In the past, toy companies tended to divide their wares into “boy toys” and “girl toys” but as times change and traditional gender roles (and even gender identity) are becoming old fashioned, companies are relaxing the division between these stringent lines. ‘Transformers’ has always been one of the most exclusive “boys clubs” on the toy market, with only a few female characters sprinkled throughout its mythology.
But Hasbro along with its collaborators in the world of comics and animation are actively seeking to balance the scales a bit by introducing new strong female characters who are taking center stage and racking up fan followings to rival those of legends like Bumblebee and Optimus Prime!
“People are more accepting now of women playing stronger roles in everything across the board, whether it’s animation or television or film,” says actress Constance Zimmer who provides the voice for new Autobot cadet Strongarm on the new animated series ‘Tranformers: Robots In Disguise’.
Kristy Wu, who voices another new female ‘bot, the Asian-inspired Windblade, describes her character by saying “You get that in her personality there’s a stoicism and honor that is important to her. That comes through in her design, as well.”
Sarah Carroll, senior brand manager for Hasbro’s Transformers toys adds, “Our female fans have demanded to be part of the story. To have them be represented as well is something that’s only natural.”
In this day, it is perhaps more important than ever to present strong females in these perennial franchises as the generation that never grew up are having their own kids– sons and daughters– and are hoping to pass the same passion for the ‘Transformers’ et al onto this new generation. Writer Mairghread Scott, who scripts both the animated series and the IDW ‘Windblade’ comic book, states “It’s very important for them to have strong female characters so that they can relate and bridge that love with their kids.”
Windblade was created with input from fans, who helped choose her personality traits and abilities. Similarly, a new female combiner, Victorion, was created this year in another poll. Victorion emerges in IDW’s new ‘Combiner Hunters’ comic book with a Hasbro toy version hitting shelves at an undisclosed point in the future.
Scott states “Our female characters really do have faults. They have things that they aren’t necessarily always good at and they have things they’re trying to overcome, and that makes them real people with a real drive.”
Zimmer concurs, “You see where her weaknesses are and they become a wonderful part of her persona.”
Check out these mighty metal ladies in action below:
Will these newer characters prove as legendary as their longer-running male counterparts? Will they pop up in the live action movies? If so, will they last longer than Arcee, the only female ‘bot to appear onscreen so far, only to be killed in action?
Source: USA Today