Disney made it worse with this press release title: "Disney Consumer Products Ready to Capture Boys’ Imaginations and Dominate Toy Aisles in 2014." That title gave me rage face. Gender inequality in toy marketing is a rant for another time, but that headline is relevant to the rest of the post.
Hasbro did confirm to Newsarama that they are making 3.75 inch Hera and Sabine figures and that they'll be revealed at San Diego Comic-Con. I'm pleased to hear that, but I'm incredibly disappointed that they seem to be an afterthought. Dunc over at Club Jade expresses some important points on that subject. The feeling is familiar. I got incredibly frustrated trying to find different figures of Ahsoka in the toy aisles; they felt scarce and she was one of the main characters of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Yet, I had no trouble finding Anakin and Obi-Wan figures.
With those feelings, I sat down with Stephen Sansweet's Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection book and counted. I wanted to see how many action figures there were of Princess Leia as opposed to Luke and Han, same with Padmé and Ahsoka. The informative book logs all the Star Wars action figures produced prior to 2012. The figures are from all the films, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Genndy Gartakovsky's Clone Wars cartoons, and the Expanded Universe.
Data source: Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection by Stephen Sansweet
I have to say, where Princess Leia is concerned, I'm surprised. She had more variations than I would have thought, and I was happy to see only three of the 45 figures featured the metal bikini.
Padmé had an okay ration too, but given that she had even more looks than Leia and that merchandise - including toys - was amped up for the prequels, I'm surprised there aren't more. One of the most annoying features about the Padmé figures is that one was titled "Mother of Heroes." Eh. Mixed feelings about that name. Just two of Padmé's 26 figures had a bared midriff.
Finally, the number of Ahsoka figures is a bummer. She was arguably the most important character of The Clone Wars series and she only got half as many figures as Anakin and Obi-Wan (I only counted their Star Wars: The Clone Wars figures)? Refer back to the lame statement above.
While I hope the numbers of female character action figures increase with Star Wars Rebels and the sequels and spin-offs, this first showing doesn't leave me feeling optimistic. Instead, I feel unwelcome and excluded. Not that I don't like seeing Kanan, Chopper, and Ezra figures - I will gladly buy those too - but let's equal the playing field, eh? I hope Hasbro works with Disney and Lucasfilm to do so.