IAmElemental: Real-Woman Action Figures

by Emma Tilden

Super-Mom/action figure designer duo Julie Kerwin and Dawn Nadeau saw a problem: the hyper-sexualized asses, the enormous breasts, and the impossibly tiny waists of female action figures. 

“There are female action figures,” Nadeau explains, “but they’re designed for the adult male collector population,” explains Nadeau.  Children’s toys should celebrate more than just a woman’s body!  (Particularly if by “celebrate” we mean “hold up as a sex-object.”)  

So Nadeau and Kerwin took a long-needed step: they created IAmElemental, a line of 7 female action figures.  Each figure personifies an different aspect of a superhero’s power: bravery, energy, honesty, industry, enthusiasm, persistence, and fear. One of the figures has flames shooting from her shoulders, and all look ready to kick some major super-villain ass. 

The entrepreneurs worked with companies across the country to design and personify the action figures. They used their Kickstarter campaign, which just wrapped, to test the waters to see if there would be any demand for the action figures and were met with an overwhelming wave of support. They were fully funded in 2 days. By the end of their 30-day campaign, the two had raised 465% of their funding goal. 

“[T]here’s room out there to hopefully uncouple these more adult messages about beauty and sexuality and give back some of the power that exists. We’re not anti-dollar, anti-princess; we just want to let girls take ownership of these powerful, active storylines.” 

“Play is powerful.  And the toys you play with impact the story you tell,” Nadeau says.  “If you give a girl a different toy she will tell a different story.” 

They are now accepting orders for December 2014. 


Images courtesy of twitter, fastcoexist.com, and kickstarter.com.  

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