• Mon, Jun 9 - 10:32 am ET

Disney Finally Chooses To Sell Princess Leia Merchandise After Being Reminded That Girls Exist

Princess Leia nerf-herder


The Disney Store has announced that they’re planning to offer Princess Leia products as part of their Star Wars merchandise. That’s great news, but unfortunately that wasn’t always the plan. A few weeks ago the store revealed to a Twitter follower that they didn’t intend to sell anything Leia-related.

Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, yet they still don’t sell anything Leia-related. There are action figures of Luke, Han and Darth Vader, and even a random stormtrooper, but no Leia. This is presumably based on the assumption that girls don’t like Star Wars, and that the boys who like Star Wars wouldn’t want to play with a girl doll. Ew, gross! Well, take it from a girl who dressed up as Leia to go to the original movie’s re-release when I was a kid, there’s nothing cooler than a lightsaber-wielding lady with funky buns on the side of her head.

Of course the great irony of this whole thing is that Leia is a princess, a title Disney practically has a monopoly over. Obviously people took objection to Disney’s decision, which led to tweets with the hashtag #WeWantLeia. So Disney finally gave in and announced to TIME that Leia toys are on the way:

“The current assortment of Star Wars products at the Disney Store launched earlier this year, and is just the beginning of what is to come… We’re excited to be rolling out new products in the coming months, including several items that will feature Princess Leia, one of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars galaxy.”

It would be nice if these decisions could be made without fans having to beg for it on Twitter. Why Disney decided to wait until the second round of products to offer merchandise related to “one of the most iconic characters” in the franchise has yet to be explained, but I think it’s unfortunately pretty obvious.

You can reach this post's author, Jill O’Rourke, on twitter.
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  • Emily A.

    Christ on a crutch. You can easily dress your cat as Princess Leia, but not your kid?
    Also: did they not learn anything from the Frozen merchandise debacle?

    • Jill O’Rourke

      That picture is everything I never knew I wanted.

    • CMJ
    • JenH1986

      The look on your dogs face! lol

    • CMJ

      She was not happy about this.

    • JenH1986

      I swear she’d be eye rolling you if she could. Thanks for the giggle this morning!

    • Emily A.

      Well, she was all excited because you FINALLY gave her hands, and then it was like, “THESE ARE NOT WORKING THUMBS!!!!!”

    • Samantha Escobar


    • chippythehero

      These are licensed ears. She chewed them up, dog has no sense of style.

  • Samantha Escobar

    Why do I have the sad feeling the Princess Leia toys will primarily feature her in various states of undress a la the Jabba the Hutt scenes?

    • Nbl

      I highly doubt if. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I used to dance on a competitive team. We danced at Disneyland and had to change our outfits because they should midriff. They had a very strict, conservative dress code.

    • Rachel Sea

      Not now. I was just there for a cheer competition and I was shocked at the tiny uniforms. Midriff tops and spandex tube skirts that immediately became tube belts – they were basically wearing team sports bras and dance pants

    • Lackadaisical

      I think it will be Leia in the white dress or ewok village dress. Basically pretty dress and modest only and none of the many trousers and blaster outfits she wore. My 5 year old is rather narked that she can only get a Mulan doll in her pretty dress and not dressed as a soldier. The whole reason my daughter loves her so much is that she joined the army and fought with a sword. Pretty and elegant Mulan is a bit pointless as far as she is concerned.

    • footnotegirl

      I actually talked with someone at the Disney store locally about this late last year. They had a Mulan as trainee leaping with her bo (from the “I’ll Make a Man Out of You’ song) and I was buying it and saying how happy i was that it was available. He said he was surprised (and pleased) to see it, because Disney doesn’t generally allow Mulan products dressed like that because “they don’t want to be accused of supporting cross dressing”.
      I pointed out that the other item I was buying was the Darth Vader pajamas for my daughter, and how if they don’t want to be supporting cross dressing, perhaps they should be selling Star Wars and Marvel items for female characters. And then we both laughed bitter laughter. And also talked about how cute my daughter would be in her darth vader outfit. Which she is.

    • Lackadaisical

      Your daughter is a lovely Darth Vader. Mine shoots us with toy guns while wearing a clone trooper helmet. Luckily clone trooper daughter seems to have as good an aim as a storm trooper.

      If they don’t want to have Mulan dressed as a boy out of fear of supporting cross dressing why on earth did they make the film in the first place? Having said that Mulan does seem to have been brushed under the carpet so maybe they regret it. It seems to be the only DVD they never stock in our local Disney store so I had to buy it online, they have far less Mulan things in there than any other princess (except possibly Pocahontas) and I have noticed that often when they do some kind of multi princess thing, like an annual, she is missing completely.

      I have been searching for a Mulan doll (or anything else) as a soldier for ages. I would love to get my daughter a Mulan as trainee leaping with her bo but I can’t find it anywhere. I assume that they quickly withdrew that one too.

    • footnotegirl

      It wasn’t a doll, it was a christmas ornament. You can still get it on amazon, just search “mulan sketchbook ornament” and it’ll pop up.

    • Rachel Sea

      If they did it would be awesome. Leia killed Jabba with her chains, demonstrating practical tool use, and providing an object lesson in re-purposing the tools of oppression.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Hmmm, this is true! I think I mainly get frustrated because they only show her in chains and struggling whenever any documentary, clip-based show, or “top X movie moments” list shows those scenes. It always feels like they’re attempting to titillate with the BDSM-type angle rather than the actual triumphant nature of her character’s actions.

  • Rachel Sea

    I love Disneyland, it’s my happy place, but Disney absolutely sucks at gender equality.

  • Katja Yount

    I wandered into the Disney Store yesterday with my 501st husband and went straight to the Star Wars merch. One of the first things I actually saw in their Black series was a Leia! Unfortunately it was a slave Leia. When one of the workers came up to us I asked her if they ever had any of the other Leias from the black series and she said she never saw one despite the fact she and I know that they are made. Just seem to never make it onto their packing slips. Then she and I talked about the twitter comment and were both optimistic with the feed’s back peddling now that they see that there is some demand for the product. Hopefully before the release of the new movie though.

  • Pingback: Disney bows to the force of fans demanding Princess Leia toys – A.V. Club | Mickeys Discounts

  • Rogue Leader

    Oh please. Just because it’s not at the Disney Store doesn’t mean it’s not out there. There always has been and always will be an abundance of Princess Leia merchandise. My daughter has a Star Wars themed room, and we managed to fill it up with Princess Leia stuff without ever setting foot in the Disney Store.

    • Jill O’Rourke

      That’s not the problem. The problem is that the company that owns Lucasfilm and is making a new installment in the franchise was offering dozens of items featuring the male characters, yet nothing for the one major female character.