Target has had some bad luck with gender diversity in their action figure sets. Even as the action figure aisle has included more and more women, Target’s exclusive sets remain very much a boys’ club — even when excluding female characters makes the sets weaker and, frankly, makes very little sense.
The latest exclusive set of Target action figures to bend over backwards to keep the girls out is a Batman set we spotted on a recent trip to the toy department.
The Missing Women
Batgirl, an iconic member of the Batman family who has appeared in comics, television and movies. To keep her out of a Batman-themed set is sacrilege.
Batwoman, a more recent addition to the Gotham scene, but she has quickly made her mark by making her own way. She doesn’t want Batman’s approval, and certainly doesn’t need his permission to keep Gotham safe.
Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, the “Gotham Girls” are incredibly popular villains and any or all of them would have fit better thematically with the set than random, non-bat-related male heroes.
Who we got instead
Superman, who lives in Metropolis not Gotham, and really has very little to do with Batman outside of the Justice League.
The Flash, who makes his home in Central City and who has even less to do with Batman than Superman does.
Cyborg, a Teen Titan regular and recent Justice League addition who probably has visited Gotham at some point in the comics — but I can’t remember when.
While we really are starting to see some progress in representation in the action figure aisle, Target’s exclusive 12-inch action-figure sets depressingly still have about as much gender diversity as you would find at a Catholic priest convention.
We need to let Target know that this in unacceptable. Please write Target using their online form or call Target Guest Relations at (800) 440-0680 to let them know that it is not enough to change signs — behavior needs to change as well.
Edit: It has been pointed out that this set is based on the Batman Unlimited action figure line, which does not have any female characters to include. That brings to mind two questions:
- Why does the Batman Unlimited line exclude all female Batman-related characters in favor of random male heroes?; and
- Why did Target choose this particular line to make a deluxe set when other DC hero lines do have female characters?
I think those are both valid questions to ask. We are far past the point where excluding all the women is OK.