This is absolutely awful!
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been a huge success and sparked a new generation of fans.
The only problem is, kids who are just discovering the galaxy far, far away haven't been able to easily get their hands on one of their favorite characters from the flick, Rey (Daisy Ridley).
While we've reported on both Hasbro action figures as well as the Star Wars-themed Monopoly game leaving out the lead character, we now have a bit more insight as to why this happened!
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According to a toy industry insider who wished to stay anonymous, the toy companies were "specifically directed to exclude her"!
The source revealed to Sweatpants and Coffee that there were some people who were aware of the problem saying:
"One or more individuals raised concerns about the presence of female characters in the Star Wars products."
However, according to the source:
"Eventually, the product vendors were specifically directed to exclude the Rey character from all Star Wars-related merchandise."
Shockingly, the source revealed they were told:
"'No boy wants to be given a product with a female character on it.'"
Sadly it doesn't seem specific to Star Wars as the insider also said:
"Diminishing of girl characters is common in the industry. Power Rangers asked us to do it. Paw Patrol, too."
The anonymous tipster explained that toy manufacturers want to "maintain the sharp boy/girl product division" and "marginalize girl characters in items not specifically marketed as girl-oriented." Disgusting!
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Even though the source wanted to remain anonymous, which makes it impossible to verify their statements, John Marcotte, the founder of the non-profit Heroic Girls, seemed to support these ideas by saying:
"I've spoken with Disney people, and they were completely blindsided by the reaction to the new Star Wars characters. They put a huge investment into marketing and merchandizing the Kylo Ren character. They presumed he would be the big breakout role from the film. They were completely surprised when it was Rey everyone identified with and wanted to see more of."
We don't understand why they were surprised as Rey looked AH-Mazing from the trailers — and again, was the LEAD CHARACTER IN THE MOVIE!
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Marcotte also revealed:
"Now they're stuck with vast amounts of Kylo Ren product that is not moving, and a tidal wave of complaints about a lack of Rey items."
Well, we guess they deserve it for their backward thinking! Maybe the toy marketing people will remember this lesson every time they eat from their mandatory Kylo Ren lunchboxes…
Are you surprised about the new allegations against the toy industry?
[Image via Disney.]
Tags: business blitz, daisy ridley, disney, film flickers, girl power, hasbro, heroic girls, john marcotte, monopoly, star wars, star wars: the force awakens, stuff 4 kidz, sweatpants and coffee, toys