“Girl power” is more than just a ‘90s girl band mantra.

It’s become a huge buzzword across many industries and companies who all have one goal: to empower young girls to become strong women.

And the toy industry is no exception. From brand new Barbies to building toys designed specifically for the way girls play, there are tons of toys out there that will help your little girl believe that she can be whatever it is that she wants to be. Here are my favorite #stronglady picks from the North American International Toy Fair:

Wisdom Series Action Figures (IAMELEMENTAL)
These ladies have some serious power. The new Wisdom series of IAMELEMENTAL action figures are based on the qualities of Greek mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher, Hypatia. The figures include Creativity, Ingenuity, Curiosity, Logic, Exploration, Mastery, and Oblivion—and each and every single one of them is incredible awesome. These action figures are not only beautiful with bright colors and powerful outfits, but they are great role models for young girls. It inspires them to realize that superpowers are not just for superheroes, but are actually the qualities that are inside all of us.

KNEX Mighty Makers_directors_cut

Mighty Makers Director’s Cut Building Set (K’NEX)
K’NEX’s Mighty Makers line expands this year and includes all kinds of super fun sets. (Refresher course: The Mighty Makers line is designed specifically for girls to strengthen their grasp on STEM concepts through building, meaning that they did tons of studies on the way girls learn, and incorporated it in this line.) With the Mighty Makers Director’s Cut Building Set, kids can follow the interactive, story-based building instructions and learn about the science behind making a movie. Bonus online instructions show kids how to incorporate a smart device into the set to make their own movie. The set features 320 parts and pieces, including a buildable camera and a stand, a theater with seats, Lily and her dog Zoom figures, and adjustable bands that fit most mobile devices. Lights, camera, action!


DC Super Hero Girls Action Dolls (Mattel)
Since we’re constantly being deluged by superhero movies and action figures and the like, one brave little girl who we all secretly aspire to by was like, “Hold up! Where my ladies at?” (Paraphrased.) Really, she was upset by the fact that she was reading about all of these incredibly strong, brave, fierce women in her comic books, but wasn’t seeing any of them on TV or in the movies. So she did something about it. Now, we have DC Super Hero Girls, a fun series for girls that feature their favorite DC ladies reimagined as teenagers in high school. Mattel has a great doll line to go along with this series—among other toys—that have bodies modeled after female athletes and are called “action dolls” instead of “fashion dolls.”

Wonder Woman Collectible Statue (DC Collectibles)
Speaking of female superheroes, this Wonder Woman sculpt from DC Collectibles is amazing. She’s all buff and muscly and actually looks like a superhero that could save the world. She’s tough and rugged. She’s what Wonder Woman should look like as she’s out there ensuring justice. A lot of collectors were complaining about the sculpts used to represent Wonder Woman because she wasn’t tough enough, so DC responded. Who run the world? Girls.


Barbie Fashionistas (Mattel)
Barbie has gotten a lot of flack in the past for not promoting a more positive body image for girls, but now, they’ve done something about it. The new Barbie Fashionistas line will introduce three new body types—tall, curvy, and petite—as well as seven skin tones, and a variety of different hair and eye color combinations. The dolls are also accompanied by a new slew of fashions and accessories, so girls can style their dolls to their own personal tastes. Plus, now they can wear flats! I’m sure Barbie’s feet are thankful.

These weren’t the only girl power toys that lined the Toy Fair 2016 aisles. Let us know which ones were your favorites!

About the author

Ali Mierzejewski

Ali Mierzejewski

Ali Mierzejewski is the editor-in-chief at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider. With more than a decade of industry experience, Ali is a trusted source for parents, gift-givers, manufacturers, retailers, and more on the latest trends and hottest products. Whether you’re shopping for the best toys for kids — or looking for the latest in geek culture and entertainment for yourself — Ali’s expertise has you covered. When she’s not building LEGO sets or unwinding with a puzzle, Ali is obsessing over the latest season of The Bachelor, scrolling through Gritty’s Twitter, or rewatching The West Wing (for the 100th time). She is also a self-proclaimed expert on the history and lore of the entire Bachelor franchise. Ali has been featured on TODAY, The Wendy Williams Show, Yahoo Finance, Fox & Friends, HLN, The Weather Channel, ABC World News Now, and more. You can follow her on Instagram @hashtagtrendy.