Hasbro Cites ‘Insufficient Interest’ in Adding Rey Token to Monopoly
We’re now in Year Two of #WheresRey, a hashtag that points out and asks why Rey, a leading protagonist in the new Star Wars trilogy, isn’t as prominent in the toy lines as her male counterparts. While there has been some improvement over the past several months, some people are still compelled as ask the question, “Where’s Rey?”
In an op/ed posted on Chicago Now, author Carrie Goldman wrote about how her then eight-year-old daughter, Annie Rose, wrote a letter to Hasbro 18 months ago “expressing her dismay over the fact that the most recent version of Star Wars Monopoly only featured male characters, including two from The Force Awakens: Kylo Renn and Finn.” You can see Annie’s letter in the tweet posted below.
— Carrie Goldman (@CarrieMGoldman) January 4, 2016
Naturally, the letter went viral and Hasbro took notice. They do eventually add Rey to the game, revealing her token at the 2016 U.S. Toy Fair, but something was amiss. While Hasbro did release a version of the Star Wars Monopoly game with the Rey token included, it was being sold to retailers in every other global market except in the United States. Hasbro released a statement to AP explaining why this was the case:
“In early 2016, Hasbro updated the 2015 Star Wars: Monopoly game to add a Rey token. This product was sold to retailers in several markets around the world, but is not available for sale in the U.S. due to insufficient interest,” [spokeswoman Julie Duffy] wrote in an email.
The AP asked Duffy to specify which countries had such sets available, but she did not do so.
Hasbro’s comments this week differ from what the company said it would do in January 2016, amid an online outcry that carried the hashtag #WheresRey.
“We love the passion fans have for Rey, and are happy to announce that we will be making a running change to include her in the Monopoly: Star Wars game available later this year,” Duffy told the AP in an emailed statement at the time. She added that fans who had already purchased the game “can obtain the Rey token by contacting Hasbro Consumer Care when the updated game becomes available later this year.”
“Insufficient interest” is an interesting phrase. Who was uninterested? The company as a whole, or actual consumers as a whole? Little Annie Rose is getting her Rey game piece, but should she have had to ask for one in the first place?
Let’s forget, just for a moment, that Rey is a female character. Whichever team at Hasbro whose job it was to create this Star Wars Monopoly game left out a vital character in the series. And since we all know that any Monopoly game doesn’t have a maximum of four players, they could have opted to add a few more characters — Princess Leia and Rey — into the box.
I know there are plenty of people working for Hasbro who mean well. The guys working on the Star Wars action figures (name the Black Series) are top notch fellas who are always thinking about which female characters they want to add. However, the company as a whole needs to stop making female characters out to be afterthoughts to be added after enough people have made a stink about it.
Furthermore, WE as consumers need to stop thinking that certain franchises are just for boys and just for girls. Remember that money talks in this country. Let your wallets show Hasbro how much you actually care that Rey, Leia, Jyn, and Ahsoka are included in a first wave of toys and not as “good PR” afterthoughts to be added later.
If you have (or are going to buy) the Star Wars Monopoly game and wish to include Rey into your collection of playable tokens, click here to request that one be sent to you.
Source: Chicago Now