I have long maintained that there is really no difference between a fashion doll and an action figure. They are both about the same size; made of the same materials and come with clothes as well as accessories. More importantly, both are an essential part of how children safely act out the rough themes of adulthood. For girls it is socialization and for boys it is danger.
In fact, I like to ask audiences the question: “If you were to put fashion dolls and action figures in the same department, running action figures from right to left and fashion dolls from left to right, what would you put in the middle?”
No one has provided a product to fit in that space…until now. The interesting question is going to be, at least for me, where will these new action figures be displayed at retail? Will they go in the “Girls’” department or will Mattel attempt to colonize some space on the action figure aisle.
On one hand, Mattel would probably sell more in the “Girls’” department where females are accustomed to finding products aimed at them. That space, however, may well come at the expense of other Mattel brands. On the other hand, if they go on the action figure aisle, Mattel will acquire new real estate.
It’s an interesting question to consider for Mattel and their retail customers. A girl’s product line on the action figure aisle might just bring females to a space that has largely been off-limits to them. If they find their way there, we may all be surprised by what else they buy.