Mom Contacts Company Over Missing Girl Characters, Company Responds It Is Because Boys Think Girls Are Gross

*Please be sure to see Update 1 & 2 and the end of the post!

Veronica, a mom of two from Washington State, was shopping recently in search of Big Hero 6-themed fabric in order to make her two young movie fans some throw pillows. For those familiar with children’s media and the secondary product market, you might be able to guess what happens next.

The FULL cast of Big Hero 6.

The FULL cast of Big Hero 6.

Veronica would discover two of the movies heroes, two integral parts of the story and plot, two of the six Big Heroes, were missing from the fabric. As in, not on it anywhere. Which two characters are missing in action? Why, the female characters, but of course! Honey Lemon and GoGo were nowhere to be found.

Veronica and her children decided to pass on the fabric manufactured by Springs Creative and left the store. Her children were not interested in a choice that failed to include all of the heroes they loved.

It would have been easy to just leave it there, tell the kids they’ll find something else, maybe gripe to friends on Facebook. But Veronica felt she needed to speak out, and speak up directly to the decision makers who would have consciously left out the female characters. She was not only personally offended, she saw this as an injustice to her children and all children. Below is her correspondence with Springs Creative.


I am the mother of two wonderful children who wanted some super cool pillows made out of their favorite characters in Big Hero 6. They love all of the characters, but their favorites are Baymax and Honey Lemon. Guess what’s missing from the fabric, not just Honey Lemon, but GoGo too. BOTH of the ONLY female characters, both equally as brilliant and smart and capable as Wasabi and Hiro, are missing. It’s not Big Hero 6 without them.

I can’t find a way to contact Disney to right this terrible wrong. As a woman, and an Engineer, I myself find this offensive. Put the Big Hero 6 back together on the same fabric. Even my children do not want the fabric without ALL of the heros on it.


Veronica received the following response. It is a revealing look into how brands think about marketing their wares, assumptions made about children and gender, and the self-fulfilling prophecy they create for themselves training boys and girls to regard each other as separate and undesirable species.

Big Hero 6.2PNG

The missing Big Hero 6 heroes Gogo and Honey Lemon.

Hi Veronica

Thanks for your email! Here is a little background on how we develop our designs.  When designing for a new film, we are developing well before the film is released and long before we have seen the movies ourselves.  Thus, we rely on the filmmakers to provide a recommended target audience.  Disney’s target audience for Big Hero 6 is boys 5-12 and secondary are girls 5-12 and teens.  Since this is geared toward boys, we chose to focus either on the main characters (in this case Baymax and Hiro), or on just the boy characters.  We have found boys do not want girl characters on their things (eeeww girls! Yuck! Haha). Should Big Hero 6 continue to resonate in the market place I think you will begin to see more product and even fabric with all the characters including the female characters.

I hope this helps explain why you might see product this way. We enjoy hearing feedback like this. So please, continue to do so.

Best regards,
Emily Robbins Kelly
Licensing Manager
Springs Creative Products Group, LLC

As you may have predicted, Veronica was displeased with this response. The word Veronica used with me when we discussed this was “disgusted”, and my reaction was much the same. Worse, this response came from a woman. Someone who should get it, someone who should be an ally.  Someone who is part of a team who makes decisions that impact what tens of thousands of kids see and learn.

By the description from their website, Springs Creative is a clearly a rather big production: “Our distribution center ships to all states in the U.S., to 21 foreign countries, and to military bases worldwide. The distribution center houses more than 11 million yards of fabric as well as crafts and finished product. The facility is approximately 450,000 square feet with 32 dock doors.”

And those 32 dock doors ship 11 million yards of fabric from a company who tells its customers boys don’t want girls on their stuff because girls are “eeeeww girls! Yuck! Haha”. It is hysterical, if the systematic conditioning of children by marketers to be sexist and devalue girls is your kind of funny. If it isn’t, then you know this is just one more drop in an over-flowing bucket telling our girls they don’t matter, don’t count, don’t get to be present.

Well thank goodness for Veronica. Be not silent.


First off, it’s Big Hero 6. Not Big Hero 4 and two others.

Women have just as much of a right to be here, be represented, acknowledged and idolized as men. Women have a place in this world too, and are capable of achieving greatness in math and science as well.

By eliminating the women in your fabric design, you are telling boys that it’s OK to think girls are yucky, unworthy and less than a boy. You are also telling girls they are unworthy, unwanted and that it’s un-cool to be smart and confident.

It’s not just your one design. It’s your design, with all of the other designs in the industry, in our daily lives, that tell girls and women that they are not worth it, they are not as important or capable. And even more dangerously telling boys that girls are worthless and yucky.

Colors, math, science, music and art are for everyone. Not just some for boys, and not just some for girls. For everyone!

