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Hasbro still hasn’t released a Star Wars Monopoly set with Rey due to ‘insufficient interest’

The Verge logo The Verge 7/12/2017 Andrew Liptak
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Following the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, fans pointed out that its central character, Rey, was conspicuously absent from the first wave of toys, including Hasbro’s new edition of Star Wars Monopoly. After the outcry, Lucasfilm announced that Rey would be a prominent part of the next wave of toys, and Hasbro said that it would add the character to the next release of the game. A year later, that hasn’t happened, reports the Associated Press.

The 2015 edition of the game featured four of the main characters from the franchise: Luke Skywalker, Finn, Kylo Ren, and Darth Vader, but not Rey. Irritated fans started a hashtag, #wheresrey, and even the film’s director, J.J. Abrams, said that Rey’s absence was “preposterous.” This prompted Lucasfilm to claim that her absence from the set was a way of preventing leaks about her character before the film was in theaters.

“Insufficient interest”

Hasbro eventually produced the game piece for the Monopoly set, which it sold in several countries — but not the United States, according to company spokeswoman Julie Duffy. The explanation? “Insufficient interest.” Fans who really want the piece can contact Hasbro’s customer service line to request a piece.

Hasbro’s explanation that there’s been insufficient interest might be technically correct: there could very well be few people asking specifically for a Star Wars Monopoly set with a Rey figure, but this ducks the bigger issue at hand: ensuring that female characters are fairly represented on toy shelves. We’ve reached out to Hasbro to ask how it gauges demand in these sorts of situations, and we’ll update if we hear back.

Individually, it’s a minor irritation but collectively, it speaks to a bigger issue

The presence or absence of a game piece or toy sitting on a store’s shelves might be just a minor irritation for some, but it speaks to a larger issue. Given that children internalize gender discrepancies and attitudes from an early age, having a balance would help counter them imbuing a regressive mindset from an early age. This isn’t something that’s limited to Star Wars toys either: in 2015, Target announced that it was moving away from gender-based signs in its toy aisles, saying that such references are unnecessary.

So, while Hasbro might pat itself on the back for getting the figure into the hands of consumers, it’s clear that there’s quite a lot more that it should do.

Related Gallery: Facts about the Star Wars movies (Via Photo Services) A Star Wars logo sign is seen atop a popcorn machine inside Rancho Obi-Wan, the world's largest private collection of Star Wars memorabilia, in Petaluma, California on November 24, 2015. The collection, owned by Steve Sansweet, includes over 350,000 Star Wars items and is located at his home. From the United States, to Russia, China and Saudi Arabia, the franchise has spawned a remarkable global fan base arguably unheard of in movie history and spanning several generations. AFP PHOTO/ JOSH EDELSON / AFP / Josh Edelson (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images) Facts about the Star Wars movies

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