First it was a lack of Gamora figures for Guardians of the Galaxy and Black Widow figures for The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Then it was Hasbro and multiple mess-ups with Rey merchandise for The Force Awakens. Next it was Reebok only making Ripley's Aliens Stompers for men.
The corporate brush-off offered time and time again for decisions like these has been that girls don't buy action figures. And that girls don't buy shoes. Thus why would they try to market a thing to girls that would mostly be purchased by boys? Well, it's kind of hard for people to buy things when you don't make them.
You can probably expect a similar corporate statement from toy maker Mattel soon for one of their newly released Ghostbusters reboot toys - the Proton Pack Projector - batteries and girls not included:
By now we're all very familiar with this reboot considering the debate and hate it's dug up from the murky depths of the internet by fedora-tipping, muh-ladying Men's Rights Activists. It's a film with an all-female ensemble cast of central characters, flipping the script on traditional male archetypes. Finally a Ghostbusters for girls to call their own! Heroines they can identify with! Something little girls can get excited about! And they use a boy on the packaging for the toy?
If you notice, there are not one but two spots on the packaging that feature a kid modeling the toy. Both are boys. Couldn't they have used a boy and a girl? Or hell, would it really have been that radical to just use girls considering the Ghostbusters in the film are female?
Now, I'm not saying Ghostbusters is inherently now a "girl thing"... or even that it used to just be a "boy thing". Just like Star Wars or The Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy or Aliens, Ghostbusters doesn't belong to any gender We live in a supposedly progressive time where strides are being made to break down genderification classifiers like these. Where toy aisles are slowly being integrated. Where female characters are being used in roles traditionally held for men, working toward balancing out scales that have long been weighted down on one side. Where it's socially acceptable to like things not traditionally associated with your gender. Really, that's always been okay... we just need the people who make these things come around to that idea a bit faster.
The fact is, some little girls probably won't care the box features a boy and will want the toy regardless. More power to those sisters. After all, many parents are getting away from teaching kids that things are "boys things" and "girl things" and instead promote the idea that all kids should just like what they like. But as the proud nerd dad of a young daughter who is into both "girl things" and "boy things", it's a big bummer to think about even just one little girl who sees the movie and connects with it, walks down the toy aisle, and then is made to feel like this is still just for boys.