PAWTUCKET, R.I., Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Hasbro and Disney are preparing to launch the second wave of Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys -- and will now feature main protagonist Rey more prominently.
The new lineup comes after the company's faced harsh criticism for the lack of merchandise featuring Rey, a popular character with a big role in the film.
Since the film's December release, fans have vented frustration on social media with the hashtag #WhereIsRey after she was noticeably absent from a Millennium Falcon playset, a Target exclusive six-figure pack that only featured male characters and from a new Star Wars-themed Monopoly board game that even angered director J.J. Abrams.
Now later this month, store shelves will be stocked with figures featuring Rey in some of her most memorable moments from the film. Before, Rey merchandise featured the character in the early stages of the film before she is seen piloting starships and wielding the iconic lightsaber, a strategy designed, according to Lucasfilm, to avoid spoiling the film.
"One of the biggest surprises that filmmakers wanted to keep under wraps was that the Force awakens in Rey and she carries a lightsaber," Paul Southern, head of licensing for Lucasfilm, told The Wall Street Journal. "We always planned a second wave of product after the movie's release that would include secrets revealed in the movie."
"This new wave of product has got key elements from the film. You see Rey with a saber, her blaster, and a number of other elements we wanted to hold back until the film had been released," Southern told Entertainment Weekly. "The timing is good to try to address some of the social discussion that has been created through the 'Where's Rey?' movement."
On Sunday, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was named the No.1 movie in North America for a fourth consecutive weekend.