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where does he get those wonderful toys

People Want Female Warrior Gaming Miniatures So Much That They Funded This Kickstarter Campaign In 30 Seconds

When French design studio Raging Heroes decided to crowdfund a line of highly detailed female gaming miniatures, they probably thought they’d meet their goal. $12,000 is a pretty modest amount to shoot for, after all, and they clearly put a lot of planning into the campaign. And hey, they know their figures look awesome.

They probably didn’t think they’d blow past their goal in 30 seconds, though. And yet that’s exactly what happened.

The line of miniatures is called “The Toughest Girls of the Galaxy,” and it consists of three all-female armies—Heroines, Troops, and Supports—fit for gaming, painting, or collecting. Over 150 individual figures are planned, including soldiers, military officers, and field medics. (My own personal favorite: “Drussila Lepic, Skycaptain of the Jetgirls.”) On their Kickstarter you can check out several sculpts, plus concept art for future figures. As you can see, while some of the characters sport the traditional armored bikini look, others rock different, more covered, outfits during battle. Yay for variety!

Within an hour the campaign surpassed the $100k mark, which for those keeping track is over eight times their original goal. In an hour. Now the campaign total is sitting pretty on $345,000 from 15,000+ backers with 26 days left to go.

Go on, toy companies, tell me people aren’t interested in merch of female characters. Granted, the target market for gaming figures is different for that of, say, action figures. But still. Something tells me that if you make it, they will come.

(via: Jezebel)

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  • Neal

    Does this feed from that same bizarre idea that video game produces think that games featuring female leads and women focused stories and characters won’t sell? How many times are they going to get proven wrong before they’re just outed as the sexist asshats they are?

  • Joanna

    Proof that female characters don’t sell!!!! ….wait….

  • Jayme

    I feel like I need a large-scale figure of Cruz up there. So badass.

  • John W

    That figurine reminds me of the second best character on Aliens: Vazquez.

  • Anonymous

    Wow. Also, TAKE MY MONEY!!!

  • OnyxPrimal

    I have not bought Action figures in a while… Scalpers turned me off of the whole ordeal. But I remember searching pegs during Batman Returns trying like crazy to find the short packed CATWOMAN figure. That’s right a major character was short packed just because boys “wouldn’t buy” girl figures. I wish I could say she still sat in my collection, but she was lost in one of my moves over the years. :/

  • Anonymous

    now if they made Mini’s for other games I’m sure there’d be an influx of new female gamers who were previously turned off by the previous representations of females.

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    Good idea in theory, certainly. And I celebrate that it’s doing so well.

    What I don’t find so positive is they’re all hypersexualised. Large busts, visible busts, sexy poses, sexy outfits.

    Why – oh why – can’t we have something *normal* for once?

  • Hanne Toft Christensen

    I totally agree with you – female medics are almost always nurses and it would be really nice to see some more female doctors as well – seeing as it is often a male dominated job!

    I do however also like the idea of a female character with typically female job who is extra-super bad ass and really empowered; as in the case of the medic-nurse. It sort of pays homage to the typically female jobs and the women who actually have those (often/sometimes unappreciated) jobs.

    Still, i would love to see more female doctors both in real life and in fiction!

  • Anonymous

    I agree. And while she seems less focused on then the nurse they do have one doctor Field medic. Doctor Von X.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    I think folks should message them asking for a big more body variety/costume stuff. After all, this is crowdfunded, they should produce what the crowd wants.

  • Joanna

    Really? There’s a lot of fully armoured women there. SOME are kinda sexualised but not as many as the ones who aren’t.

  • Eric

    These minis do absolutely nothing to change the appearance of female miniatures in gaming. They’re the same as they ever were. :/

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    Another commenter above (well, above at the time of writing) has pointed out they look barely different to the way female minis currently do.

    It’s like they’ve graduated from the same design school – i.e. Boobs Must Be Made Prominent In Order To Signify Femininity. Yes, some have more modest busts, but if you look at the vast majority of the designs (read: basically all of the designs), emphasis is put on the breasts in some form.

