Viewer Gender Confusion/Toys
Examples of Viewer Gender Confusion in Toys include:
- Bionicle. Period. The toys have little room for Tertiary Sexual Characteristics due to their modular nature (it is a LEGO product line), so the only reliable way to pick out which one is the girl is the series' color-coding (the blue ones - at least the blue heroes - were the girls). Same thing in-story, but at least the characters can use voice and body language to tell genders apart. Roodaka, despite wearing black instead of blue, is the only woman with an actual feminine figure - but we've never seen males of her race, so for all we know they cause confusion in the other direction.
- Actually, we have seen males—they looked exactly like her! The comic colorist tried to color-code the male by painting him green, but Word of God says that picture is non-canon, and all of the members of Roodaka's species (the Vortixx) have the exact same colors. Yes, even the males have huge breast-plates, wide hips, a ponytail, walk around in high-heeled boots, and not one of them has any variation in their coloring. The only way you can identify the genders is that if you see a Vortixx suffering or doing some incredibly tedious and tiring work, it's a male.
- Things wouldn't be so difficult if the female sets had been designed to look the part. Jaller Inika, for instance, was the manly leader of his group, yet he was the only one who looked at least a bit feminine—the real girl, Hahli, received a huge chin, a bald head, and a mustache and goatee in the form of breathing tubes! The Inika were of course a Deconstruction of certain Toa-related tropes, but only in the story. Sets could have followed a more conventional approach. Although there is nothing to suggest this wasn't the result of test groups' dissatisfaction with female-looking toys.
- Hahli's infamous tube-stache wasn't the first instance of a female character receiving a misleading mask. There was Macku, who had this long, pharaoh-beard like structure on the underside of her mask. The first movie redesigned that mask-type so that it would have a mechanical "beard". Macku's movie-mask got a shortened version, but it still looked off.
- One prime example was with the "Mistika" characters, as Word of God had said one of the three Makuta in the set was to be female, and since none of those three were blue the color code wasn't going to be any help. When the fanbase got pictures, many guessed it was Krika, a sleek white character with a feminine-ish name and an elongated head/mask reminiscent of a ponytail. It turned out that the female was actually Gorast; a short, squat, green-and-black hag with four arms.
- And did we mention that when the series got ReTooled with a new setting, the color code ceased to apply to gender? (The girl is still blue, but there's also a male blue character.)
- But at least that one single female character was designed to actually have some feminine physical characteristics, like a slender body, and... wait, that was it.
- There are some subtle hints sometimes though, such as Nokama Metru's smoother mask design, Hahli Mahri's sleeker mask and her angel wings, and Gali Mata's inverted legs and extra chest-piece. But that's as helpful as it can go.
- Bionicle's successor Hero Factory has Breez, who is female despite looking just as manly as the others.
- It helps that her full name is Natalie Breez, though others mostly just call her Breez anyway. As for her looks, her helmet's eye-holes at least looked feminine at first. Then, she switched them to a generic design, along with adapting this huge, manly chin underneath.
- The Beanie Baby Erin. Paired up with the Princess Diana bear. Green, as opposed to Diana's more feminine purple. Especially if you were unaware of the differences between Aaron and Erin (phonetically identical) as a child.
- The toyline-only character Sonar from Beast Wars is considered female by some fans due to the lack of gender-specific pronouns on the toy's bio.
- Confirmed in the comics, which took advantage of the lack of pronouns to add another female to the ranks.
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