Dolls aren’t just for sitting on the shelf or dressing pretty anymore. They can be just as cool and exciting as action figures, if given moveable joints. These “action dolls” combine the best of both worlds by featuring the fine detailing of typical dolls combined with the movement capabilities of action figures.
Action dolls, with their extremely poseable bodies, offer up greater opportunities for play as they can more easily be imagined in active situations. This, in turn, may offer girls more expansive ideas about their own possibilities.
“Play is so important to a child’s intellectual growth,” Susan Engel, director of the Program in Training and a psychology professor at Williams College, commented to PlayZak.
Whether she’s wearing a skirt, dress or heels, any one of these action dolls and figures has the attitude (and sometimes the joints) to kick butt … as long as it’s a small one. From Supergirl to WWE sports stars, these women are ready for action.
Tonner Character Figures DC Stars Collection – Supergirl by TONNER DOLL COMPANY
Inspired by “Silver Age” art concepts from DC Comics, this poseable, limited edition doll stands 16” tall. Tonner Character Figures, based on classic superheroes appearing in DC Comics, feature hand-detailed face painting, rooted hair and authentic costuming inspired by the superhero’s life from origin to secret identity. Launch date: December 2006. — Supergirl is one of the first two original dolls released in the Tonner Character Figures Collection. — "The fine-quality 'ingredients' that make up each Tonner doll include hand-painted faces, finely engineered articulation and beautifully crafted contemporary clothing made from some of the finest fabrics available,” Tom Courtney, visuals and merchandising director for Tonner Dolls told TDmonthly. — Award-winning designer Robert Tonner created this doll.
This special limited-edition doll replicates the likeness of Emma Watson as Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” films. The 17” Hermione features remarkably engineered jointing, with 14 points of articulation that include the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, side-to-side chest joint, ball-jointed hips, knees and ankles. Launch date: 2006. — “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” the fifth movie installment in the Harry Potter series, generated over $291,000,000 in the U.S. Box Office alone. — “The most excitement in our booth was generated by Tonner Doll Company's Harry Potter and Hermione Granger,” Cleo Dougherty of Cleo & Company told TDmonthly. “People were amazed at the terrific likenesses to the actors.” — Owner Robert Tonner of Tonner Doll told TDmonthly that the popularity of the Harry Potter line “hasn’t slowed down in the last two or three years.”
This limited edition Clea Bella doll stands 16” tall en pointe. She is made of full-body vinyl and comes fully articulated. A barre is available separately. Launch date: Summer 2006. — The costumes and accessories of all dolls in the Clea Bella collection are designed to be interchangeable. — Christina Bougas designed the dolls to specially capture the form, grace and spirit of dancers. — According to Nielsen TV ratings, reality dancing shows such as “Dancing With the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance” continually score high among the 18 to 49 age group. “So You Think You Can Dance” was even renewed for a fourth season in the midst of its third season.
Sharpay, Gabriella, Troy, Taylor, Chad and the rest of the Wildcats from the Disney Channel’s “High School Musical 2” are featured in this collection. Each doll is designed in the likeness of his or her onscreen character and is dressed in an outfit featured in the movie. Each of the dolls also includes an extra beach outfit for fun in the sun. Each doll is sold separately. Launch date: September 2007. 7/25/2007 — Over 17.2 million viewers tuned in to watch the premiere of “High School Musical 2.” — In 2007, the movie the set the record for the most-watched cable telecast in U.S. history. — The movie won the 2007 Teen Choice award for Choice TV: Movie.
This is the first “premium” doll in Mattel Inc.’s I Love Lucy doll collection. Fully articulated, Lucy comes dressed in a baggy clown suit and holds a cello. Launch date: October 2007. — In 2002, TV Guide selected “I Love Lucy” as the second greatest show of all time. — Lucille Ball won four Emmy awards for her role in “I Love Lucy” and the cast and crew of the show, as a whole, received 19 Emmy nominations during its six-year run. — This item premiered at Toy Fair 2007 in New York.
Kingdom Hearts 2 – Kairi by DIAMOND COMIC DISTRIBUTORS
The figure stands 6-1/2” tall and features over 20 points of articulated movement. A display stand is also included. The “Kingdom Hearts 2” Play Arts figures series also includes Axel, Roxas and Sora. — “Kingdom Hearts 2” was the second best-selling videogame in the U.S. in 2006. ― “Diamond … [has] been flexible above and beyond the call of duty as I tried to get my business off the ground,” Chad Seger of Wonko’s Toys and Games told TDmonthly in spring 2007. — Hayden Panettiere of the hit television series “Heroes” voices Kairi.