    Because, as we know, all female armours must follow (or exaggerate) the shape and size of the bust.

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    The Sisters of Battle are an army constantly pushed to the sidelines by Games Workshop. They have only a handful of novels, their models largely haven’t been updated that much in the past 10 years (or even longer), and have even been rolled into a larger codex (I think they got absorbed into Witch Hunters but I could be wrong).

    They’re awesome, certainly, but they’re more a token army than anything Games Workshop genuinely give any attention to.

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    I don’t think that’s really what they’re intending to do. Judging by what they’ve got on the Kickstarter, the designs seem to largely be done, they’re just looking for money to produce the things.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    To be fair, their Kickstarter doesn’t say they were trying to change female miniatures, just that they wanted to make some. We would all love some more variety but let’s not put needless blame on them for not having as much as we’d like.

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    Female minis “don’t sell” because they’re few and far between, and the ones you find are – largely – sexist in design.

    This is just a range of sexist miniatures. Nothing has changed.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    True but their initial goal was only $12,000 and they now have over $300,000. I just think it’s something worth asking for. Worst they say is no.

  • Joanna

    I did notice that too. And I’m not disputing that armour boobs are silly but really…it could have been a LOT worse lol.

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    It could only have been worse if they were in Escher Girl poses with their breasts hanging out. And, well… if you look at the designs towards the bottom of the page, there’s some of that going on.

    So no, it probably couldn’t get much worse.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    I’ve messaged the group through Kickstarter asking if they might branch out in their designs since they blew so far past their goal. We will update the post if/when we hear back from them!

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    Awesome! Though, I have to say, I’m not holding out much hope. And nor am I looking forward to the comments…

  • Anonymous

    What about the Adeptus Sororitas?

  • Anonymous

    Well, to be fair they’ve outlasted the Squats, Chaos Dwarves, and I think a couple of other armies. However I do remember reading a White Dwarf quite recently that focused on them including their history and several of their prominent figures including the living saints.

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    The Squats and Chaos Dwarves have literally been obliterated from current lore. I believe references to them – this is how extreme GW have been – have been altered out of updated texts. They’ve not left them in as a relic, nope. Their existence is now non-canon.

    The Sisters of Battle still get barely any attention. It’s like they remember they’re around, do something and then forget about them again. Rather than update them and try and get them to sell again, they just rehash the same Spess Mehreen figures for the billionth time.

  • Anonymous

    Um, the Codex Adeptus Sororitas 5th edition came out in August of 2011. The caveat being that it was released in two parts in consecutive White Dwarfs.

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    Yeah. They shoved it into their overpriced magazine (which you then have to track down) rather than releasing the whole thing as a stand-alone book.

    Do you not see the problem there?

  • Canisa

    Problems with the Sisters of Battle:
    -They wear boobplate.
    -They’re totally ignored except when Matt Ward wants to massacre a bunch of them, or when the fandom is arguing over whether or not they have to be chaste.
    -They’re basically an attempt to provide female ‘equivalents’ of space marines, thus distracting attention from the issue of there being no actual female space marines.

  • Anonymous

    Because, as we know, all female armours must follow (or exaggerate) the shape and size of the bust.

    Actually it does, but not in the way that a lot of fantasy art would have you believe.

    (Though as designs go, I don’t think this one is particularly terrible—at least they’re wearing heavy armour.)

  • Emily Miller

    Are you trying to make me spend all of my money? I want these so much… so… much…

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    That’s made for a female build. It doesn’t exaggerate nor follow the shape of the bust so much, nowhere near to the level of those in the kickstarter.

    There’s a difference between allowing for a bust for comfort (which that body armour you linked to does), and armour that encompasses and follows the contours of the breast.

  • Petrinka

    And if you remove/flattened the breasts (large and small, no differentiating), then they would appear to be male minis and there would be complaints that they emasculated the women. Women have breasts. These objects do not prevent women from doing what they want. Why should they be hidden or flattened?

