclear, even in the more grounded comics world that included ninjas, brain wave scanners, and laser canons) a sister Zarana. Unlike her brother, Zarana went for a more "punk biker" inspired look, in the neon colors that punks were always depicted with in 80s cartoons (see also Jem, Teen Wolf, and a lot of others). This included a very loud pink shirt. But her boots and gloves are pretty rad. There are apparently two different versions of the figure's head, one with a more severe haircut that displays ears with earrings that was only in some of the very earliest releases. Both versions use a rubber hair "not quite mohawk" looking insert on the very top. Her skin areas are made with the same themosensitive plastic used in Zartan, so that she changes color in sunlight. For some reason, apparently related to the color change gimmick, the two torso halves for Zartan, Zarana and Zandar (the other brother) are all sonic welded together, meaning that you can't separate them even after taking the screw out of the back. So if the interior o-ring has dry rotted or broken, or any other part has been damaged and needs to be replaced, you're kind of screwed. It's apparently possible to pop them apart with specialized tools, but it's very chancy and you risk cracking or breaking the torso halves. Anyway, Zarana came with a backpack and ... what looks like an attempt to weaponize a weed trimmer. (Apparently a few years later, they were giving away unsold Zarana's away as convention exclusives, but with a little submachine gun and sword instead of her backpack and gardening tool.)

In 1987, we got our sixth (and sadly, final) female figure. This was Jinx, a ninja. She's from the same Arashikage ninja clan as Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, though it isn't named on her file card. Annoyingly, they make her real name Classified, which robbed her of some of her character. Apparently it was later retconned that her name is Kim Arashikage. I presume that's short for Kimberly, which just makes me want to have a team up with her and the original Pink Ranger. And as a ninja, she's dressed all in red. Except for her exposed hands, which have nail polish. Because of course they do. As much as I always liked Jinx, I really wish she had a better color choice, because red was traditionally the color for evil canon fodder ninja in the 80s, and it never felt very ninja-y. Because her head is just a full plastic sculpt of her masked face, she lacks the cool hair details of the previous three characters. And exactly how she wore her hair under it was all over the place in the comics, seeming to change from issue to issue. The animated film was clearly setting her up to be the next Lady Jaye, romantically pairing her with Generic Square Jawed Leader Guy #3 (ie Lt. Falcon), but the movie was kind of a flop (being released direct to home video after the failure of the Transformers film), and by the time they tried to pick up the storyline a few years later, that angle was pretty much forgotten. Jinx, being a ninja, only came with ninja weapons, this being a pair of matched swords and a naginata staff weapon. Also a backpack which held the swords. A really big backpack.

(As an aside, something I never really picked up on until doing this - and having seen it, I can't unsee it - is that Zarana and Jinx both depart from the earlier characters in that their concepts are almost totally defined by their relationship with pre-existing male characters, Zartan, Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. It's almost like Hasbro was deliberately trying to make figures based on the stereotype of the annoying tag along little sister who wants to play too. This would even carry over in the early 00's line of Spy Corp, were we had the new character of Bomb Strike whose one older brother is one of the new Joe members for that line and the other is a new Cobra member. Oy.)

And, unfortunately, that was the end of female GI Joe figures. I'm not sure if there's ever been a real answer given for why. Most people claim that the female characters didn't sell as well, but I honestly have no idea. Apparently Hasbro did have enough figures left over to be giving Zaranas away at conventions and offering Jinx as a mail away figure in 1989 once her two year run on store shelves was up. But who knows. All I can say is that I recall being incredibly disappointed by this in 1988 when I realized there was no new female figure. Maybe I'm just weird.

But, taking a step back a few years, I will mention that there were a few female characters being released in international markets. In 1983, British company Palitoy licensed a bunch of GI Joe vehicle and figure designs/molds to expand their Action Force line from the year earlier. One of the ones they used was Scarlett, who was recolored and reimagined as Quarrel. She's Swiss (likely owing to the crossbow and associations with the Swiss folk hero William Tell) and came with the Z-Force (pronounced Zed-Force, as it's British) RAM motorcycle. (This may have been prompted by the figure's lack of foot holes.) She has blonde hair and sports the standard Z-Force color scheme of green and black with some red highlights.
South American toy companies also made use of reimagined new characters derived from existing molds. Argentina also used the original Scarlett figure for Glenda, a helicopter pilot and intelligence officer. She had blonde hair, and a blue and silver outfit, with a laser rifle and some sort of headset I can't find any images of. Cover Girl's figure would likewise be used in Argentina as the basis for Sparta, a secret agent of some sort. She was released as a carded figure, armed with the same submachine gun used by the original Stalker. While the card art isn't as good as the Hasbro stuff, it's actually a good picture. The figure itself is in mostly the same color scheme as Cover Girl, but has a lot of these green additions and accents that actually improve on her outfit.

