Why Is The New Star Wars Heroine Left Out Of This Toy Set?

Update: A representative for Target responded to our request for comment saying: "We know fans may be disappointed that Rey is not included in this Target-exclusive 6-pack, and have shared this feedback with our merchandising team and vendor partners." The rep also added that other Rey merchandise is available, and hinted, "Fans will be seeing even more of her after the film opens."
This story was originally published on November 13 at 12:00 p.m.

One of the reasons we're so excited for the new Star Wars movie — besides, well, NEW STAR WARS MOVIE — is that promotional materials for the film have prominently featured Rey, played by Daisy Ridley. So why is the seemingly awesome female character nowhere to be found in this Hasbro action-figure set available at Target?

While we haven't yet seen The Force Awakens, Rey is clearly one of the film's protagonists. She appears right in the center of the one-sheet poster, and is heavily featured in multiple trailers. And yet, this toy set assumes that kids won't want to play with her, or any female characters, apparently. Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac), and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) are included, but alas — no Rey, Leia (Carrie Fisher), or the villainous Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie).

Jenna Busch of Legion of Leia noticed Rey's absence when the writer was shopping at Target. As Busch noted, this is far from a one-time problem. "Hasbro, what are you doing? What are you freaking doing?" Busch wrote. "Did you not hear us when we asked why Gamora wasn’t part of the Guardians of the Galaxy team? When there was a national campaign to get her on shirts and lunch boxes? Remember #WheresGamora? Oh, and then again when you decided to leave Black Widow out of all the Avengers sets? When you replaced her in a toy based on her own scene? " Sure enough, the site Heroic Girls further detailed the repeated, conspicuous lack of female characters in sets carried at Target. People are now protesting with the hashtag #WheresRey.

This may be just one product, but the resulting frustration is indicative of a larger problem. Back in 2014, the Disney Store's official Twitter account cheerily responded to a perturbed costumer that there were "no plans for Leia products." Disney later announced it would rectify the situation, but the sting lingered.

It's clear that women are a big part of The Force Awakens. Just this week, Entertainment Weekly reported that Leia is no longer called "Princess," and instead goes by "General." We can't wait to see Rey be heroic and Phasma evil. It looks like the movie isn't treating women as second-class citizens, so why doesn't the merchandise reflect that?

Refinery29 has reached out to Target, Hasbro, and Disney for comment.


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