But as for this design it’s a total failure, despite your target audience approach. It’s called Big Hero 6, and you are missing two of the hero’s. And I truly don’t think you will find many objections from any boy or girl to having ALL of the hero’s represented.

I will have to make my own designs for now,


If you would like to contact Springs Creative to politely request they reconsider their thinking on this, you can find their info here. Use Veronica’s second email as a guide for tone and content, it is excellent. Let them know that kids love all kinds of characters, gender isn’t really a part of that coolness factor despite how convinced grown ups think it is.

Big Hero 6.3PNG.

I took an informal poll on our Facebook page today and the answers were refreshing, representative of what I was expecting from my community, and hopefully eye opening for companies and manufacturers who read it. Tomorrow I’ll put up a more formal poll on the blog for the community, the results of which will be compiled and made into a printable that can be downloaded and sent to companies who continue to insist on gender segregation in childhood.

Of the three questions I asked today, most people (out of 170 or so answers) replied with this pattern:

Question 1: Many popular kids shows and movie casts have a group of male characters (with a male main/title character) and one-two female side-kick characters. In the secondary-market toy and apparel products, the female characters are often left out (think Star Wars, Toy Story, Jake & Never Land Pirates, Paw Patrol, etc). This is because ____________

Top answers were B & C
B) manufacturers operate with the belief boys think girls are gross and don’t want girls on their stuff, even relaying this belief to customers, which influences what they think will sell and the products they make.
C) manufacturers operate with the belief girls are only interested in princesses and fashion and do not watch more action/adventure children’s media, therefore the female characters can get discarded from merchandise.

Question 2: If your child is the fan of a co-ed cast but the secondary market products leave out the female characters, are you less likely to purchase those products?
Top answers were B & C
B) I would not buy the product.
C) I want to burn this place down *

*Pigtail Pals LLC nor Melissa Atkins Wardy does not condone the actual burning down of things. 

Question 3: Think of the boys in your life you know, specifically ages 0-103. Do the majority of them think “girls are gross”, or do they have female friends and family members they enjoy, respect, love, learn from, and cherish?
A) The boys I know think girls are their personal kryptonite.
B) The boys I know think girls are cool and make good friends and role models.

The top answer for Question 3 was B) The boys I know think girls are cool and make good friends and role models.

So why don’t children’s products reflect this?


Update 1: The issue of girl characters gone missing from products is not unique to Springs Creative. They are simply one spoke in the wheel. Let’s call attention to and create meaningful change around the entire problem. Use hashtag #IncludeTheGirls to call out other products and media content creators who intentionally leave girl characters out. Need some examples to get your started?

Images from #IncludeTheGirls campaign.

Images from #IncludeTheGirls campaign.

Update 2: I received a call this afternoon from the nice folks at Springs Creative and they requested I post and share the statement below. I VERY pleased with their words and how effective all of you were with your emails. Well done all around today. And a sincere thank you to the team at Springs Creative for listening to consumers and being willing to make meaningful changes for our kids. Thank you!!

The following is the statement from Springs Creative:

Big Hero 6 fans, we at Springs Creative have heard you loud and clear! 

First of all, thank you all for your feedback about our products.  It is sometimes difficult to hear negative feedback but the message was clear and we intend to act upon your message.

Most importantly, Springs Creative does not condone sexism in any shape or form and does not design products to shine a negative light on females OR males. In fact, the majority of our licensed properties highlight strong female figures. We value the contributions of women greatly and are proud to say that over half of our corporate employees are indeed female.  We are well represented by females in our leadership and executive positions. This issue is not something we take lightly and this is not how we operate our business as a good corporate citizen.

Our Licensing Manager is a highly professional, competent and strong woman and we stand behind her as we do all of our associates.

The good news for you is that we will be talking with our valued long term licensing partner Disney immediately about additional designs for Big Hero 6 that in fact incorporate all of the characters you know and love.  We would never intentionally offend any segment of the population.  We are a strong company with positive morals and values and we respect and see both genders equally.

Thank you for your support, time and attention.  We sincerely believe you will be happy with the results coming your way soon.

 Springs Creative Products Group

Now it is time to thank Springs Creative for being willing to make changes, send them a positive note on their Facebook page or send a follow up email of appreciation.

Update 3: Hey BoingBoing, thanks for featuring our post on your page!

MAW Profile PicMelissa Atkins Wardy is a speaker, media consultant, and the author of Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween. She is the creator and owner of Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies, a company that has been offering empowering apparel and gifts to Full of Awesome kids since 2009

Find her at You can connect with her on Facebook (Pigtail Pals Ballcap Buddies) and Twitter (@PigtailPals) and Pinterest (Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies). 


