Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy +1

Remember when I wrote that post about Black Widow and Disney? What you don't know is that afterward, I was feeling a little silly. Like I may have overreacted. Maybe.

So this week, after picking up a Dr. Who Microfigure from Hot Topic (Yeah, I was in Hot Topic. THAT store knows how to get its geek on without forgetting Harley Quinn or Wonderwoman, y'all), we dropped into the Disney store again.

See, we've all been anxiously awaiting the Guardians of the Galaxy movie and thought the Disney Store might have some nice schwag we could pet and ponder.

It's true there was schwag.

And it's even more true there was pondering.

Let me illustrate by showing you the full listing of Disney Guardians of the Galaxy  products. Setting aside for a moment the idea that these are labelled "boys" products, let's have a look at the only t-shirt that has most of the Guardians on it.

In case you've been under a rock or something, here are the Guardians of the Galaxy (Dude, go see it. You won't be sorry, I just know it!)

I'll make this easy. Just count them. COUNT them. Or, on your behalf, I'll give you a character list from left to right. Gamora, Rocket Racoon, Starlord, Groot, and Drax. 
 And now, for your viewing pleasure, here is Disney's Guardians of the Galaxy BOYS t-shirt:
Now count again. COUNT AGAIN.
There are four here.
So fine. Maybe Gamora's green was a screen too much for the printing of this shirt. Or maybe there wasn't room (though I do see a handy box filled with the Guardians logo and room both above and below for said logo, but whatever). Or maybe "boys don't want a girl on their character shirt".

Or maybe, just maybe, I'm not overreacting. Maybe it's bullshit, Disney. Maybe treating the lady superheroes who are developed and complex, who pass the Mako Mori test, who help formulate these story lines as a plus one is inappropriate. 

Come on. It's time to recognize that some girls don't want your overpriced princess fluff. Some girls don't want to wait for their Prince or escape their castle or be manic pixie dream girls or freeze the fjord. SOME girls want Black Widow and Gamora. Some girls want Avengers and Guardians. They want lady role models that can kick ass and take names. 

My girl, for example. 

She's ready, Disney. And she's starting with you. 

And when I say she'll kick ass and take names, I mostly mean "It's likely she won't shop at your store again and will grudgingly pay for your films only because she loves Joss Whedon and James Gunn. 
Edited to add:
I want to be clear. My beef isn't with Marvel or the movies themselves. In fact, the female roles in the movie - and their essential connections to the teams built in Avengers and Guardians are one of the reasons their absence in Disney merchandising is so offensive. The clear message to my daughter and little girls like her when they enter the Disney Store is this: If you are a girl, you are a princess or you are not worth our time.

Update: Disney has responded to my complaint with a form letter.

Dear Disney Guest,

Thanks so much for your recent email.

I certainly appreciate you taking the time to inform us of the
difficulties you experienced when ordering through
This is not an example of the quality service we wish to provide and we
hope that you find this to be an isolated incident.  Please accept my
apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

We appreciate your business and hope you will visit
again in the future.



The Team

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