And then there is the anomaly that is the line of Street Fighter figures Hasbro did, as a tangent to the GI Joe line. A lot of these were just repaints of existing figures, especially the Ninja Force ones, with new head sculpts. The only female was Chun Li, who was the Ninja Force Scarlet redone in Chun Li's blue (and for some reason white) colors. Cammy never got a figure. As a fan of Cammy, I feel this is for the best.

So, that was what we got. But what did we miss? Well, had the animated movie done as well as Hasbro wanted to, it's possible that the 1988 line might've included Pythona, the female member of Cobra-La, the weird race of inhuman biotech people. But Cobra-La pretty much got laughed out of the building and that was that.

But the single biggest omission - and one that fans would complain about for a long time - was the lack of figures for the October Guard, the Soviet/Warsaw Pact counterpart to GI Joe introduced in issue 6 of the comic. They would go on to make appearances every year or so, until around the end of the decade when Larry Hama had the majority of them die on a mission in Latin America. (It's actually a really good, if sad, issue, and honestly they all go out a lot better than the actual GI Joe members who would get killed later on in the Middle East.) The team's token female member was Diana. She's a sniper and helicopter pilot from what was then Czechoslovakia (she's from the Czech part). Even when Hasbro was making international Joes like Big Ben, and Russians like Red Star and Big Bear. still no Diana. (Almost adding insult to injury, when Hasbro was putting out a line of cheap and ugly looking Joe figures in 1997 and 1998, they did release what was intended to be a Diana figure named Volga, who was an incredible ugly Lady Jaye repaint. She didn't even come with her signature sniper rifle, instead getting all of Lady Jaye's original gear, including the stupid javelin launcher.)

Even though a number of older Joes (besides Snake Eyes) were getting new figures around 88 and 89 (the Rock n Roll one is particularly amazing), we never got a new Scarlet during this period. Even if they'd just reissued the original with a new head sculpt that took advantage of the advances made with the Baroness to give her long rubber hair, as well as a few extra weapons and maybe feet with peg holes, it probably would've sold decently.

Starting in 1987, with Battle Force 2000, Hasbro seemed to keep wanting to push sub teams. A lot of the early stuff - Tiger Force, Night Force, and Python Patrol - were entirely old vehicle molds and characters reissued with new color schemes. This was actually kind of cool because if you'd missed out on some of the really great early vehicles like the Rattler or the Whale, you now had the chance to get them again if in an altered form. This would evolve a little with Slaughters Marauders, Eco Force and Sky Force, which did the same trick, but made a few modifications to the vehicles or made new figure sculpts. Some of these kind of felt like a totally new idea they just decided to market under the still viable GI Joe brand. None of these repaints or sub lines ever included women. Tiger Force, for example, had the repainted Flint, but not Lady Jaye to go with him. No Python Patrol Zarana either. Scarlet finally made it into Ninja Force, but not Jinx. While Slaughter's Marauders reused part of the Wolverine to make the Lynx tank/artillery piece, none of its three vehicles came with figures. Which is a shame because the original Cover Girl figure would've looked good in the Marauder's color scheme. (Even better if they'd added rubber hair.) And no updated Baroness to go with Destro's Iron Grenadiers. Even when they were almost entirely reduced to repainted older figures in the last two years of the line as Battle Corps, you'd think they've released a Zarana repaint, given how prevalent she was in the comics. And no new ones either. Battle Force 2000 and Eco Force both probably would've been a good place for one. I'd have even taken a paramedic for the Drug Elimination Force.

(The idea of Tiger Force or Python Patrol versions of Lady Jaye and Zarana - or even a Night Force Scarlett or Jinx in black and grey - would have made decent mail away figures IMO. Get 4 or 5 certificates from the figures and vehicles in that specific sub line and we'll send you a free extra figure. )

And so, that was GI Joe.

