Guardians Of The Galaxy, Marvel’s action-packed, epic space adventure, opened this past weekend and broke box office records. The film centers on brash adventurer Peter Quill who finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe.
To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill (aka StarLord) is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits: Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; the revenge-driven, physical brute Drax the Destroyer; and the deadly, formidable warrior Gamora (the only woman).
But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his 4 ragtag rivals to team up and defend the galaxy against evil.
With all that said about this five-member (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) collective of galaxy defending heroes, isn’t it curious that the corresponding action figure set only includes four of them… StarLord, Rocket, Groot, and Drax.
Guess who’s missing? Gamora, the only woman in the bunch… you have to buy her separately.
So whom do we hold responsible for this unfortunate snub and segregation of the Guardian’s sole female heroine? With Marvel, the filmmaker, who likely has the final sign-off on their licensed merchandise? Or with Hasbro, the official Guardians of the Galaxy toymaker for Marvel? Maybe both?
WYSK Contributor John Marcotte – feminist dad, web designer, writer, comics junkie, and “Award-Winning Author” – weighed in on the matter for us, saying, “I bet their logic is that adding Gamora would not gain any sales to girls, but might cost them some sales to female-averse boys.” He added, “It’s a self perpetuating cycle: the toy companies say that girls won’t buy action figures so they only make them for boys. Girls who like action figures look and find absolutely nothing for girls, so they don’t buy anything. The toy companies say, ‘See? Told you. Girls won’t buy action figures.’”
UPDATE: In the comments section below, “Boy Nerd” wrote, “This set was released in 2011 (before the movie had even been announced) and is based on the comics.” He added, “The current figures based on the movie include Gamora both as an individual figure and in a 2-pack with Star-Lord. There is no ‘boys only’ set with everyone except Gamora.”
So we went back and rechecked the research we had already done. Here’s what we found:
The lead image above is a Hasbro made Guardians of the Galaxy Team Pack issued in October 2011. 9 months later, at Comic-Con in July 2012, Marvel announced that it was making a Guardians of the Galaxy film (the very film that was just released this past Friday, August 1, 2014). So this action figure set was likely made in late 2011 in anticipation of Marvel’s big summer 2012 news, and has probably been in production ever since.
This is precisely why this same 4-pack is currently being sold by big box retailers like Walmart now, in conjunction with the film’s recent release. They never stopped making it and now is the perfect time to go full throttle with selling it, despite the older artwork on the packaging (what average, non-comic reading, movie going consumer would notice a detail like that?).
To argue that this Gamora-less, 4-pack was based on the comic, not the movie is a moot point. The Guardians of the Galaxy are a 5-member team whether you are reading the comic or watching the movie. So they left Gamora, an equal member of the group, out when they designed this pack then, and she’s still super hard to find now that the movie is out and breaking box office records.
If you look at the official, just-issued 2014 GotG movie merchandise produced by Hasbro for Marvel, you will absolutely find Gamora available as a stand-alone figure, which we noted in the original piece. However, if you look closely, Hasbro only made her as a higher priced collectible figure, one that is “movie-accurate,” with “16 points of articulation,” etc. So she’s in the range of figures that are meant to be put on a shelf, not tossed around by a playful kid.
Even if you were open to paying the $19.99 – $24.99 that this 6” collectible Gamora goes for, it’s incredibly difficult to find her at retailers like Target, Toys R Us, and Walmart… the one’s where you buy kids’ toys. The only other way to get Gamora is in a mini-fig 2-pack with StarLord… so she’s NOT alone and she’s not much bigger than a thimble.
Now, if you look at the official GotG movie-issue Galactic Battlers line from Hasbro, which is the $9.99 range marketed under “Toys & Games” to kids, Gamora is non-existent. There are 5 figures in this toy line, but sadly she is NOT one of them. Rather you can only get her 4 male team members and the male villain. Sorry kids!
We pride ourselves on accurate reporting and proper fact checking, and we take every reader comment seriously. So we’re happy we had this opportunity to do even more research than we did prior to putting this piece together. While we were not aware that the set in the pic originated in 2011, our conclusion is still the same… Gamora gets left out in the cosmic dust.