The Evolution of the Female Action Figure: A Journey from Doll to Hero

Action Figures at The Museum of the Moving Image

The Museum of the Moving Image's Digital Media Archive hosts an extensive collection of action figures from 1975, unsurprisingly dominated by male figures. This page includes some notable female figures from the collection and comments upon their selection.

1. The first figure in the digital archive is that of Daisy Duke from the Duke of Hazzard 1981. In character with the time period, this action figure is built to reflect then standards of American Beauty, with large breasts, obvious daisy duke shorts and long voluminous hair. This figure is a perfect example of the transition between dolls to character "figures." 

2. The first African American female figure in the archive is Star Trek's Guinean from 1994. This figure comes about roughly ten years after the arrival of "black barbie," and keeping with stereotypes, is seen as a submissive teacher figure. 

3. The Pink Mighty Morphin Power Ranger first came out in 1995. This "new and improved" female ranger was targeted towards a young female audience, making the distinction that even "pink girls" could be rangers as well.  

Contents of this path: