After the #WheresRey debate hit a fever pitch last week, Lucasfilm and American toymakers are doing all they can to address the lack of Rey toys on shelves. Entertainment Weekly now has photos showing the so-called second wave of toys due to hit stores this month, and Rey is finally featured in the prominent position she deserved from the very beginning.
Addressing the social discussion that was created by the #WheresRey movement
"This new wave of product has got key elements from the film. You see Rey with a saber, her blaster, and a number of other elements we wanted to hold back until the film had been released," Lucasfilm's Paul Southern told EW. "The timing is good to try to address some of the social discussion that has been created through the ‘Where’s Rey?’ movement."
The new toys were likely always meant to feature Rey, and were presumably held back because toymakers didn't want to reveal spoilers to young moviegoers. However, Southern acknowledges that the company simply didn't anticipate how popular the current crop of Rey toys would be, or how vocal fans would be about her absence from sets. "Rey is clearly the standout character in the film," Southern said. "We always knew that was going to be the case, but the excitement around her is a lot more than we were expecting it to be."
Even that acknowledgment doesn't exactly wash, though. Rey doesn't wield Luke's lightsaber until well into the film's third act, and she's shown as more than capable during that time. If Lucasfilm simply didn't think a figure of a powerful female character wouldn't sell (as opposed to, say, nameless TIE Fighter pilots) the company isn't being the most forthcoming about it.
Some good messaging for young girls
In any case, the new wave of toys show Rey in top form, alongside the rest of the cast. Other toys also include the requisite Lego figures, Finn in his stormtrooper uniform, and playsets depicting the battle at Maz Kanata's castle on Takodana. Of course, this is probably the best messaging any kid needs:
Star Wars toys Sphero's new watch lets you control BB-8 with the force
Be sure to subscribe to The Verge's YouTube channel for more Star Wars videos