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Hasbro addresses Princess Leia action figure amid fan outrage
Yes, there will be a Princess Leia action figure.
Yes, Hasbro is making a Princess Leia action figure. But it’s complicated.
Star Wars fansite Jedi Temple Archives on Monday shared new information from one of its sources about Hasbro’s Star Wars Black Series action figures. According to Jedi Temple Archives, waves seven and eight of the Black Series are going to be replaced by different figures. The most notable change was the loss of a Princess Leia figure in each. Reportedly in wave seven a New Hope Princess Leia ceremonial figure was going to be replaced with a stormtrooper and in wave eight the ceremonial figure was being replaced by a clone commander.
The Daily Dot reached out to Hasbro to clarify what had happened and received the following statement late Wednesday from Hasbro’s PR agency:
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.
That the figure hasn’t been canceled is welcome news and made quite a few fans happy, but the fact that there was such a response from the fandom at the loss of the figure speaks to how hungry Star Wars fans are for better representation in merchandise. If Leia figures were more common, the loss of one in a wave would not have sparked such a strong outcry. Princess Leia and other Star Wars female action figures are still hard to come by, however, so a possible cancellation is viewed as a major loss to the fandom.
While it’s great that Hasbro responded quickly and does not plan to forget about Leia entirely, it should take note of how fans reacted and might want to consider rethinking its handling of female figures.
The initial reports of Princess Leia’s exclusion in particular did not go unnoticed by fans. Word quickly spread about the loss, being shared on Star Wars collectors fansite Yakface and sparking conversation on Twitter and Tumblr.
“I am so angry at this. Disappointed isn’t a strong enough word. Didn’t we fight for #WeWantLeia and even had #WeWantHera and #WeWantSabine over the past year? How long are these damaging stereotypes (for all genders as kids should be allowed to play with any type of toys or read/watch any story they want regardless of the targeted gender) going to last?” wrote French scholar Natacha Guyot on Tumblr.
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
This time, at least, these long-suffering factions can reportedly look forward to a proper action figure.
Lisa Granshaw reports on pop culture and geek fashion and is the founder of GeekFold. You can find her work on Syfy, Boing Boing, and Geek and Sundry.