Hasbro is feeling the force of what an army of angry Star Wars fans feels like.
Tapping into the marketing mania that surrounding the film, Hasbro released a Monopoly version of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” except there was one problem: Rey was missing.
A figurine version of the character, played by actress Daisy Ridley, isn’t included. Rather, the board game includes four male characters: Finn, Luke Skywalker, Kylo Ren and Darth Vader.
The exclusion set off an angry response on Twitter, with fans complaining with the hashtag #WheresRey. One of the most popular tweets came from an 8-year-old female fan, who supposedly wrote sharply worded letter toward Hasbro:
— Carrie Goldman (@CarrieMGoldman) January 4, 2016
Other tweets with the hashtag also blasted Hasbro as “sexist” and more:
— Kirsten Thompson (@katannthompson) January 5, 2016
Re: #WheresRey. It’s not just that little girls need to see that girls can be heroes, it’s also that little boys need that message, too.
— Derek Bruff (@derekbruff) January 5, 2016
The outrage stems from the fact that Rey is a key character to the blockbuster movie, which has surpassed $1.5 billion worldwide over the weekend, while including Darth Vader, who isn’t in the movie, and droid sidekick BB-8, a playful character but arguably not essential to the plot.
Hasbro says it didn’t want to spoil the movie. In statement to Entertainment Weekly, the company said the Monopoly game was released in September, so “Rey was not included to avoid revealing a key plot line that she takes on Kylo Ren and joins the Rebel Alliance.”
Still, the explanation isn’t satisfying some fans:
— Robert Perry (Pez) (@pez_sez) January 5, 2016
Digiday has reached out to Hasbro to see if Rey will be included in merchandise in the future. This incident is a microcosm of what brands face when marketing and selling products around the movie, because as the data shows, Star Wars leans toward the male demographic.
Still, with a young female fronting to be considered a “reboot” of the franchise, it’s a marketing mistake. Disney told the Daily Beast that there will be more merchandise featuring Rey this month as many of the fans would’ve seen it already.
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