Next, Transformers. It'll be much shorter.
Last edited by NoOneofConsequence on Mon Apr 26, 2021 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
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Re: Female Action Figures: Hits and Missed Opportunities

Post by Batgirl III »

Jinx’s MOS was actually “File Clerk.”
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Re: Female Action Figures: Hits and Missed Opportunities

Post by MacynSnow »

<Enjoying G.I.Joe "high">
There we go.......It's nice that i'm not the only one who had to suffer a "Zartan break" (you can still pull 'em apart if you use a micro-screwdriver to "Follow the lines") or noticed Scarlet's lack of pegs.
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Re: Female Action Figures: Hits and Missed Opportunities

Post by MacynSnow »

Batgirl III wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:35 am Jinx’s MOS was actually “File Clerk.”
Actually, Her MOS depends on if you liked the Movie or not. If you like the movie, it's Mechanical Repair(when Falcon's hitting on her, she's effecting repairs on a Tomahawk) or File Clerk. The Secondary is ALWAYS Intelligence...
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Re: Female Action Figures: Hits and Missed Opportunities

Post by NoOneofConsequence »

Characters had Primary and Secondary Specialties. Scarlett, Baroness, Lady Jaye, and Jinx all have Intelligence as primary, with CLASSIFIED, Fixed Wing (ie airplane) Pilot, Personal Clerk, and Finance Clerk, respectively. (I swear, there is probably a lost story out there about the adventures of Lady Jaye and Jinx doing the team's paperwork.) Zarana has none, but her whole schtick is being a disguise artist and infiltrator. Cover Girl's were Armor and AFV Mechanics (Armored Field Vehicle IIRC). There has always been the issue that in the early 80s, women wouldn't have been allowed in Armor, though this was always just glossed over. When they finally released a modern 25th anniversary style figure for her (as a collectors club exclusive, a fact which, like the actual good Diana figure from that line being a convention exclusive available only as part of a huge October Guard vs Iron Grenadiers set, annoys me to no end), this was changed to Motor Transport Operator. While I joke that this means she gets to be the bus driver on field trips, I really wish I could have that figure with a properly scaled and remolded APC, Warthog or Vamp.

(Exactly what Scarlett's secondary specialty was supposed to be is a heavily debated mystery. Infantry is a popular suggestion as is something to do with psychological warfare. Also the joke suggestion of Legal Clerk to match the others. I think Criminal Investigation Division makes the most sense. But given how heavily her martial arts back ground is played up, I'm surprised it didn't just have Hand to Hand Combat Instructor.)
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Re: Female Action Figures: Hits and Missed Opportunities

Post by Batgirl III »

Characters had Primary and Secondary Specialties. Scarlett, Baroness, Lady Jaye, and Jinx all have Intelligence as primary, with CLASSIFIED, Fixed Wing (ie airplane) Pilot, Personal Clerk, and Finance Clerk, respectively. (I swear, there is probably a lost story out there about the adventures of Lady Jaye and Jinx doing the team's paperwork.)
So, not exactly relevant to the whole “female action figures” bit, but definitely on topic for badass file clerks: sci-fi / fantasy author, former machine gun store owner, and former accountant Larry Correia was made a member of G.I. Joe during the IDW comics. Codename Spreadsheet.

Of course, the greatest member of the G.I. Joe team in any continuity is Cutter. Although his file card lists his primary MOS as “Hovercraft Captain” which is not a thing and his secondary MOS say he coaches the women’s swimming team at Annapolis... Which is really weird since that’s the service academy for a different freakin’ branch (and the coaching staff are all civilians in real life).

But who cares!? Cutter was and is the only member of the Coast Guard on the team. So, obviously, he’s awesome.
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Re: Female Action Figures: Hits and Missed Opportunities

Post by NoOneofConsequence »

Yeah, you got some interesting secondary specialties, especially during the third and fourth waves. Thunder, the driver for the Slugger artillery piece, was a band drummer. Alpine and Heavy Metal are both Finance Clerks (and this was the same year as Lady Jaye; I wonder if this was some sort of commentary by Larry Hama about the team roster getting so huge). Dusty's is Refrigerator and AC Maintenance. Footloose was another Special Services coach (basketball this time). Roadblock was a Cook.
1988 also had a few. Especially Super Trooper (Public Relations), but you also had Hardball (another Special Services; it doesn't specify, but given his overall motif and being from Cooperstown, I'm going to take a wild guess it's baseball coach), and Spearhead (Finance - at this point, we have a full unit of fighting accountants).
What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
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Re: Female Action Figures: Hits and Missed Opportunities

Post by Davies »

NoOneofConsequence wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 4:18 am
In 1987, we got our sixth (and sadly, final) female figure. This was Jinx, a ninja. She's from the same Arashikage ninja clan as Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, though it isn't named on her file card. Annoyingly, they make her real name Classified, which robbed her of some of her character. Apparently it was later retconned that her name is Kim Arashikage. I presume that's short for Kimberly, which just makes me want to have a team up with her and the original Pink Ranger.
Kimiko is a bit more likely.
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