Brown-haired, green-eyed O-hara comes dressed in a black suit with black high-heeled shoes. She also comes with an alternate outfit: a white turtleneck, a pale green dress, black pants and purple shoes. Additional accessories are included. Launch date: August 2007. — Pinky Street 5” figures are collectible, interchangeable toys based on Tokyo street fashions and Anime. — The dolls’ heads, hair, torsos, legs and various clothing articles can be swapped to create new outfits, looks and characters. — The Pinky Street figures are compatible with 1:18 scale dollhouses, furniture, vehicles and accessories.
Kill Bill 18" Bride Action Figure with Sound by NECA
The Hattori Hanzo sword-equipped, 18” tall figure features motion-activated sound, with the voice of Uma Thurman herself. The figure also features a ball-jointed neck, shoulders, forearms, wrists, ankles and more. — “Kill Bill Vol. 1” generated over $70,000,000 in the U.S. Box Office. — Oscar-winning director Quentin Tarantino directed “Kill Bill,” volumes one and two. — Lead actress Uma Thurman received two Golden Globe nominations for her role in both volumes of “Kill Bill.”
Lethal Lois stands 7-1/2” tall and comes armed with a set of concrete blocks, a break-apart board, an extra set of fisted hands and a display stand. The display stand features a clear rod that holds Lois in the air in a flying kick pose. Launch date: 2005. - The figure features multiple points of articulation, including a cut neck, ball-jointed shoulders, cut wrists, cut ankles, a cut waist and a cut arm. - During the first six seasons of “Family Guy,” the show won three Emmy awards and was nominated for four additional Emmys. - Initially cancelled in 2000, and then again in 2002, “Family Guy” marks the first time a television series was reinstated due to a high volume of DVD sales.
Rumor is a 16” ball jointed doll. It comes with face up and eyes, but no wig. She’s available in resin ($310) or hard-weighted vinyl ($125). Extra hands, jointed feet, face plates, etc. will be offered in the future. Launch date: June 2007. These dolls are temporarily sold out. — The concept of ball-jointed dolls (BJDs) is most popular in East Asian countries such as South Korea, Japan and China. — Goodreau’s BJD line also includes Innuendo, Secret and Whisper. — These dolls are American-designed.
Sakura Kasugano Action Figure by DIAMOND COMIC DISTRIBUTORS
Sakura, from the video game “Street Fighter” stands approximately 8” tall. She comes with a personalized display base, full-body articulation, real cloth costume pieces, variant parts and blister card packaging. Launch date: January 2006. — The original Street Fighter game debuted in 1987. — The video game inspired several movies, including the full-length action movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. — In the game “Street Fighter,” players from around the world, each with his or her own unique special moves, fight one another.
The dolls’ hand-painted faces strongly capture the likeness of Kirsten Dunst, Tobey Maguire and Bryce Dallas-Howard in their respective roles in the "Spider-Man 3" movie. The dolls are crafted of fine quality vinyl and hard plastic and feature 14 points of articulated movement. Each doll stands 17” tall. Launch date: May 31, 2007. — The movie “Spider-Man 3” has generated over $336,500,000 in the U.S. Box Office. — "Two attributes that make Tonner dolls most sought after by fashion doll collectors are the quality and the ‘feel’ of the dolls," Tom Courtney, visuals and merchandising director for Tonner Dolls told TDmonthly. — “Spider-Man 3” was directed and co-written by U.S. film director, producer, writer and actor Sam Raimi.
POTC At World's End Elizabeth Swann Action Figure by NECA
The 7” tall action figure is modeled after the likeness of Kiera Knightley’s character, Elizabeth Swann, in the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.” The figure comes with two swords and a bath house base. Launch date: September 2007. — “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” the third installment in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, generated over $112.5 million its opening weekend alone. — The movie features an ensemble cast, including Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Kiera Knightley, Geoffrey Rush and Jack Davenport. — The “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie series is based on the Disneyland park ride by the same name.
The miniature version of leather-clad Layla stands 6” tall. It even comes with accessories to help her act out her signature WWE moves. Launch date: December 2007. — The figure features 25 points of articulation. — As of 2007, World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. is the largest professional wrestling promotion in the world. — Layla was an NBA Miami Heat dancer before she joined WWE in 2006.
Warbird Action Figure by MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT GROUP INC.
