A note about Fear: the figures are not people. They are the personification of powers and elements which reside in each one of us. Furthermore, they are bound together as the components of Courage, and cannot be separated. Courage cannot exist without Fear. Purple was selected because Fear can be fiercer and more mysterious than the other Elements. And that is fitting, because Fear is harder to understand.
However, we would strongly argue against viewing Fear as a negative. We want girls to own and know their Fear, and to transform the role that it plays in their lives. Those who see it as only negative miss its inherent strength.
As a self-defense expert, Dawn believes that Fear's impulse to hide, or to stop something in its tracks, is an incredible tool. Learning to trust your instincts, to stop (freeze), to take a breath, and listen to Fear is important. Fear always has something powerful to say. In fact, Fear is Dawn's favorite Element.
In the IAmElemental universe, Fear is something to be embraced, not rejected. It has to be understood and accepted. It's a good discussion - and one that we hope people will have with friends and children.
Play is powerful. And the toys you play with impact the story you tell. I think there's room out there to hopefully uncouple these more adult messages about beauty and sexuality and give back some of the power that exists. We're not anti-doll or anti-princess; we just want to let girls take ownership of these powerful, active storylines.
We created IAmElemental, an independent toy company, to develop a new line of action figures for girls that re-imagines the female superhero.
If you go into a toy store anywhere in the world, you will see rows and rows of action figures for boys, but there won't be even one shelf devoted to action figures for girls. Although they do produce female action figures, the other toy companies do not create female action figures for girls. Instead, they design hypersexualized figures for the collector market.
We decided to fill that hole in the market.
Slate: You've described other female action figures as "More Hooters than heroine," all with impossible figures. How exactly did you decide on your figure's measurements?IAmElemental online: official site | pre-order | Twitter | Facebook
Nadeau: You kind of know it when you see it. We were looking for a figure that was female in form—it doesn’t serve anyone well if it's not identifiably female—while being sensitive to the troubling aspects that are very common on these other figures. We spent so much time poring over the torso. We focused on the breasts not being overly emphasized. We tinkered with the breast-to-hip ratio, and how all the pieces fit together, to make sure the legs didn’t splay out in a hypersexualized way. And honestly, the ass crack was a big issue.
Kerwin: You gotta look at the bum. Everyone talks about the breasts! And trust me, we found some figures where their heads are actually smaller than their breasts.
Nadeau: We measured.
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