Hasbro thinks they’ve released “plenty of female characters” for Star Wars

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“Hasbro feels they have released plenty of female characters in the line.” That’s the money quote, from a Toy Fair Q&A with collector site Jedi Temple Archives. Granted, it doesn’t seem to be an exact quote, but the sentiment is pretty clear in any case. UPDATE: The answer has since been revised, at Hasbro’s request, to namedrop figures released over the past several years – that Mara Jade figure came out in 2013 – but the problem still remains. The Mary Sue has a great response to this:

It’s not that there aren’t any female characters in their line, because of course that would be untrue—it’s that they clearly take a backseat to the male ones which Hasbro thinks will sell better to boys.

Hasbro also said have no more Leia figures planned at the moment. (Though I doubt that includes The Force Awakens, which they are very much not talking about yet. But then again, who knows?) Asajj Ventress is also in the “no current plans” category.

Does our only hope for more than a paltry handful of women figures rest solely in the hands of the new film? We know there are multiple women in the cast, but such is the case with Rebels, and that rollout certainly hasn’t been without issues. (Though the recent issues finding figures – all figures – is likely due to an ongoing labor dispute at west coast seaports.)

11 thoughts on “Hasbro thinks they’ve released “plenty of female characters” for Star Wars

  1. JabbaJohnL

    There definitely need to be more female figures overall. They absolutely shouldn’t have waited so long to release Sabine and Hera. But Hasbro seems to be referring to their Rebels line, and not the wider SW line in general—though since JTA jots down notes during the interviews and paraphrases Hasbro’s responses, we won’t know for sure.

    What other female characters could they even make for Rebels? Other than the farmer whose homestead is destroyed, the only other option that springs to mind is Maketh Tua. But she isn’t a very “toyetic” character regardless of gender—same goes for other mid-range Imperial characters like Gall Trayvis, Commandant Aresko, and Taskmaster Grint. The Hasbro of today unfortunately isn’t the Hasbro of five or six years ago, with the overall number of releases scaled way down and less room for secondary characters like these. The Rebels line so far has been focused almost exclusively on the leads, with the most secondary characters they’ve made being Cikatro Vizago, IG-RM, and two Wookiees.

    I just posted my own Q&A with Hasbro, and while I didn’t specifically ask about the gender issue, they did talk about why some characters are included with Stormtroopers and some aren’t.

    As far as Leia figures, that’s a bit of a misrepresentation. Hasbro has already announced every figure that’s planned before the September 4 TFA launch. That includes five Leia figures, which is more than usual:
    – Yavin Ceremony (3¾” Black Series)
    – ANH senator gown (3¾” Mission Series, packed with Luke in Stormtrooper Disguise)
    – Boushh Disguise (3¾” Black Series)
    – Boushh Disguise (6″ Black Series)
    – Endor poncho (3¾ Saga Legends)

    And as to Ventress, there are a few other factors at play here. They’ve completely stopped making new EU figures (aside from two repacks that are out now) in order to focus on the new entertainment for the next few years. They’ve cut way, way back on Clone Wars figures, with Plo Koon and the Jedi Temple Guard coming in Saga Legends and six clone commanders spread across the lines, which are easier and cheaper to make than all-new figures since they share most of their parts. I’d love to see Ventress’ Nightsister or bounty hunter outfits, but for whatever reason there’s a ton of awesome, extremely toyetic Clone Wars stuff they’re just not making anymore (Krell, Bo-Katan, spider-Maul, Maul’s Mandos…).

    For the record, since this is a big info dump, I really hope this doesn’t come across as mansplain-y. I do agree they need to make more female figures—at the Hasbro Toy Fair event, every wave of Marvel figures included at least one or two ladies, which is way more than they do for SW. I’m just trying to throw in a longtime, hardcore Hasbro SW collector’s perspective here.

    1. Dunc

      We mean generally, not just Rebels. And the Ceremonial Leia only coming with Luke is bullshit right on order of Hera and Sabine only coming in two-packs with stormtroopers.

      And then there’s those saga packs that won’t include ANY Leia or Padme figures? Not even one of each? That’s a pretty glaring omission.

      1. JabbaJohnL

        I know the fans mean generally, but I think the Hasbro reply meant just Rebels. Again, hard to say due to the way JTA reported it.

        Ceremonial Leia is coming alone in the collector-focused, super-articulated 3 3/4″ Black Series, a very welcome and long-overdue update—the first version of this outfit since two were released in 1998. Her classic white ANH senator outfit with the double bun hairstyle is the one being packed with Stormtrooper Luke in the low-articulation style.

        The two-pack is actually pretty standard for this style, with some very popular characters so far only appearing in the two-packs: Han, Chewie, R2-D2, C-3PO, General Grievous, Darth Maul, and Darth Sidious, not to mention Zeb from Rebels, who is just as important a character as Hera or Sabine. Hasbro told me there was no real reasoning as to which Rebels characters were in single packs vs. two-packs, which could be total bullshit, but that’s what they said. Endor Leia is coming in this style on a single card.

        So yes, there need to be more Leias overall, but in 2015 she is represented in all four action figure lines—super-articulated 6″, super-articulated 3 3/4″ (x2), low-articulated 3 3/4″ single pack, low-articulated 3 3/4″ double pack—which is very good for any character in any year. Fans have the option of buying five Leia figures this year, not even including whatever they do for TFA, and I think Hasbro deserves at least a little credit for that. Hopefully the fans that have been calling for more female figures will show their support for these releases.

        The Digital Release Commemorative Sets have been updated, swapping out TPM Obi-Wan for Padmé. So it’s a little better than before.

      2. Jamie Dowey.

        Its work noting that the newer images of the digital release box sets show that Padme will be included in the Phantom Menace set. Still makes no sense that Leia is ignored but one female character is better than none i guess….

    1. Dunc

      Yeah, I’m really surprised at how that hasn’t really been coming up much. I read a similar article on another geek site sometime in the last week linking the issues (and of course I can’t remember now which one) but granted, I’m not exactly haunting the more collector-based sites.

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