The outcry of fans over the absence of Rey from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens toy lines seems to have been met with her being much more prominent in the second wave of merchandise, and an industry insider recently shed some light on the subject. Like many had suspected, according to this account, it wasn’t out of fear of spoiler alerts, it was a conscious marketing decision.
On the condition of anonymity, the insider spoke to Sweatpants and Coffee about the meetings where these decisions were made. The source indicated that in the early stages Rey was heavily featured in the first round of toys, but this changed significantly over time. By the time the toys were ready to hit shelves in September, product vendors were told to specifically exclude Rey from the product line.
“No boy wants to be given a product with a female character on it,” the insider was eventually told.
This confirms a long-held criticism of Disney-owned properties excluding or eliminating female characters from product lines. This struck a particular chord over the Christmas season, when fans and parents came to learn that the film’s main character wasn’t anywhere to be found in toy aisles. Even director J.J. Abrams weighed in earlier this month, calling her exclusion “preposterous and wrong.”
Lucasfilm has given no official statement at this point.
(Via Sweatpants and Coffee)