There’s been a lot of talk about bringing more female Marvel character merch into stores. We see plenty of Thor, Hulk, Iron Man, and Captain America, but where’s Black Widow, for example? (There’s been a hashtag campaign surrounding that very question, #WheresBlackWidow, as a call to Marvel to get our kickass heroine on merch.) Even Mark Ruffalo has been asking about the lack of representation, imploring Marvel to bring more Black Widow merchandise into their stores. There’s been the same problem with Gamora, the amazing green alien from Guardians of the Galaxy, who’s notably absent from the movie’s merch. What gives?
We’re sincerely hoping that steps are taken to rectify this, but one mom isn’t waiting for Marvel to get their act together. Instead, she’s making her daughter her very own superheroine dolls by transforming Barbie and Bratz dolls into her fave strong female Marvel characters. And it all started with a Black Widow doll.
When 32-year-old Rebecca Millar, who lives in Melbourne Australia, discovered how difficult it is to get Black Widow merchandise for her three-year-old daughter Abigail, she decided to take matters into her own hands. “I have a three year old who is just crazy for The Avengers,” Millar told HelloGiggles. “She has other action figures, but began asking me for a Black Widow doll.”
Millar looked around in shops, but she couldn’t find any Black Widow dolls for Abigail. “I had a look online, and only a few of those would ship here,” Millar said. “The cheapest was $80 before exchange rates and shipping, and I could neither afford nor justify that amount for a [three-year-old].”
But then, she had a brilliant idea. “I was in a shop buying her a Thor when I walked past a red haired Sparkle doll, and thought maybe I could turn her into Black Widow,” Millar explained. “I’m hopeless at sewing doll clothes, so I Googled if I could paint it, got the doll, and turned her into Black Widow.”
Abigail was thrilled about her new badass doll, and so Millar set to work making more and more dolls that she couldn’t find in stores. “She loved her Black Widow, and really likes the others too,” she told HG. “She seems to be most attached to that one, but also loves the Janeway and Dax dolls (from Star Trek), the Agent Scully doll (X-Files), and the Abby Sciuto (NCIS) ones too.”
Since then, Millar has created about 30 of her “Geek Grrl Dolls” — and they’ve been a massive hit online. Millar has even created her own Facebook page displaying her fabulously “geeky” dolls. The feedback has been mostly positive, “but some people really hate them and are quite vocal about that hate.”
Millar notes that she’s “not an artist,” and that she created these dolls for her daughter, as well as to spread the message that girls like superheroes too. “There’s been a lot of outrage about the dolls bodies,” she told us, referring to the online attention her dolls have been receiving. “Their thigh gaps in particular seem to annoy people, and there’s been a lot of comments directed at me over that. So, I’d like to nicely remind people that I don’t actually make the dolls, I just paint them!”
Millar and her daughter have been creating dolls in the likeness of already-existing characters, but they’ll be branching out in the near future. “My daughter and I are in the process of creating some original dolls,” Millar told HG. “She’s amazing at giving them names and back stories, and it’s fun painting with her. We’ll probably sell copies of those dolls, so we can keep painting others (it gets expensive making them).”
If you want to give dolls a superhero makeover at home, you’re in luck: Millar has included a guide on how to do it yourself. “. . . the dolls are easier to make than they look, so it surprises me that people like them at all,” she told us. “For me it’s a great way to relax at the end of the day, and if people like them then that’s lovely and I appreciate it. And if they don’t, I’m fine with that too.”
Rebecca, we totally LOVE that you’re taking matters into your own hands all while showing Marvel what should be done! Keep on kicking ass with your kickass dolls — and we certainly hope Marvel follows suit.
Oh, and that notably absent Gamora doll we mentioned before? Millar’s got it covered.
(Images via Facebook)