In an email, Julie Duffy, a spokeswoman for Hasbro, said the Rey token was added to the game in early 2016, but retailers in some markets “already had adequate inventory of the original version of the 2015 game, so they opted not to take in additional inventory of the new version.”
She told The A.P. last week that the new version of the game was sold in “several markets around the world but is not available for sale in the U.S. due to insufficient interest.”
Players can request a Rey piece through Hasbro’s customer service, and it will be sent to them at no cost.
While Hasbro has featured Rey in some of its other toys and games, critics have long assailed the lack of gender parity in merchandising. One such critic was J.J. Abrams, the film’s director, who called Rey’s exclusion “preposterous,” according to Entertainment Weekly.
Some of Rey’s fans believe they shouldn’t have to jump through extra hoops to play with her.
Fans began clamoring for Rey’s inclusion after Annie Rose Goldman, an 8-year-old girl in Evanston, Ill., wrote a letter to Hasbro that her mother posted on Twitter, sparking a #WheresRey hashtag. Using green, blue, red, orange and purple marker, Annie Rose wrote:
How could you leave out Rey!? She belongs in Star Wars Monopoly and all the other Star Wars games! Without her, THERE IS NO FORCE AWAKENS! It awakens in her! And without her, the bad guys would have won! Besides, boys and girls need to see women can be as strong as men! Girls matter! Boy or girl, who cares? We are equal, all of us!
Annie Rose (age 8)
Hasbro responded that the board game was released three months before the movie was released, and that — spoiler alert — “Rey was not included to avoid revealing a key plotline that she takes on Kylo Ren and joins the Rebel Alliance.” And the board game maker told The Associated Press in January 2016 that it would be “making a running change to include her in the Monopoly: Star Wars game available later this year.”
But in an interview on Friday, Carrie Goldman, the girl’s mother, said the company had fallen short of its promises.
Everyone in the family — Annie Rose, her two sisters and her parents — is a big “Star Wars” fan, she said. They vacationed in London during the filming of “The Force Awakens” to catch a glimpse, and Annie Rose has collected almost every Rey toy she can find.
So Annie Rose was disappointed to see her favorite character wasn’t in the Monopoly game, and the family pledged they wouldn’t buy it until she was included. Ms. Goldman said she checked every few months.
Hasbro contacted Ms. Goldman last week and offered to send her the Rey token, which she received on Monday. She said Annie Rose, who is now 10, was excited to play the game, but not totally satisfied.
“She’s happy they have the piece, but she also said she’s sad about the kids who are not even going to know that they have to go and request the piece separately,” Ms. Goldman said. “The whole point of this was for Rey to not be seen as an other, not to be seen as a marginalized character.”