Earlier this week, Jedi Temple Archives broke the news that Hasbro’s Ceremonial Leia figurine was pulled from Waves 7 and 8. Y’know what they’re replacing her with? Another damn Stormtrooper. Because the million already out there isn’t enough.
The fan outcry sparked a Twitter campaign with messages tagged under #wewantleia and #whereisleia. Understandably so. This lady is the OG badass of female characters in Star Wars. And yet…there’s hardly a single toy of her that’s accessible to little girls and their parents compared to her male companions. Unless you count Slave Leia, the only model of the character that always pops up in the blue aisle at Target.
Hasbro (and other toy companies) hasn’t been on my good side since the unceremonious cancellation of Cartoon Network’s critically acclaimed cartoon series, Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Young Justice. As mentioned by Paul Dini on Kevin Smith’s Fatman on Batman podcast, “[Networks showing cartoons] are all for the boys, we do not want the girls! I mean, I’ve heard executives say this, you know, not where I am but at other places, saying like, ‘We do not want girls watching these shows.” When Smith pointed out that was a strange move because, well, women are 51% of the population, Dini said, “They don’t buy toys. The girls buy different toys.” This statement keeps ringing true every time my niece asks for her favorite heroine from her favorite “boy” cartoon. Y’know, like Star Wars Rebels.
The Daily Dot reached out to Hasbro for some clarification, and received a statement soon after:
The STAR WARS Black Series 3.75-inch Princess Leia (Yavin Ceremony) has been delayed due to a production issue with Princess Leia’s robe. However, we are currently working through this issue and you will be able to find her on shelves later this year. Also, we can confirm that the STAR WARS Black Series Princess Leia (Boushh Disguise) 3.75-inch and 6-inch items will be available later this summer.
In addition, you can find a STAR WARS Saga Legends Princess Leia (Endor) 3.75-inch as well as a STAR WARS Mission Series Princess Leia (A New Hope) 3.75-inch on shelves later this spring.
Okay. Maybe this time, their concerns seem pretty legit. However, Hasbro still has a track record for not wanting to make as many toys of popular female characters as they do their male counterparts (again, how many Stormtroopers and Clones do we really need?). The continuing disparity is old, tired, and needs reform.
On the other hand, Hasbro really seems to want to get this one right. Are we finally seeing the major toy company turn over a new leaf, acknowledging that there are girls willing to buy their toys as long as they make more female characters? Eeeeehhhh, probably not. We still have yet to see more variations of Sabine and Hera from Star Wars Rebels. All that may change, however, when the movies start rolling out more dough than anyone can handle.