By Carrie Goldman – Eighteen months ago, my then-8-year-old daughter, Annie Rose, wrote a letter to Hasbro expressing her dismay over the fact that the most recent version of Monopoly Star Wars only featured male characters, including two from The Force Awakens: Kylo Renn and Finn.
— Carrie Goldman (@CarrieMGoldman) January 4, 2016
The letter went viral, and within a few days, Hasbro recognized everyone’s “passion for Rey” and promised to include Rey in the Monopoly game.
— Hasbro (@HasbroNews) January 6, 2016
Hasbro even revealed a design at the 2016 U.S. Toy Fair that made it look as if Rey were going to be a permanently included character in the Monopoly game:
Annie Rose is now ten years old. Over the past eighteen months, I have gone online periodically to check if there is an updated version of the game available. Nothing.
I regularly attend San Diego Comic-Con, C2E2, and New York Comic-Con, and I always stop to look at the upcoming toys and games at the Hasbro booth, hoping to see a Monopoly game with Rey. Nothing.
Two days ago, a Twitter discussion broke out about the fact that people are still asking #WheresRey. The AP reporter, Michelle Smith — who first wrote a widespread story about Annie Rose’s letter — contacted me to ask why the updated game wasn’t in stores.
I didn’t have an answer. Smith reached out to Hasbro for a statement. She received the following from Hasbro, as detailed in her new AP article:
“In early 2016, Hasbro updated the 2015 Star Wars: Monopoly game to add a Rey token. This product was sold to retailers in several markets around the world, but is not available for sale in the U.S. due to insufficient interest,” Duffy wrote in an email.
The AP asked Duffy to specify which countries had such sets available, but she did not do so.
Hasbro’s comments this week differ from what the company said it would do in January 2016, amid an online outcry that carried the hashtag #WheresRey.
“We love the passion fans have for Rey, and are happy to announce that we will be making a running change to include her in the Monopoly: Star Wars game available later this year,” Duffy told the AP in an emailed statement at the time. She added that fans who had already purchased the game “can obtain the Rey token by contacting Hasbro Consumer Care when the updated game becomes available later this year.”
After the AP reached out to Hasbro, the company contacted our family last night to let us know they would be sending us a game piece.
Whereas I am very glad that Hasbro did indeed manufacture Rey tokens, this is not the outcome we had hoped for, nor was it our understanding after seeing a design that included Rey in the game tokens. I feel sad that Rey is not a permanent part of the game that people can buy in stores or online.
Annie Rose said, “They didn’t exactly keep their word. And it seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through to get the Rey piece.”
Star Wars is for everyone. May The Force Be With You is joyfully proclaimed for all ages, genders, religions, and nationalities.
The problem with making Rey a “special-request add-on” instead of a regular part of the game is that Rey is still being portrayed as an “other.” After all, no one has to write to Hasbro to request a Luke Skywalker token or a Darth Vader token or a Finn token or a Kylo Ren token. Why does the female token have to be an afterthought?
How will future children who buy the game even know that they have to write to Hasbro to get a Rey token? I’m very happy Annie Rose is receiving the Rey token, but how about all the other children who don’t even know that requesting Rey is an option?
For all of you Rey fans, perhaps we can show the world that there is not “insufficient interest” in Rey. Representation matters. And, as Annie Rose explained eighteen months ago, “Girls Matter.” Annie Rose is hoping that your beautiful and powerful voices will once again join hers in asking #WheresRey?BringHerHereToStay!
Click on the link below to get your Rey token. Open a chat request on the customer service page. Here is where you go to request a Rey token.
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!
About the Author
Carrie Goldman is the award-winning author of Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear. Carrie has written for The New York Times, CNN, Psychology Today, Huffington Post, Brain Child Magazine, Adoption.net, Babble, Alternet, and more. Carrie writes one of the nation’s premier adoption blogs, Portrait of an Adoption, which has followers in more than 45 countries. Her acclaimed new children’s book, Jazzy’s Quest: Adopted and Amazing!, co-written with author Juliet Bond, came out in June of 2015. Follow Carrie on Facebook and Twitter.
This article first appeared on Chicago Now and is republished here with express permission from the author.