#WheresRey? You’ll be surprised. And we’re still surprised that toy makers still don’t understand there’s a very large market in selling to girls.
A story is making the rounds about the introduction of a new Star Wars Monopoly game, and the lack of a Rey game piece (when Darth Vader, not even in Star Wars: The Force Awakens has a piece.) It would seem that Hasbro, who is the current licensor for most Star Wars merchandise, is keeping up with its plan to market most Star Wars merchandise primarily to boys. However, this might not be the only reason why we’re not seeing Rey in our stores.
First, it all depends on the store where you’re trying to buy Rey merchandise. Most stores carry the Hasbro line of action figures, but you’ll be hard pressed to find one in the most likely stores (Target, Walmart, or Toys R Us.) Victoria McNally, a reporter for MTV News, wrote on December 16, 2015 that a quick survey of 16 stores in the New York Metropolitan area found the 6 inch Rey and BB8 action figures produced by Hasbro, but they appeared to be selling out more quickly than the other characters.
“What lucky kids!” you might find yourself saying. However, that isn’t necessarily the case. On Amazon, there quite a few listings for third party sellers, priced from $47.89 to $79.95. This price might seem rather steep for a six-inch action figure that most people might be buying for their kids. For the collector, though, even the high end price might not be prohibitive.
The best source for Rey merchandise is the Hasbro Toy Shop website. There, you can find both the six-inch Black series Rey for $19.99 and the 3.75 inch Rey for $7.99. Both are currently on back order, so you can add them to a Wish List or request to be notified when they reach your area. I have put in a request to be notified to see how long it will take for the figures to reach my area, which is well outside a major metropolitan area.
If, however, you cannot wait for Hasbro to have them back in stock, you can always go to Amazon and pay a third party retailer a price roughly 500-percent or higher over retail.
Hasbro Direct carries 228 children’s toys in the entire Star Wars saga line—from masks to action figures and play sets for ages 3 and up, to light sabers and toys based on the cartoon series.
So, then, what’s all the hoo-ha about missing Rey figures? It seems that it isn’t only that figures have sold out in stores, but that there is some confusion over the various lines of Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise. There are now more types and kinds of merchandise out there, a fair share of it for the adult collector and fan, which can be purchased not just from Amazon, but from the Disney Store, and even third-party retailers. The adult collector market seems to be almost as big, if not bigger than the child’s toy market. This is far different from the days of simply going to the toy store, department store, or comic book shop for an in person purchase for a kid. Now, your best bet to purchase a much sought after toy or collectible might be an online source—including purchasing toys directly from the toy manufacturer. In the case of Star Wars, this might mean purchasing directly from Hasbro, thus bypassing Target, Walmart, or any other retailer.
But how many of us think to do this when buying for children? Are many of us still stuck in the 20th century, thinking that we’ll pick up our kids’ Star Wars toys at the local Toys R Us the way our parents might have done? If so, we could see a whole lot more disappointed kids asking us #WheresRey.
Tish Grier is a writer and longtime blogger living in Easthampton, MA. Even at middle-age, Tish is still a girly girl who enjoys blogging about fashion and beauty. She also writes essays about her formerly dysfunctional life and wants to let everyone know that things change. You can read her at High Fashion Average Woman. Tish is also a contributor to Midcentury/Modern on Medium.