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    No, they wouldn’t. That’s a completely bizarre argument. And even if you were right, the armours don’t need to be the shape of *each* breast. It could just be a prominent bulge on the chest.

  • Eric

    True, but I will blame them for doing nothing in terms of changing the status quo. Female models in mini gaming are almost without exception stuck in one body type. And its annoying. :/

  • Bejbi Kejt

    Yup, completely agree. I got so excited after reading this article, clicked on the Kickstarter page link, and promptly got highly disappointed. Very few new things to see there, and so much of same old, same old.

  • Anonymous

    No, Petrinka isn’t being bizarre, this is a real problem. At 1 inch,
    1.5 inches, a ton of the gender cues you’d normally pick up in real life
    or even on a larger piece of art are gone, because we’re talking about
    fractions of millimeters at that scale. If this were a real life army,
    obviously how the soldiers looked would be irrelevant. But if the basic
    premise is “There aren’t enough female figs available for various
    wargame and roleplaying game setups”, gender ambiguity isn’t so helpful,
    and at this scale, chin shape, jaw shape, hair fineness, hip to waist
    ratios, all kind of more subtle things can be lost.

    Now, I’m not a
    fan of say, all the midriff baring stuff, or some of the poses. But
    for most of the more heavily armored figures, if you took away the
    breasts they’d read as male. And you can’t just make a bulge, that
    reads as barrel chested male. I’ve literally sat around a gaming table
    with friends trying to match minis going “I think this one is supposed
    to be so and so?”

    Or you can put in other signifiers, but some
    of those are problematic as well. For example, most of these characters
    are in flats, not high heels, which I approve of. Most appear to have
    short or pulled back/tucked away hair. I don’t love all of these
    models, but to call most of them hypersexualized is a bit unfair,
    especially given some of the other stuff found in this market segment.
    I’m almost certainly getting the Kurganova Shock troops, the Karmina
    Noxx Sniper, and the Katrina Zerga Tank Stopper figs.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    I’m just saying not everyone thinks in those terms. People who come to this site normally do. :)

  • Brian McDonald

    One minor issue I have with this line is that there are a couple of obvious swipes in the design. The nurse character is clearly based off a Blink 182 album cover, and the crouching sniper can be found by googling “anime sniper”. I haven’t looked for any others, but it’s unfortunate that some of them were so obviously swipes, especially with the obvious design talent available.

    The other problem I have with this is that, great, it’s a line of female army figures. If there were a game that utilized these minis, I would dive in without hesitation. And they SAY that there’s going to be a game for these…but they didn’t bother to create it in time for the Kickstarter? Clearly they want money. Why would they release miniature armies without the game that uses them?

  • Hannele Kormano

    The Iron Empire Heavy Troopers (further down the page) are awesome.

  • Joanna

    Yeah plenty of chain mail bikinis, boob-and-butt poses and over exaggerated proportions going on here alright….


  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    Why would there be chain mail bikinis in a sci-fi game?

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    Some women “read as male” if you don’t know. So it’s still realistic.

    And if you can’t tell the difference between male and female models at that scale, then to be honest it’s less an issue with the scale and more to do with an absolutely terrible sculptor, especially considering the detail shown in those on the Kickstarter.

  • Anonymous

    No, I agree. Just nitpicking. I would say that it follows the shape of the bust, but when it’s done for the sake of protection, the result is a slightly more prominent chest pad. Not metal boob socks.

    Actually, the slight breast outline on the figures is so superfluous, I wonder if they did it just so they could sell some “female” armoured troops? Because really, if the character’s covered from head to toe, how could you tell?

  • frankenmouse

    I’m sorry, but I don’t think these are swipes. The “psycho naughty nurse” thing is practically a trope, as is the “pulling on a rubber glove” pose. Hell, just look at the TF2 “Meet the Medic” vid.

