Do Disney’s Merchandising Arm Have Something Against Strong Female Characters?

Daisy Ridley's Rey Excluded From New 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Figures Set

In recent years Disney has had some massive hit films with licenses such as ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’, ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ and most recently ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’.

All of of these films had really strong female characters in both the heroic and villainous roles and the characters were done in such a way that they were equal to the male characters in this films, but unfortunately the same doesn’t seem true when it comes to Disney’s licensing decisions when it comes to the merchandising.

In the new action figure set for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’. There is no figure for Daisy Ridley’s character of Rey, who was that films main character and the lead role that much of the films narrative was based around. Yet no action figure of this character.

This is the third time in recent years that Disney has seemingly snubbed its female characters when it comes to action figures. Back in 2014 when the ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ figures came out. There wasn’t a figure for Gamora who again was one of the main characters in that film.

The same also happened earlier this year when they released an action figure set for ‘Avengers Age Of Ultron’. Black Widow was missed out and she is a character that is universally loved by both male and female fans of the Marvel films that Disney produce.

Adding insult to injury with regards to their new ‘Star Wars’ figures. Captain Phasma who never removes her Stormtroopers helmet throughout the film is also missing from the set. So its not only Ray that has been snubbed.

One has to wonder what Disney’s logic is in excluding these strong female characters from licensing deals when it comes to action figures.

At one time it could have been argued that action figures were strictly for the boys, but in recently years the market place has changed. I know this for a fact because I sell these type of products on ebay and quite a lot of my customers are women.

This however is beside the point. As an adult male who was once a young boy that collected ‘Star Wars’ action figures. I know that were I still collecting I’d want for Rey and Captain Phasma to be included in the collection.

At present it remains to be seen whether of not Disney will license the characters of Rey and Phasma for inclusion in these sets. I guess we can only hope that they see sense and stop snubbing these strong female characters who are helping broaden the appeal of ‘Star Wars’ to an audience beyond the old school boys club.

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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