WILD X: Transforming Adventure Dolls
My approach to rethinking gender in the toy industry was to examine a well known toy, typically thought of as a boys’ toy, and re-imagine it to appeal to girls’ interests, storytelling, and play patterns.
This redesign of the Transformer robot toy took the form of 3 girls that can transform into 3 different animals. The three characters are extreme sport athletes who have been gifted with magical powers to transform into apex predators and embody the characteristics of these animals, maintaining the themes of adventure, power, teamwork, and transformation.
Doll 1 is a snowboarder who lives in the snowy mountains and transforms into a snow leopard. She is quiet, shy, and sneaky. Doll 2 is a hiker who lives in a warmer, mountainous region. She is bold, stubborn and strong and transforms into a bear. Doll 3 is a surfer who lives near the beach. She is bubbly, talkative, and friendly and transforms into an orca whale. All three girls care very much about animals, the Earth, their friends and family, and doing well in school. They live out their day to day lives far away from each other, but come together to use their strengths and special powers to save the day.
My hope is that these girls’ personalities, power, and activities along with maintaining the plastic, action figure style of Transformers might ignite new play patterns and ways of thinking in young girls.
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