The lack of female characters in toys is not a new problem. Merchandise companies have taken heat (and rightly so) for marginalizing or outright removing female characters from properties that are conservatively considered “boy-centric” even though it wasn’t just boys who powered Marvel and Star Wars to record-breaking successes at the box office.
Last year, the campaign “#WheresGamora” cropped up after Guardians of the Galaxy merchandise notably didn’t feature one of the five eponymous Guardians, presumably because she’s the only one who’s a woman. Black Widow also was pushed to the background, and one of her coolest scenes in Avengers: Age of Ultron was re-done on the LEGO packaging to put her in the cockpit instead of on the motorcycle.
Now an even more egregious oversight has cropped up because Rey, the heroic lead of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is pretty difficult to find when it comes to toys.
Aside from dropping the ball yet again from their six-pack of action figures (because when given the option of playing with Rey or “First Order Pilot,” kids are definitely going to go for beloved character “First Order Pilot.”) it now looks like Hasbro has screwed up with their Star Wars: Monopoly edition, which includes Luke Skywalker, Finn, Kylo Ren, and Darth Vader. That’s it.
So why no Rey? Was it conscious gender discrimination? Maybe the merchandisers weren’t totally sure about the plot of the film, and since this stuff has to go into production months ahead of the movie’s release, they hedged and assumed that they should make all the figures male. But that’s an outdated assumption and just poor market research. They should know by now that boys and girls of all ages love Star Wars and have for a few decades now. Why shoehorn in Return of the Jedi-Luke Skywalker at Rey’s expense?
But in case you need it spelled out for you, here’s an 8-year-old explaining why a dearth of Rey toys is ridiculous [via Legion of Leia]:
— Carrie Goldman (@CarrieMGoldman) January 4, 2016
Update: Following a laughable reasoning for why they left out Rey (Hasbro claims that including her would have spoiled the movie because somehow people would have deduced her final fight with Kylo Ren from a couple of freaking Monopoly figures), Hasbro has now stepped up to do the right thing and will include Rey in the game.
Catch up with all our latest Star Wars coverage below.
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- Fantastic ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Set Photos Revealed by Cinematographer Dan Mindel
- ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’: Official Images of Snoke and Maz Kanata Released
- ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Box Office Sinking ‘Titanic’ to Become #2 Movie of All Time
- ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’: All the Cameos You Might Have Missed