Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Four Observations About My Action Figure Collection

D7ana: Let's talk action figures!

Reader: You mean dolls?

D7ana: No, I mean action figures.

Reader: (Sighs) Same thing.

D7ana: Not really ... I can tell you four areas where my action figure collection differs from my doll collection.

Reader: (Shrugs)

1. Quantity
I have over 480 fashion dolls. That's a rough count because I have many "hybrid" dolls: Mattel heads on Spin Master Liv bodies, Mattel-Mattel swaps, Integrity playline heads on Integrity collector doll bodies, so on. I now have a count for my action figures: 95 intact. By "intact," I mean original heads with original bodies. That's a big difference. I have fewer action figures than I thought. And I call myself a collector of dolls AND action figures. Ha!

I have dolls from at least 50 different companies; I only have 17 companies represented for my action figures. I will list them here:

21st Century
BBi (Blue Box Toys)
Character Options Ltd.
Dragon AND Dragon in Dream Corporation
Formative International Co., Ltd.
Hot Toys Limited
Jakks Pacific
M & C Toy Centre
Majestic Studios
Playmates Toys Inc.
Revell GmbH& Co. KG
Sideshow Collectibles

2. Gender [Im]balance
Want to guess how many of those 95 action figures are female? A whopping 18. Here's a screen shot of my Excel spreadsheet showing those 18 figures:

You've probably seen all of them. My female action figures. Well maybe not Princess Leia and the Bbi Perfect Body Hispanic. I don't think that they've made many online appearances. Here's a group photo showing some of them:

Dragon Linh, Bbi Perfect Body, Hasbro Leia, Character Options Martha, Aoshima/Skynet Girl's/Lady's Mission
From left to right: Dragon Linh, Bbi Perfect Body African American, Hasbro Princess Leia, Character Options Martha Jones, Aoshima/Skynet Lady's Mission Kelly Jackson, Aoshima/Skynet Girl's Mission Mai, and Bbi Perfect Body Hispanic

Before you shake your head in dismay, hear this: while I have not yet taken count of my dolls by gender, I can tell you I have way more female dolls than I do male dolls. Doll companies create far more female dolls than male dolls. My action figure buying began with "Old Joe" as a way to increase male figures in my Doll World. So the gender imbalance does not disturb me.

3. Race Breakdown

Curious about the race breakdown for my action figures? I was so I created a spreadsheet to see what I have. That the majority of my male action figures are White does not surprise me. I do not have statistics to support this claim, but I suspect that the majority of playscale action figures are White males. Raise my hands. I'm not fighting or arguing; just commenting. Finding ethnic figures is more fun because they are a little harder to find.

I was surprised to find that I had more Asian female action figures than White or Black. Hmmm ....

Race Male Female Both
Asian 15 8 23
Black 19 3 22
Hispanic 3 1 4
Native American 1 0 1
Unspecified 0 1 1
White 39 5 44
77 18 95

4. Articulation

Usually, action figures have better articulation or pose-ability than fashion dolls. Action figures have more joints. From that list of 18 female action figures, only three have limited articulation: Hasbro's Princess Leia and Toy Biz's Storm and Xena. Those three figures could almost be considered NO-action figures. What about my male action figures? Are any of them limited posing-wise? Yes. Four: Hasbro's Basic Training Lamont A. Morris and The Defender; Jakks Pacific's Van Helsing and Chris Jericho. Usually, though, articulation puts the action in action figures.

In the photo below, I have a Mattel Harley Davidson Ken followed by a Dragon Ben Yahzee. The HD Ken is on a male poser body. The contrast is almost painful to view.

Reader: So you're telling me dolls and action figures are not the same?

D7ana: I suppose I am. Yes. They are not.

Reader: Well, I still think they're the same.

D7ana: (Sighs) Last I checked, we live in a free country. Think as you will.