They had action figures for most of the characters in The Force Awakens. One was notably missing. The main fucking character.
Her name is Rey, everything in the movie depends upon her. I can't say much more without spoilers but, again, she's the main fucking character. As you might imagine without her things default to:
Turning and turning in the widening gyreBecause that's what happens when you remove the protagonist from a story.
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
The Force Awakens drew heavily on Star Wars for its plot (how heavily? Can't tell you, promised not to spoil.) With that parallel in mind imagine her as Luke, but more important. No damned figure.
Now this would be a problem in general but note that they were action figures. She out actioned the people who did get figures.
Kylo Ren has two seperate figures (because it makes more money to sell two entirely different figures than sell one with a removable mask.) Now I'm not going to insult Kylo Ren here, anyone who has seen the movie can tell you that he fills his part in the story with the utmost adequacy, but he can't hold a candle (or a triple bladed lightsaber) to Rey.
Any reasonable person, if told they could only make a figure of one of the characters of Rey or Kylo would choose Rey. If you've seen the movie you'd kind of have to. In fact, even if you just read a short plot summary that's the only choice you could make.
Hell, even from a "Fuck the plot, we want Cool Action Accessories!" standpoint she's got two melee weapons (one of them with historic and intrinsic value) and a blaster to Kylo's one dinky red saber. Kylo's one dinky red saber that appears to have its power regulation somewhat fucked up (damn thing always looks like it's about to blow up and take Kylo's hand with it.)
But that wasn't the choice. They could have made toys for both, and if they really couldn't be bothered to make one more figure than they did, they could have made one of her in place of the redundant second Kylo figure.
In fact, if anyone ought to have two figures, it's her. Her mask is cooler and serves an actual fucking purpose.
Also of note is that you can buy her vehicle even though it's impossible to get her. She's not just being erased, she's being erased in a way that makes the erasure unmissable. Much more the Egyptian style of damnatio memoriae than the Roman one. They want you to know that there was someone there, and be faced with the unmistakable fact that that person was intentionally erased with excessive animosity (remember, the bad guys were not erased, just like the Egyptians didn't chisel out those they waged genocidal war against, no the hatred necessary to do this is significantly greater than that you have for the people who killed your entire family, for only then do the Egyptians pull out the chisels.)
So, why the hell is Rey being erased from a movie that is, almost entirely, about her?
The answer is boobs. Rey doesn't wear particularly gendered clothes so we can't talk all that much about what she presents as and nothing in the movie involves what's under them, so what we're left with is outward appearance and what sets her apart from the people who are allowed to have action figures is that she has boobs.
Stormtroopers in sensible armor (totally a thing) don't have visible boobs because: sensible armor. Rey in clothes that involve the reason the word "cloth" is in "clothes" does have visible boobs. From there it's a small leap for people to assume she's female unless otherwise stated (Han Solo does) and then we come the only reasonable explanation for the absence of Rey in the merchandise of Star Wars: The Story of Rey (in theaters now, available in I-Max 3D) apparently you can't have an action figure for a female character.
There's no other explanation. There is nothing, save sexism, that can explain the absence of Rey. The movie is her god damned story. Of the characters in the movie she's the only one from the planet where the story starts, the only to go everywhere the story takes place, and the only one the plot fucking revolves around.
Don't get me wrong, Fin and
The reason that she was left out was that she was a boob-haver and we can't market them.
Beyond being stupid and evil, this is damnaging.
Do you want to know why Boba Fett became such a big fucking phenomenon that they ended up retconning the Clone Wars into being nothing more than the origin of Boba Fett? (A kind of stupid an annoying origin story at that.)
He had a cool action figure.
That's it. That's why he's so popular.
Boba Fett is The Star Wars Holiday Special personified and that thing is "Don't remind me" Anti-Canon on a level not even the Ewok movies have managed to pull off. (For those who didn't know: Yes, there are Ewok movies. Plural.)
In the original trilogy he does only one semi-competent thing. Do you remember what it is?
He doesn't catch anyone, he doesn't win fights, he doesn't demonstrate combat or piloting prowess, he doesn't demonstrate a quick wit, he doesn't stop the person threatening to vaporize him with a thermal detonator, he doesn't do much of the actual work involved in his job (instead he watches Vader do it for him and acts like a spoiled entitled brat about it), he doesn't track, he show particular skills at investigation or hunting bounty. So, do you remember what he does do?
He waits around to see if any clues turn up after everyone else leaves the scene of the crime. Well, that's the charitable interpretation. He could have just had his engine stall out. But charitably he waits around, which allows him to see where the Falcon is going, calls up Vader, says, "I haven't done what you hired me to do, but how much will you pay for me to point you in the right general direction?" and that's where he stops doing anything of value.
At that point he doesn't even have a name.
In Return of the Jedi he gets a name right before he's defeated by accident by someone who doesn't even know where he is and isn't trying to beat him.
But he had a cool toy.
This created a sort of feedback loop. People who played with the toy wanted to know more about him, to fill that need people put him in EU stories, which led to him being more popular, which led to more merchandise and people wanting to know more about him, and to fill that need her was put in more EU stories and so on.
And that's where the phenomenon came from. He had a cool toy.
Rey doesn't have a cool toy because she doesn't have a fucking toy.
This is a problem. A male character with two lines and less impact on the overall story than the person who said not to fire on the life-pod with not life signs in it gets a cool toy and is catapulted into being a cultural phenomenon.
A female character who one of the movies is actually fucking about is denied a toy and ... well that's where we are now.
Like I said, just think of it like leaving Luke out of original trilogy merchandising.
(Skip to 36 seconds if you want to get straight to the point.)