In what’s become a frequent repose in the last year, the merchandisers for a major movie franchise are under attack for ignoring the idea that girls like big sci-fi, action/adventure movies too. A new version of Star Wars Monopoly was released back in September includes Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, Finn and Luke Skywalker game pieces, but mysteriously, the new hero character of the sequel trilogy is mysteriously absent. The question before the Monopoly makers now is where is Rey, the character played by Daisy Ridley? The Monopoly mess is now the latest rallying point for gender equality, at least so far as toys and games are concerned.
To understand how the outrage has awoken (haha!) let’s go to the Twitters. But beware, there is a spoiler for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, so if you still haven’t seen it, you have till the count of 10 to bail!
From the pen of 8-year-old Star Wars fan Annie Rose (and courtesy of The Mary Sue):
— Carrie Goldman (@CarrieMGoldman) January 4, 2016
Annie’s palpable outrage that Rey is not among the game pieces for the new Monopoly got an actual official response from Hasbro:
“The Star Wars: Monopoly game was released in September, months before the movie’s release, and Rey was not included to avoid revealing a key plot line that she takes on Kylo Ren and joins the Rebel Alliance. Rey is featured in the following Star Wars games: Hands Down, Guess Who and Chess as well as our 6” Black Series figures, 3 3/4” Figures and Vehicles, Black Series Titanium and Micromachines. Additionally, fans will see more Rey product hitting store shelves this month, including 6″ and 12″ Rey action figures. We are thrilled with the popularity of this compelling character and will continue to look for ways to showcase Rey across all of our product lines.”
So problem solved, right? Not so fast. How exactly would have including Rey as a game piece been a spoiler? We knew she was in the film, and it certainly didn’t stop Hasbro from putting out figures like “Starkiller Base Rey,” which is a spoiler because it reveals that Rey goes to the Starkiller base at some point in the film!
But let’s get back to basics: why does this Monopoly game only have four pieces? Most Monopoly games allow for a maximum of eight players, so why cut that in half for the Star Wars version, and while we’re at it, why those four pieces? Why Darth Vader and Return of the Jedi Luke Skywalker? If you were going to make a four-piece Monopoly game to release in conjunction with The Force Awakens, would it not make more sense to include Finn, Rey, Kylo Ren, and Poe Dameron? They were the four main new characters introduced in the film. BB-8 also would have been acceptable.
But really, Hasbro’s “avoid revealing a key plot line” excuse is weak tea, because if Rey had joined the Dark Side in the film, then that would have been a real spoiler; Rey joining the
Rebels Resistance, not so much. It’s safe to say that just like the whole #WhereIsNatasha campaign from last summer, when Avengers: Age of Ultron toys were noted for their lack of Black Widow, it seems that toy companies still don’t realize that there are girls that like these movies, and want to play with the action figures and toys based on the awesome, kick-ass female characters in them. And if Hasbro needs an economic reason, consider that the aforementioned “Starkiller Base Rey” action figure, which is sold out in many stores, and can go for as much as $50 on eBay.
Come one Hasbro, don’t you like money? I guess we’ll find out.
Category: Nerd Culture