Some of you may remember a while back that both Marvel’s The Avengers and Disney’s Big Hero 6 were the victims of the toy gender issue, when it came to their female cast members being dismissed from the merchandise selection. Well, it seems Jurassic World is the latest brand to be changed to appeal to the boys of the world, and what was done to make this happen will probably make you go nuts. (SOURCE)
Before getting into the deep aspects of this continually growing issue, let me take you back to a time long ago. No, not as far as the Jurassic, but to my childhood. See, I was a little girl who had absolutely no interest in Barbies, but rather had an entire giant plastic box dedicated to my action figures. Spider-Man, Batman, Godzilla–the collection was pretty intense. And yes, the majority of my figures were of the male characters, and the few female characters I had to choose from I hung onto for dear life. I also had a collection of dinosaur figures within that, ones that I never specified to have a gender, but rather were just “them” at all times.
I was raised as part of the generation that fell in love with dinosaurs in a whole new way. We didn’t all together fear them, nor did we find them completely cuddly, but every kid could agree that they were exciting. From Jurassic Park‘s popularity, to other properties like We’re Back, Disney’s Dinosaurs TV series, The Land Before Time, and many more, 90’s kids fell head over heels in love with these prehistoric creatures. And, the greatest thing about it was that any kid, regardless of their gender, could embrace dinosaurs in whichever way they pleased. This wasn’t a girls’ or a boys’ toy thing, this was a beloved concept by everyone, young and old.
Now, flash forward to 2015, the new film, Jurassic World, is released to box office success, some of which comes from its universal, genderless appeal. Anyone can be a part of the fun when it comes to dinosaurs, and everyone can embrace the excitement over a franchise that has been loved by people for the past 20-plus years. And as one would have it, like the original, toys were released along side to promote the film. But, instead of staying accurate to the depiction of the characters on which the figures were based, Hasbro did something that was definitely uncalled for.
If you recall in the film, Chris Pratt’s Owen raises a group of female raptors at Jurassic World, a relationship that is incredibly important to the film, specifically with the raptor named Blue. Also, in the history of Jurassic Park, it is a known fact that all the dinosaurs created for the park are by default female. And, of course, we know that “life finds a way,” and those genders do eventually change throughout the course of the original film. But, in Jurassic World, this is an aspect that is not touched upon, and as such we must consider that the majority of the dinosaurs are, in fact, female by nature. Especially when those characters are referred to as such.
So then, I find it quite humorous that Blue, one of the specifically identified female dinosaurs, seems to now be male, according to Hasbro.
Now, listen, executives–I get that you want to sell these action figures to boys. But, just a thought: Boys bought these same figures very easily, back in the 90’s, when they knew the dinosaurs were still girls:
Now, granted, not every Jurassic Park toy commercial specified the gender of the dinosaurs, and some even did say that they were male–but, these were never specific dinosaurs from any particular scene within the movie. Yet, in The Lost World commercial you can view above, the female T-Rex from the Car Off The Cliff scene still has her gender not swapped. And, shock, boys still bought these toy sets knowing that they were buying a female dinosaur. What a concept, Hasbro, what a concept.
Listen, it was one thing when these toy companies were eliminating the female characters from the merchandise all together–but now they’re changing the genders of characters just to make a profit? What’s next, you’re gonna make a brotastic gender swapped version doll of Katniss Evergeen and call him Katner Nevergreen? Will Captain Phasma of Star Wars: The Force Awakens be a man under that chrome suit? Will any girl that doesn’t want to play with dolls just have to accept that no girls are allowed in this action figure club? I say that is unacceptable, as does this little girl, who perfectly speaks her mind:
Yes, not all of us want to play with princesses, Hasbro. Some of us might want to play with dinosaurs, and you swapping the gender of one to make us move away from it isn’t going to change anything. We are all “Clever Girls” Hasbro, and we will not let this one slide.
So what do you think of this Jurassic World gender swap problem? What do you think we could do to fix this problem? Comment below with your thoughts on this topic.