FCTRY, a Brooklyn-based toy company that makes “real-life action figures” of famous people, recently announced their latest release: a six-inch tall figure of lesbian tennis legend and feminist trailblazer Billie Jean King.
The $20 action figure resembles King’s appearance at the time of her historic 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match against then-retired champion Bobby Riggs. (A match which became the subject of a 2017 film.) The figure also comes with comes with articulated shoulders, elbows and wrists as well as a tennis racket so that fans can pose her delivering her signature backhand.
FCTRY will donate 5% of all sales to the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative (BJKLI), a non-profit King founded with her partner Ilana Kloss that promotes equality in the workplace through global forums, workplace research on diversity and a biennial leadership conference bringing global corporations and universities together to discuss raising the next generation of business innovators.
FCTRY has also made female action figures of Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Kamala Harris among other famous politicians. FCTRY CEO Jason Feinberg said his company’s inclusion of a Billie Jean King action figure was “probably about 40 years overdue:”
“Billie Jean King was just so ridiculously ahead of her time and I think people are finally realizing that now. She has been at the forefront of the fight for equal pay for years, and it’s interesting to see that conversation once again take center stage—this time with BJK backing the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.”
King herself said, “It is an honor to have an action figure in my likeness and to be part of the FCTRY collection alongside Ruth Bader Ginsburg and other powerful leaders. I hope this will help young people learn more about history and that it will inspire them to shape the future.”
In addition to winning 12 women’s Grand Slam titles, six Wimbledon titles and 27 doubles and mixed-doubles Grand Slam titles, King also advocates for the equality of women, LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities.
In 2009, President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Five years later, he named her to the Rio Games Olympic delegation to raise awareness about the worthiness of LGBTQ athletes.