The goal of every movie is to make a lot of money at the box office, but the real big bucks don't come from ticket sales alone. Instead, they come from merchandise, with toys being chief among them. Kids and adults buy toys by the score for their own personal use, and it's gotten to the point where studios will make decisions for a film based on how it will affect toy sales. Specifically, executives think boys won't buy action figures of women, so less women star in action movies. Well, that trend might be on the decline because the new Ghostbusters toys are reportedly seeing great sales from both girls and boys.
According to reports from Mattel, their Ghostbusters toy line is exceeding expectations. Based on the 2016 film that released last week, the toys include vehicles like the Ecto-1, the proton packs, and action figures and mini-figures based on the likeness of the female cast. Mattel's strategy has been to sell the toys in the boy-centric aisle with the slogan "Everybody wants to be a Ghostbuster," and it's apparently worked out pretty well so far for the toy company.
Children aren't just supporting the movie through toy sales. Ghostbusters has grossed $62 million domestically in the week it's been in theaters. One would have to imagine that at least a good portion of that audience is children, considering how toys based on the film are selling. All in all, this is good news for Ghostbusters, which has seen controversy by some for having an all female team.
This toy success could very well impact the roles women have in action blockbusters in the future. Studios have poo-pooed the idea of women in more prominent action roles, citing the fact that boys would not want to buy their action figures. Iron Man 3 was originally going to have the main villain be a female, but the idea was axed by higher ups who didn't believe her toys would sell. That's why it was previously hard for customers and movie fans to find toys based on characters like Rey and Black Widow. This latest report from Mattel disproves that theory, or at least shows that the trend is shifting. It's now easier to find toys based on female characters (thanks in no small part to vocal fans and parents) and the next step seems to be placing women in more action oriented roles.
What do you all think of boys and girls buying Ghostbusters toys? Have any of your kids been asking for them? We're very interested so let us know in the comments below.
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Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.