Rumors of Hasbro Cancelling Princess Leia Figurine Lead to #WhereIsLeia Fan Campaign
She'll be back.
If you run in any geek girl circles, you may have sensed a disturbance on Twitter yesterday after Jedi Temple Archives broke the news that Hasbro’s Ceremonial Leia figurine, originally scheduled for Wave 8 and Wave 7 of The Black Series, had been pulled and replaced by a stormtrooper in Wave 7 and a clone trooper in Wave 8.
Consumers cried out in terror, and understandably so; considering the criticism Hasbro has received in recent months for its lack of Star Wars Rebels action figures for female characters, the subsequent cancellation of one of its few female figurines seemed like a slap in the face to fans. So what gives, laser-brain Hasbro execs?
The Daily Dot reached out to Hasbro for clarification, and received a statement late Wednesday:
The STAR WARS Black Series 3.75-inch Princess Leia (Yavin Ceremony) has been delayed due to a production issue with Princess Leia’s robe. However, we are currently working through this issue and you will be able to find her on shelves later this year. Also, we can confirm that the STAR WARS Black Series Princess Leia (Boushh Disguise) 3.75-inch and 6-inch items will be available later this summer.
In addition, you can find a STAR WARS Saga Legends Princess Leia (Endor) 3.75-inch as well as a STAR WARS Mission Series Princess Leia (A New Hope) 3.75-inch on shelves later this spring.
Hasbro might not have the greatest track record for responding to accusations that they favor male characters, but Ceremonial Leia’s delay actually seems pretty legit (and, judging from Making Star Wars‘ images, Hasbro’s upcoming Leia figurines will be well worth the wait). That being said, the rumors and dismay surrounding Leia’s postponement are an indicator of fans’ appetite for representation and awareness that female characters are still not a high priority for companies like Hasbro:
Hasbro: We think we’re doing great with female figures. So great that we’re going to cancel a bunch of them. Because we’re doing so great
— Brian (@LaneWinree) March 18, 2015
— Yakface.com (@yak_face) March 16, 2015
— Emily (@Shadow_Leader92) March 18, 2015
— Evan Galdeen (@KingofNerdzs) March 17, 2015
The concern generated by Hasbro’s decision to postpone one product is an indicator that, in the wake of last summer’s #WeWantLeia campaign and Marvel’s Princess Leia mini-series, fans are still acutely aware that female characters (and, by extension, the women who admire them) have a precarious place in the fandom.
On the bright side, Making Star Wars points out that fans do have more Leia Hasbro products to look forward to in the near future–and considering Rogue One will have a female lead, female figurines might actually be the rule rather than the exception for a whole new generation of nerds.
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