PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Where’s the character Rey in the “Star Wars” version of Monopoly? In a land far, far away, apparently.
Eighteen months after game-maker Hasbro Inc. promised to add the female character to the game by the fall of 2016, an Illinois girl who wrote to the company to say “girls matter” is still waiting.
Others are, too.
After inquiries from The Associated Press this week, the Pawtucket-based company said it made the Rey piece but sets with Rey weren’t available for sale in the U.S. People who bought the all-male game can request a Rey from customer service, spokeswoman Julie Duffy said Wednesday.
“In early 2016, Hasbro updated the 2015 Star Wars: Monopoly game to add a Rey token,” Duffy said by email. “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 said the company offered the updated version of the game to U.S. retailers but “retailers had ample inventory so they did not choose to sell the new version.”
She said the game with a Rey piece was made available in five markets, including the United Kingdom and France, though the AP found one family that recently bought the game in the United Kingdom and no Rey was included. Duffy said the company has fulfilled 99 requests for the Rey token in the U.S. and 10 in Canada.
Hasbro said it would add a Rey character 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 by email at the time.
She added that fans who had already bought the game “can obtain the Rey token by contacting Hasbro Consumer Care when the updated game becomes available later this year.”
Annie Rose Goldman wrote the letter that sparked the outcry. Her mother, Carrie Goldman, of Evanston, Illinois, said Wednesday she’s happy Annie Rose will be able to get a Rey figure but it’s not how they understood Hasbro’s promise.
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“I would still like to see it where any girl or boy or person who goes to buy the game, Rey is in there,” Goldman said.
Hasbro is sending Annie Rose a token, and the family will buy the game, but Annie Rose called it “an awful lot of trouble to go through.” She pointed out that a lot of kids won’t know to call the company and said she was disappointed.
“They didn’t keep their word,” she said.
Goldman posted Annie Rose’s letter on Twitter in January 2016. In it, the then-8-year-old asks why Hasbro left out Rey from the set based on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” when she’s a main character, crucial to the story.
“Without her THERE IS NO FORCE AWAKENS!” wrote Annie Rose, who’s now 10. “It awakens in her! And without her, the bad guys would have won! Besides, boys and girls need to see that women can be as strong as men! Girls matter!”
All four game pieces were modeled on male characters: Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Finn and Kylo Ren.
One British dad who bought the set in April said he got the version with all male characters, which surprised and disappointed him.
“Rey is the star of the film,” said Ian Henry, of Maidenhead, England. “You’d expect to have a female character at least.”
He bought the game for his 4-year-old son from Amazon and sent a Twitter message to Hasbro complaining about the omission.
Hasbro never responded.
Henry said that when his 6-year-old daughter plays “Star Wars” on XBox she usually chooses a female character such as Rey or Princess Leia but she doesn’t have that choice with Monopoly: Star Wars.
“She’s like, ‘Oh, OK, I have to choose from those ones,’” he said. “‘Star Wars’ may be more of a male kind of film. Monopoly is not a boy’s game. It’s anyone’s game.”