    As for the sniper, yes the pose is similar. But that is because there are a limited number of “realistic,” dynamic sniper poses. If you examine the figurine carefully, you’ll see that the figure’s knee doesn’t touch the ground, as in the image you referenced. The overall character design is also completely different: schoolgirl vs. cloaked badass.

    I will admit that some of the designs are kind of generic, but calling them direct swipes is inaccurate, and–frankly–very insulting to the creators.

  • Joanna

    Lol! Touche. Though if we’re going for realism here, chain mail bikinis don’t make good armor in any scenario =P

  • Anonymous

    Yes of course, that’s why I said if these women were in real life
    their appearance would be irrelevant. While some women present visually
    in a masculine or gender ambiguous way, not all do. But these are not
    real women, they’re representations of women in a context where women
    are rare and identifiers are tiny to the point of invisibility or the
    sculptors have chosen (to their credit) to avoid certain cliches, like
    warriors in high heels or warriors with lush supermodel hair going
    everywhere. They have bits meant to imperfectly represent weaponry in a
    recognizable form (the scale of almost all miniatures weaponry from any
    manufacturer or game system is wrong, partly for
    visibility/identifcation sake). They have bits meant to imperfectly
    represent armor (again, armor pieces for minis are frequently
    overscaled, particularly gauntlets, helmets and shoulder armor). Part
    of this could be simply chalked up to a sort of childish tastelessness,
    but part of it is just the reality of trying to convey certain ideas in a
    1.5 inch tall mass produced figure that have to be identifiable at a
    reasonable (tabletop) distance. I agree with you that some of the
    figure poses are problematic and I’m lot a fan of the abundance of
    midriff baring t shirts and whatnot, but there are some practical
    considerations involved with the breasts being there at all.

    the miniatures game Warmachine, there’s a unit called the Man O War.
    They’re heavily armored and you can’t tell what the gender of the
    soldier inside is at all. Man O War’s look great, and according to the
    games background fluff we know some of them are female, but with no
    visual signifiers whatsoever, they don’t offer much to a gamer
    specifically looking to put more female figs to his or her army or
    roleplaying game scenario or whatever, or to the minis company trying to
    sell product to that audience.

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    Why would you need to tell? If you own them then presumably you’d already know.

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    Well, for a start, this isn’t for any existing game. They’re just a range of minis.

    But you’re assuming it’s important to tell the gender of minis. Not really. It doesn’t matter whether my archer is female or male in a fantasy game. What matters is whether you can tell if they’re an archer or not. The distinction matters for important models (e.g. your HQ units in 40k), but for the rank and file, all that’s important is they’re recognisable as a certain type of unit.

    And you don’t need the breasts to tell whether a character is female or not. Their build, their poses, even an uncovered head should be enough. If you need boobs to show they’re female, then you’re genuinely doing something wrong. It shows a massive lack of imagination that they’ve fallen back on “boobs = women” for these models.

    On top of that… *why* does it matter whether you can tell if they’re female or not? You know they’re female. That’s what matters. Have you ever seen the Shadowsun model for the Tau army in 40k? Well, lemme say this. She’s female.

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    But still have boobs visible. That doesn’t make sense at all.

  • Hannele Kormano

    They at least seem to be fully covered – I’m pretty sure they don’t have a bare midriff, although I admit it’s hard to tell from the photo. I actually didn’t read the chestplates as having boobs on them at first, since you’re right, they don’t make sense.

    Honestly, it’s the rampant cutouts and poses that are more annoying to me.

  • Michael J Winegar

    Yes, some of the more armored pieces are a step in the right direction, but I would still be too embarrassed to own 90% of the figures, let alone pay for them. A lot of the poses are atrocious.

    Pinup miniatures are already a proven market. There’s not really anything new to see here. If nothing else, the final picture showing their topless cast example doesn’t exactly scream, “We did this because we respect women gamers.”

    I’ll throw my money behind the kickstarter that dares to completely step away from cheesecake.

  • Brian McDonald

    The “psycho naughty nurse” may be a trope, but the Blink 182 cover and “Mad Nurse Bernadette” both show a nurse with the old-school nurse cap with a red cross on it, pulling on a rubber glove with the thumb and two fingers straight and the other two curled. The eyes are even similar.

