A recent rage has erupted on social media about the latest and fairly blatant omission of a Rey game token in the latest “Monopoly: Star Wars Edition” and inspired me to sit down and finally pen this rant that I’ve been holding back on for some time. As such I find there’s no time like the present to point out an even bigger absurdity in the toy aisles involving female Star Wars characters. Rey is getting stiffed but what about Sabine and Hera?
“Star Wars: Rebels” on Disney XD is a show that has grown on me tremendously over the past few months. To those not in the loop the story was intended to be the tale of young Ezra Bridger who was born on “Empire Day” (the day Palpatine proclaimed that the Clone Wars was over, the Jedi were evil and the Republic was now an Empire) living in a world where he was abandoned by his parents and is left to grow up as a scavenger with unrealized Force sensitivity. Wait a second, I think this sounds a bit familiar. Oh well, if it works it works. A couple Billion dollars later, let’s move on….
While the shows first season revolves around Ezra and his
plight, we were introduced to characters of a crew that have now taken more of the stage and spotlight and in this writer’s eye, rightfully so. Each has a fascinating back story that deserves to be told: Kanan; an abandoned Jedi padawan forced to flee and hide after Order 66 mowed down his master, Zeb who is a wonderful hot head and the last of his species, Chopper the astromech droid version of Oscar the Grouch and then the two female co-stars; Hera and Sabine. And it’s those two that I want to focus on. Not to short sight former Skywalker apprentice, Ahsoka Tano but we’ll get to her later.
Hera is the captain of the Ghost and the true leader of the team. She is the tie that binds and the rock that they all not only stand on but believe in as they join the burgeoning Rebellion against the Empire. In the book “A New Dawn” she is the one who discovers Kanan and brings him out of the deep shadows and into the more shallow shadows of a fight for good. AND in the second season of Rebels she brought the B-Wing fighter into the fold thanks to her skill as a pilot, guts of a leader and heart of a hero. Yet she gets one 3&3/4 inch action figure? All the while Kanan has , numerous releases, one variant and in different scales?
Similar things can be said about Sabine. While she is most certainly lower on the food chain in regards to her current level of command and accomplishments (so far), her demolition skills and Mandalorian heritage would make for excellent deluxe toys. Seriously, a female Boba Fett with 100 fold the dialog in one episode than he had in 4 movies combined deserves at least one variant, like a removable helmet? Maybe? Come on. Of course she does. But not in the eyes of Hasbro apparently.
But action figures and Star Wars are targeted to boys who are the keepers of the flame in that realm. BOYS play with those, not girls.” Nonsense. Boys don’t traditionally play with plush toys yet in that release there’s no Hera or Sabine to be found. Plus don’t assume girls are all pink and frilly. Ever heard of Monster High? Fashionable and wonderfully dark. Girls playing with monster toys. Hmmm… that’s a switch, right?
This rant is not intended to be dismissive of the licensed product that has been more inclusive such as LEGO’s, Halloween costumes, Fast Food promotional material, and inclusion in other sets but why not allow for more inclusion, especially where it makes sense. The “Ghost” is comprised of a TEAM. The show works because of a TEAM. The adventures are based around a TEAM working together. Not rocket science here, folks. And while some will argue the economics of production costs versus actual sales volume, lets look at that for a second….
Traditionally female characters in action figure lines always get short packed. From Batgirl to the incredibly popular Harley Quinn to the ladies of Spawn back in the 90’s, the girls may have been limited in numbers but they were there. They were limited and are still highly desirable among collectors. But lets get past that market and focus on the true consumer of toys: children.
I know first hand that my 6 year old daughter would LOVE to have a 12 inch Hera and Sabine. And as such she would insist on the complete crew being together. And rightfully so. There’s Kanaan, Zeb, Ezra, Vader, a Stormtrooper, the first Inquisitor and even that mutton chop sporting butt head Agent Kaluus in the 12 inch line (and to note, Chopper got shorted in that one too) so it makes absolutely no sense to me as to why the crew of the “Ghost” shouldn’t be completely represented. If you, Hasbro can’t see the potential for cross gender play you’re as misguided as DC comics making Superman a second fiddle player to Batman.
Being one of my longer rants I’m going to pull back and conclude with this: I read your response Hasbro, and I’m sorry but there’s no spoiler in releasing just ONE MORE piece of Rey merchandise. That’s actually more insulting than then omission. I’m not calling for a boycott or anything asinine like that but I would most certainly encourage folks to buy other product first.
Disney, Hasbro, other licencors; don’t let this opportunity for play go away. Embrace it. Nourish it. Grow it! Star Wars is for everyone, more so now than ever before. Don’t let gender stereotyping dictate a “Monopoly” on play in a galaxy far, far away…