This article from Sweatpants and Coffee was on my Twitter feed today. In it, an “industry insider” admits that the ‘spoilers’ explanation for Rey’s absence was a lie and that manufacturers were explicitly instructed not to include Rey because of her gender.
Honestly? I’m laughing. I’m laughing because they’ve got a backlash on their hands. They’ve got a boatload of Kylo Ren product they can’t move and a Rey-shaped gaping hole in the market that (if they have any brains at all) they have to scramble to fill and scramble to explain. I’m laughing because they adhered to decades of conventional wisdom and they have been proven wrong.
Turns out it’s only middle-aged marketers who are allergic to girl cooties.
The article ends on a hopeful note re: the gendered toy divide, but I’m more cynical to be honest. This is a cautionary tale, and it might get a few people’s thinking turned around, but a mass rethinking of female action figures? I don’t think so. The industry is just too entrenched and unwieldy to change that quickly. This is a fight we’re going to keep having over and over.