'Star Wars' Fans Want to Know #WheresRey in Their Children's Toy Sets

We have to give them credit -- J. J. Abrams and Star Wars created one killer female character in Rey, the hero of The Force Awakens. We just need to tweak the follow-through on the merchandising, which is something fans on social media are bringing attention to with the hashtag #WheresRey.


Everyone loves Rey -- especially girls, who rarely get a glimpse of a kick-ass, brainy hero who also happens to be pretty handy with a lightsaber. Rey, played by newcomer Daisy Ridley, is a breath of fresh air for girl moviegoers everywhere.

Which is why fans of Star Wars: The Force Awakens have been confused about why holiday toy store shelves were chock-full of Kylo Ren and Finn -- but Rey was nowhere to be found.

And it's not like Rey is some token female incidental character -- Rey is the lead star of the whole movie.

Rey's the one who fixed and flew the Millennium Falcon, but she didn't make it into the Millennium Falcon toy set! What gives?

But this isn't the first time powerful female characters haven't made the jump from movie screens to toy store shelves. From Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow to Zoe Saldana's Gamora, girls everywhere are falling in love with tough female characters in movies who don't have a place when it comes to the movie's merchandising. Don't toy makers think girls love those movies, too? Don't they want girls to love those movies, too?

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For Abrams and Star Wars, it seems more like a production flub than anything else. Disney reps have said that Rey was left out of holiday toy sets first because her "look" for the movie wasn't established in time to make the toy production deadline. Sources also speculate not revealing Rey as the lightsaber-wielding Millennium Falcon pilot was all part of Abrams's and the studio's shroud of secrecy around the film.

Whatever. It's hard to imagine the lead character of any mega-blockbuster being left out of a movie's holiday toy merchandising rollout. Can you imagine Hulk merch without the Hulk? No. So the explanations are as lame as the dudes-only Star Wars toy shelves. But both Disney and retailers are promising fans a lot more Rey toys and merchandise starting this January.

But this whole Star Wars toy sexism mess has likely taught Hollywood studios and toy manufacturers a valuable lesson -- girls want to be superheroes, too. And maybe a big fat sexist screw-up on the biggest movie the world has ever seen is enough to change the game for good. Here's hoping so.

So girls and their parents just need to hold on for a couple more weeks before Rey will be a permanent fixture on Star Wars merchandise shelves. We've got the strong female characters in movies for our daughters -- and that's a huge step we should celebrate. Now we just need the Hollywood marketers to have the same faith that our girls want to play, too. And that sometimes they even win.


Image via Mockingjay Lives On/Twitter

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