‘I Am Elemental’ Kickstarter Aims To Empower Girls (And Everyone Else) With Positive Action Figures
Variety in action figures isn't what it could be. Just as mainstream superhero comics struggle with the representation of women, so too do most corresponding toy lines. Not a lot of female superheroes make it to mainstream toy retailers and many that do are sexualized or at very least created with a straight, adult, male collector in mind. The new IAmElemental Kickstarter seeks to address this disparity, however, by providing young girls, their parents, and anyone else who enjoys articulated adventurer toys with a fresh line of superpowered figures
The toy line consists of seven characters based on "Elements of Courage," which is a kind of reimagined periodic table of elements. Bravery, Energy, Honesty, Industry, Enthusiasm, and Persistence lead the way in a loose storyline about courage vs. the embodiment of fear known as, well, Fear, that's meant to serve as a springboard for imaginative play. Multimedia featuring the characters (like comic books) are in the pipeline to expand the IAmElemental world, though. There's some palpable similarities to Geoff Johns' Green Lantern mythos here, but I suspect IAmElemental's realm won't include much dismemberment. It's not listed as a play feature on these toys, anyway.
On a basic level these seem like legit action figures. Given that they're prototyped by Eleventyplex, a company that's worked with Mattel and other major toy companies on characters like Batman, Polly Pocket and Voltron, it's not a surprise. The basic sculpt that each of these initial figures is built on is designed to have "healthier breast, waist and hip ratios" than those of many of their contemporaries on the pegs. They're 4" tall, sport 9 points of articulation (including ball-jointed hips and shoulders) and come packed with removable armor-y attachment (energy projection, wings, capes), a shield, and an offensive weapon. They get extra points for being sculpted with a right hand that doubles as a weapon holder/fist.
It's worth noting that even though this line addresses many issues people have with gendered toys, for better or worse, there's still plenty of pink and purple to go around. There's almost just as much orange, though, so it's not quite a full-on Lisa Frank thing happening here.
Interested collectors can get a single figure at the $10 backing level, with higher levels offering more figures and even the chance to talk to the project's creators about the line's second wave.
IAmElemental's Kickstarter has already been funded. And then some. As of press time it's on its way to tripling its $35,000 goal with nearly three weeks left to raise further funds.