In a Variety exclusive, Mattel has reported that early sales for their line of ‘Ghostbusters’ inspired toys have been strong from boys – their usual demographic for similarly themed films – and, not so surprisingly, girls. Despite all the controversy that the female-led ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot has had to contend with, its recent box office success as a horror comedy (a difficult genre category that has been notorious for not selling well) and the mostly positive reviews that its received from both the general population and mainstream critics has proven that this franchise is bankable. Not only is it bankable, but it has reached out to a core audience for marketing and sales – children. The early sales have been surprising to say the least for Mattel.
“We’re thrilled with the response to the new Ghostbusters toy line,” said Joe Lawandus, senior VP of design and marketing for Mattel’s Toy Box. “We worked closely with Sony to ensure each figure featured authentic details from the movie including a wearable proton pack. The early momentum shows the product is resonating with ‘Ghostbusters’ fans!”
More importantly, at least for those of us who’ve been fighting for more merchandise for females, it is one step closer to proving to big companies that there is a market for girls that doesn’t involve all things pink and frilly. One of the complaints that has become more prevalent in recent years is the lack of merchandise for girls and women from the toy marketing of comics and sci-fi franchises. This has been an issue that has been pointed out by us , as well as by several others, with the majority of the merchandise made for the recent reboot of ‘Ghostbusters’.
With this new success, perhaps Mattel may develop a second line of toys that branches out and includes more inclusive options that cater to both genders? Maybe other big companies will take note? Because it’s such a problem in the toy marketing issue, I think that any step, big or small, towards inclusion for toy marketing is progress.
‘Ghostbusters’ is currently playing in theaters. It’s directed by Paul Feig and written by Feig and Katie Dippold. The film stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones as a group of women who start a ghost hunting business in New York City due to a growing invasion of ghosts.
What are your thoughts on this news? Did you have any expectations for ‘Ghostbusters’ toy merchandise? Have you seen the movie yet? What did you think? Do you think we’re getting closer to toy options that are inclusive for everyone? Tweet me @birdiesrunamok.I’d love to hear your thoughts!