Fast Company has a profile of Hasbro Star Wars design director Steve Evans, focusing on The Force Awakens rollout. Of special interest to us, some words on the changing market:
“I’m actually very, very fond of the three-and-three-quarter inch Rey figure,” Evans says. It’s an appropriate choice, and not just for the fact that Rey is one of the main characters in the next Star Wars chapter. That figure symbolizes a radical shift in the action figure market—and the Star Wars toys market in particular.
“It’s because of what it stands for,” says Evans. “Just because of the way it’s embracing girls into the brand more. I have a son and two twin daughters and my girls are infatuated with Rey. They think she’s brilliant.”
Back in the ’70s and ’80s Star Wars action figures were thought of as something to be made just for boys. But Evans says that’s all changed now. And not only are the artificial gender action figure barriers are coming down, now they’re designed to appeal to people of all ages.
As for The Force Awakens, “as we lead up to December 18, there’s a certain amount that gets released,” says Evans. “There are certain surprises from our product line that no one knows about, that we’ll release leading up to the movie, at the movie, and beyond the movie.”
Fortune magazine is honoring Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy as one of their selections for 2015’s Most Powerful Women. (She’s #42.) They’ve published a lengthy profile, which includes the interesting factoid that “more than half of her 18-person executive team, with whom she meets weekly, is female.”
Felicity Jones’ character is indeed front and center of Rogue One so far, and no one is unhappy with the racial diversity of the ensemble, but there has been some very definite pushback on yet another cast that is – at least initially – very low on women. Will we see more ladies added like we did with The Force Awakens or is this just the latest example of the Smurfette Principle in action?
→ Does Diego Luna’s mustache look familiar? From a viral @eleventhirtyate tweet to /Film in two days. And there’s more overanalysis at Rebels Report.
→ What the Rogue One picture tells us about what’s coming up. Might there even be… set visits? Gasp!
→ Spoiler corner: Set construction pics at Cardington.
A Leia in Boushh disguise is one of the few women featured in the 6″ Black Series line so far.
We’ve bemoaned how hard it is to find action figures of Hera, Sabine, and well, pretty much anyone that isn’t Slave Leia. Sure, there’s a 6″ Rebels Ahsoka figure in the pipeline, but what else can be done?
Seems like Hasbro themselves has an answer – well, sort of. They’re doing a Fan’s Choice poll for a 6″ Black Series figure, in collaboration with several Star Wars collecting fan sites, and all characters (except for those from The Force Awakens) are eligible at this point. All you have to do is submit a name – via the comments at Jedi Temple Archives and Rebelscum, or via email to Yakface. (Also: Jedi News, Making Star Wars, ComicBook.com, Sir Steve’s Guide, Topless Robot, FlyGuy, Yodasnews and Galactic Hunter, Jedi Business.) The top choices at the fan sites will be used to create a top 6 that will go up for a vote on StarWars.com next month, with the winner announced at SDCC.
This is a great opportunity to show Hasbro that there is an interest in more female figures – remember, a Fan’s Choice Poll was how we got that last Mara Jade figure, though that hasn’t stopped at least one fan from making a case for a 6″ Mara.
(H/T to The Mary Sue.)
Her Universe celebrates their 5th anniversary on Monday, and they’re celebrating with free gifts, product rereleases and a livestream!
The returning products are the burnout and Empire poster tees and the Manga hoodie, above.
There will be a The Force Awakens makeup line from Cover Girl, and Rebelscum has some leaked images! (There are no actual TFA images here, just looks from Cover Girl themselves, so I’m not really considering any of this spoilers – read into the lingo as you will, but it’s all fairly boilerplate.) Yes, there is nail polish, but the colors we see in the leaks look pretty standard. Still, the last time we saw a hard push on makeup was with
Estee Lauder Yves Saint Laurent back in 1999, so this is a buy-in we haven’t seen in quite a while.
And while as a former nail polish junkie Cover Girl may not be my pick, this does pretty much guarantee you’ll see the stuff everywhere.
A former Marvel employee on Disney’s desired demographics (aka not girls and women) and what we can do about it. None of us are ignorant that Disney bought Marvel and Lucasfilm for further access the ‘boys market,’ but this is a nice overview of how licensing works, and who we have to contact to show there is a demand for more Gamora, Black Widow and Princess Leia merchandise.
UPDATE: Apparently the figure is only being delayed “due to a production issue with Princess Leia’s robe.” She’ll be back on shelves “later this year.”
So hot on the heels of the last dustup over the lack of female figures, Jedi Temple Archive reports that Hasbro has pulled the Ceremonial Princess Leia figures from Wave 7 and Wave 8 of the Black Series, replacing her with… A stormtrooper and a clone trooper.
Yakface, one of the first to bring this to the attention of the wider fandom, started the #whereisleia and #wewantleia hashtags.
Devin Faraci at Badass Digest wrote about looking for action figures for his niece, the latest in a familiar refrain:
The fact that Hasbro is canceling one of its few Leia figures means that they’re only keeping the status quo. Would more girl toys sell now, as the demographics of fandom shifts dramatically? No one can know when the toys don’t exist. I wanted to go and spend my money on female characters for my goddaughter, but I was not offered the opportunity. Young female fans should be able to walk into Toys ‘R Us and find a toy based on the largest and most popular stories in our pop culture that speaks to them. It’s as simple as that, and when the only option is a sexualized and subservient variant – why would they want to buy that? Why would their parents want to buy that for them?
Sure, there’s that Ahsoka figure coming and it seems like Boushh disguise Leia is still on, but canceling any of the few Leia figures they were hyping just over a month ago isn’t exactly fostering good faith in their intentions.
“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.)
#WheresHera? (and sometimes Sabine.) Guess who’s still missing from lots of Rebels merchandise? I guess folks really love us harping on this stuff, huh?