The Ghostbusters Are Girls Now — But No One Told the Toys

Despite howls of protest from man-children across the Internet, the new Ghostbusters will hit screens this summer, and the first batch of toys are creeping on to  toy shelves. And while here are some great action figures and LEGO playsets, not all of the toys have caught on that the new Ghostbusters are for girls.

The new Ghostbusters Electronic Proton Pack released for the movie features a boy on the front of the box and the same boy on the back of the box.

Just to make sure we weren’t imagining things, we went back to the Ghostbusters trailer and checked out who was wielding the proton packs in the movie.

Ghostbusters - Yep, They're Women
The Ghostbusters – Yep, They’re Women

Another toy that has hit shelves is the Ghostbusters Sidearm Proton Blaster. Again, the photos on the front and the back show a boy playing with the blaster — not a girl.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with boys playing with these toys, but when they are toys based on a movie starring women, and the marketing completely excludes women and girls — it’s jarring.

The assumption seems to be that action-oriented toys are for boys and that boys will not buy them if they see a girl on the box. I wonder how those boys would feel about buying the “proton blaster” if they knew a woman licked it first?

Dr. Jillian Holtzmann boy-proofs her blaster.
Dr. Jillian Holtzmann boy-proofs her blaster.

Toy companies still have no faith that girls would want to engage in heroic role playing; and retail stores still have no idea where to put a toy for girls that is not coded purple or pink, or — heaven forbid — a toy that is supposed to appeal to both genders equally.

There is still work to do.