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Hasbro Cites 'Insufficient Interest' in Adding Rey Token to Monopoly

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.

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

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Christina E. Janke

Christina is the co-host of “Intro to Geek” on Shauncastic and Editor-in-Chief at Agents of Geek. Her love of all things Mass Effect knows no bounds. She also carries an obsession with comic books, video games, and quirky television shows. Her heroes are Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Gail Simone. She hopes to be just like them when she grows up.

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • Christina,
    I’m all for being ticked off about Rey not being included in the original run, and the lack of merch overall. I’ve been looking for Rey gear for my daughter since it was clear she was going to be a main character in the films.
    But I’m also disappointed in your coverage of this update to the issue. Why not include the following line from the AP release you linked: Duffy said the company offered the updated version of the game to U.S. retailers but “retailers had ample inventory so they did not choose to sell the new version.”
    What do you expect Hasbro to do? Buy back their stock from US retailers? At least Hasbro is attempting to provide a solution via Customer Care. They can’t get the product out through regular channels(retailers). Would you rather them package the figure separately and see if retailers will sell it? That would only draw more ire from consumers.
    All of the people that are still angry about this need to find solutions for now while hoping the merch companies do better going forward. There has been so much outrage that I doubt they’ll mess this up again for Ep. VII and IX.
    When TFA came out, it was shown Rey was a key character, brought the stream of articles angry that merch of her was quite limited. I decided to buy the LEGO Rey figure kit (not the mini-fig) for my daughter. I did my research and found that it didn’t come with a lightsaber. I didn’t think that was right, but instead of just complaining about it, I went online, figured out what pieces made up a lightsaber and special ordered them. When I got the pieces, I opened the Rey kit box just enough to slide the pieces inside, wrapped it and gave it to my daughter. From my daughter’s perspective, no disappointment that her kit didn’t have a lightsaber when her brothers’ kits did (Vader, Luke and Finn). With the amount of online info available, shoppers need to do their research, rather than expecting companies to do what the customer thinks is right from the get go.

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