The 6” tall PVC figure features rubber hair and a rubber sash. The figure also comes with a Giant Man lower torso piece. Launch date: July 2006. - Highly unusual for a female figure, Warbird boasts 44 articulations, including ball joint shoulders, bicep twists, double articulations at the knees and elbows and more. - Originally known as Carol Danyers, the character became Ms. Marvel in the first issue of her own series, and then came back as Warbird in The Avengers. - Marvel comics was founded in 1939, and released its first issue, Marvel Comics #1, the same year.
Wonder woman Series 1: Agent Diana Prince by DIAMOND COMIC DISTRIBUTORS
The articulated figure stands 6-5/8” tall and comes with its own display base. Launch date: December 5, 2007. - Designed by Terry Dodson, the Wonder Woman Series 1 line also includes Wonder Woman, Circe and Donna Troy as Wonder Woman. - A full-length, big screen adaptation of Wonder Woman is scheduled for release in 2009. - Wonder Woman possesses many special gifts endowed by the Olympian gods, including the Lasso of Truth and bulletproof bracelets formed from the shield of Aegis.
Shrek the Third: Kung Fu Princess Fiona by MGA ENTERTAINMENT
The Shrek princess doll comes with a karate outfit underneath her dress. Raise the doll’s right arm and a kick will automate. Princess Fiona also comes with body art on her arm, with an additional temporary body art tattoo for children. - The 2007 release of “Shrek the Third” garnered over $320,700,000 million in the U.S Box Office. - Fiona’s face is interchangeable, with an ogress mask included for more expansive play. - The Shrek Kung Fu Princess line also includes Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Cinderella and Snow White.
Padme Amidala - Ilum Mission by SIDESHOW COLLECTIBLES
The 12” Star Wars figure is a limited edition doll, with only 3,500 pieces produced. She features over 30 points of articulation and is modeled after the likeness of Natalie Portman, who portrays Padme Amidala in the “Star Wars” movies. She also comes dressed in full costume, complete with accessories and a display base. Launch date: Early 2008. - “Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith” generated over $380,000,000 in the U.S. Box Office. - In the Chicago-Sun Times, late movie critic Roger Ebert wrote, “‘Star Wars’ taps the pulp fantasies buried in our memories, and because it's done so brilliantly, it reactivates old thrills, fears, and exhilarations we thought we'd abandoned.” - Golden Globe-winning actress Natalie Portman has been nominated for two Golden Globe awards and one Oscar.
Every town has a Crazy Cat Lady — the one who lives in a tiny house full of feral felines. This 5-1/4” hard vinyl Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure weighs 1 lb. and has a wild look in her eye. She comes with six cats and an illustrated blistercard. "Do you get excited when you hear a can opener?" That question and more can be found on an accompanying quiz, so that consumers can find out if they’re a Crazy Cat Lady. — "We really don't do action figures. The only ones we have are the ones from Accoutrements. The best seller is the Crazy Cat Lady. They have a whole line of action figures. They have Mozart, for example. Lots of stuff," said David Campbell, owner of Amazing Toys in Great Falls, Mont. — When asked about sales for the action figure, Campbell responded, "A couple a month for the Crazy Cat Lady. It's not just cat ladies who are buying it …. It's lots of fun." — David Wahl, company spokesman for Accoutrements/Archie McPhee, told TDmonthly, "The Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure is a tongue-in-cheek look at a figure that is familiar in our culture. We find that people with multiple cats enjoy identifying themselves with the figure. It makes a wonderful gift for your favorite cat person."
Rukia is a soul reaper from the Soul Society who transferred all her power to Ichigo and must stay in the human world until she gets them back. She comes with a Kon action figure and is packaged on a blister card. She features movable arms.
The original good kitty gone bad! Emily is a leader, a troublemaker, a dreamer and a link to the stranger in all of us. Celebrate that link with two new action figures from Toynami feature classic Emily poses: “Armed & Strangerous” and “Problem Child”. Each figure comes with a stand and Emily’s cat Mystery. They’re packaged on a blister card.
Kagura - Kagura is a demon created from a portion of Naraku's body. However, she rebels against Naraku and secretly has designs on his life. She can command the wind freely with the magical fan that she holds in her right hand. She comes packaged on a blister card.
DC MiniMates Wave 7 - Starfire & Nightwing by DIAMOND COMIC DISTRIBUTORS
The action figures range in size from 2-1/8" to 2-1/2" in height. Starfire and Nightwing come as a pair, blister-carded on a four-dolor card. Also available in the DC MiniMates Wave 7 series is Batman and Clayface, Gorilla Grodd and The Flash and Lobo and Ambush Bug. Launch date: March 5, 2008.