    As for the sniper, that weird crouch isn’t a realistic sniper pose at all. It’s quite stylized, actually. If the only difference you can find in the poses is that one of the knees touch the ground, well, that’s not a lot.

    Yes, they did give the characters a “badass” makeover, but it’s fairly obvious that they used those particular pictures as starting points. If you think that’s insulting to the creators, that’s fine. They should be less lazy, or at least less obvious.

  • Kate A

    They’re always sexy pouty nurses too, which is kinda demeaning to the actual vast amounts of underpaid hard graft that real nurses do.

  • Petrinka

    People Want Female Warrior Gaming Miniatures So Much That They Funded This Kickstarter Campaign In 30 Seconds

    “But you’re assuming it’s important to tell the gender of minis. Not really.”

    Yes I am nitpicking but the whole point of this article and the campaign is that people want female minis.

    Running off on a tangent now. I, personally, would LOVE a mini of Vasquez from Aliens. However, she was very masculine in appearances and stances. It would be very difficult to tell from a 1.5″ mini, that she was a woman. I’m not saying that the bust size should be changed so you could tell she’s a woman. I’m just pointing out that people demand for the women to look less like women and more like men. What’s the point of doing female minis then? Women have breasts and curves but I’ve been reading a lot of articles and comments where those should not be celebrated.

    This is just my opinion. I will never convince anyone that feels the representation of females should be played down, just as no one will convince me that we shouldn’t have to downplay breast size and curves on women.

    P.S. I’ve played almost every MMORPG out there. There is a lot to be desired about female armour in most of them. Small changes are being made. I’ve started to notice that in one MMORPG, they are working in gear that looks identical on both male and female. These changes are being made because of people requesting and requesting and requesting. If you want them to change the designs, request it. Don’t just say they won’t do it.

    Sorry for the long post.

  • Brian McDonald

    Really? You think the nurse figure is an homage to Blink 182? Or the sniper an homage to…hmm…the DeviantArt guy who drew the anime sniper they lifted the pose from? Okay, Boofhead, your decisive condescension has convinced me that these things are true, and not at all ridiculous.

  • Anonymous

    Bizarrely, the game Malifaux has a larger than industry standard of female gamers. And that game has some of the most bewbtacular figs I’ve ever seen.

  • Anonymous

    Well, they basically are for an existing game, 40k. They’re obviously meant as replacement/alternate models for that game. The 3 armies have obvious references to 3 different versions of the Imperial Guard (Catachans, Cadians and Mordians) so making an expensive replacement model from a boutique company to look indistinguishable from a male mini its replacing seems… silly?

    These are 28mm heroic scale models:

    Now I agree that some are problematic sculpts, but the point of this article was basically “Girl toys don’t sell, huh?”

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    No, I don’t think you’re right on that. There’s no way these could be fielded in the vast majority of games (especially due to the fact the weapons are largely dissimilar).

    And that looks like an old-ish Guard model. Detailing has improved massively in subsequent years.

  • Tracey M. Taylor

    Interesting story! Fyi, Rebecca, it’s 1500+ backers, not 15,0000.

  • Tracey M. Taylor

    Oops, I went and made a typo there

  • HeroOfGames16

    I think it’s getting looked down because a lot of people perceive masculine man as “something that’s tied to the oppressive ‘patriarchy’ when enforced gender roles were in full force” or something that ‘encourages sexism’.

    I myself don’t care; if a person wants to be more traditionally-minded, that’s fine. If that person does NOT want to be traditionally-minded, then that’s fine as well.

    I myself praise both the masculinity and femininity – I even think that, ideally, every person should embrace the best of both worlds, embodying the positive aspects of both masculinity and femininity.

    While sexually appealing, the way how armoured-wearing women are portrayed is quite cringe-worthy to my mind – so I am not much a fan of it, especially because it’s too impractical or un-fabulous.