Yla Eason created Sun-Man when her young son expressed his belief that he couldn't be a superhero because of his Black identity, SUN-MAN: The Legacy Continues, BLACK DOLLS MATTER

SUN-MAN: The Legacy Continues

Olmec Toys, founded by Yla Eason, has made waves in the toy industry with its groundbreaking creation, the Sun-Man action figure. Eason, an assistant professor of professional practice at Rutgers University, was inspired to create Sun-Man when her young son expressed his belief that he couldn’t be a superhero because of his Black identity. Determined to represent her son and other children of color, Eason established Olmec Toys in 1985.

Olmec Toys’ mission was clear: to offer toys that celebrate the imagination and creativity of Black, Hispanic, and Native American children. Sun-Man, as the flagship character, embodies this vision. The action figure quickly gained popularity among Black children and comic book enthusiasts, becoming one of the first Black action figures to hit the market.

Decades later, Olmec Toys and its Sun-Man action figure caught Mattel’s attention. Recognizing the power and importance of diversity in the toy industry, Mattel has partnered with Olmec Toys to bring Sun-Man to a wider audience. Ed Dunan, senior vice president at Mattel, oversees Sun-Man’s official introduction to the Masters of the Universe line.

The collaboration between Olmec Toys and Mattel marks a significant step towards representation and inclusivity in the toy industry. By featuring a black superhero like Sun-Man, children of color can finally see themselves reflected in action figures. Sun-Man’s aesthetic design, character traits, and powers make him an aspirational role model for today’s kids.

Mattel’s commitment to diversity extends beyond the Sun-Man action figure. In two newly released animated series, “Masters of the Universe: Revelation” and “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe,” characters have been reimagined to reflect a more diverse cast. The inclusion of Black characters in these shows further reinforces the importance of representation and the impact it can have on children’s self-perception.

Rob David, vice president of creative content for Mattel Television and executive producer for the animated series, emphasizes the significance of children seeing themselves represented. He believes that the TV screen serves as both a window and a mirror. This allows children to observe the world but also see their own identities reflected back at them.

The partnership between Olmec Toys and Mattel is a testament to the power of inclusivity and the demand for diverse representation in the toy industry. By reintroducing Sun-Man and incorporating more diverse characters into their product lines, Mattel is sending a powerful message about the value of embracing and celebrating different cultures and identities.

As children across the globe engage with these inclusive toys and animated series, they will witness the positive impact of representation firsthand. Introducing Sun-Man into the Masters of the Universe line is not just a milestone in the toy industry, but also a step towards empowering and inspiring children of all backgrounds to embrace their own superpowers. Get your Sun-Man action figure.