  1. footnotegirl says:

    Well, now that I’m done rage-flipping all the tables….
    This extra saddens me because Big Hero 6 was honestly the first time in a while that I saw a super hero movie where the female characters WERE merch’ed, at least in the Disney Store. They carried Honey Lemon and Go Go Tamago dolls, t-shirts, and stationary sets that were’t just the girls but all the characters. So promising! After the disappointment of the lack of Black Widow, Gamora, and Leia, seeing Honey and Go Go was such a welcome surprise.
    But of course, it had to go sour. Sigh.

  2. I have the same issue with superheroes, my daughter wanted a dress made but the fabric I could find contained only the male characters from DC and Marvel, it’s so disappointing 🙁

    • Donna, I struggle with the lack of female characters on fabric as well–I have boy and girl twins and a son 18 months older than them, and the goal is for them to play TOGETHER. They all love Paw Patrol, but the girls are left out of most of the merchandising, and Marvel just doesn’t sell female action figures period–sexy collectibles for adult males yes, but toys for kids, no. DC does offer, not a lot, but SOME female action figures. There is a lot of DC hero fabric that omits Wonder Woman from the Justice League [which is crazy because she is a founding member and can wipe the walls with all the guys], but Camelot Cottons does have a line of Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Supergirl fabric that not only has our heroines, but has not been recolored pink. Also I have found Wonder Woman and Supergirl prints at Jo-Ann Fabrics [in-store, not online]. There is also the cheat of making a red dress with a blue skirt of star print and buying the Wonder Woman patch to put on the chest, which my friends have done =)

    • I’m sorry you couldn’t find any fabric for your daughter, I have had the same problem. I myself am only only 13 and I am not a typical “girly girl”. Yes, I do love make up and fashion, but I also love superheroes and video games, all of which are considered typically boy stuff. I am definitely upset about the fact women aren’t considered just as good as men, and to be teaching children this at a young age is ridiculous and unfair. Just because it doesn’t happen too often doesn’t mean it is something we can ignore. I did however get this brilliant T – shirt from Primark that had all of the female superheroes on it, but it also had some male superheroes on it, so it wasn’t strictly female. I hope that by taking small steps like this, we can stop the mistreatment of women.

  3. Caroline says:

    It’s a good thing you put the disclaimer on question 2, because I was just about to rush out and buy gasoline and matches. 😉
    Actually, I wouldn’t have needed the matches, because just thinking about this makes fire come out of my ears.

    The power of advertising and marketing in our lives is huge and so scary. Fighting against their crappy messages is crucial. More of us need to write letters, send e-mails and stand on soap boxes about this stuff.

  4. Tiffanie Reid says:

    I could only find things on Etsy to provide decorations and activities for my daughter’s Big Hero 6 birthday party! I was just as upset as Veronica when both of my kids got their Big Hero 6 sheets for their beds for Christmas only to find that the female characters are missing! I’m also having to create a Honey Lemon costume for my daughter because you can’t find anything at all! Disney has really missed the boat on this one! I’ll be writing a letter, too!

  5. Are these company’s stupid? Marketing to all genders is the best a money making concept. Regardless of the fact that they are totally dismissing girls as a subculture, you would think they would want an open market. Girls and boys like the same things all the time. Wake up! You are dismissing the population that statistically “holds the purse strings”. I am surprised at Emily Kelly’s simplistic answer, where has she been under a rock?

  6. Jonathan L. Howard says:

    This attitude is infuriating. I remember when my daughter was heavily into the “Storm Hawks” animated series in the early ’90s. The Condor’s (i.e. the heroes’ ship) first officer, the main antagonist, the main antagonist’s right hand agent, an important recurring (and rather awesome) character, and an entire rival squadron are all women. Not a single one of them was available as an action figure. Indeed, *every* member of the Condor’s crew was represented but for Piper, the sole woman. My daughter was disappointed, I was disappointed, and the same ridiculous lack of representation continues to this day. When she was little, my daughter would not be parted from a Lara Croft figure and she carried around the box for the game “Oni” like a talisman because it had Konoko, the female hero, on the front. My daughter was and is hardly unique in wanting these kinds of toys and figures. Way to ignore a demographic, toy industry.

  7. The flip is also true. Try finding something for boys in Doc, Dora or Sofia merchandise. I have b/g twins and for a number of years they didn’t notice boy vs girl interests. But my boy has recently noticed the lack of girl characters for boys. He loves girls! His class in preschool is made of mostly girls, he has mostly girl cousins! But he isn’t ‘allowed’ to like what they like? He’s basically told that girl stuff isn’t good enough for him, be tough and masculine at all costs. We as a family strive to right this wrong, but as he goes more and more out in the world he hears that message loud and clear. I worry about kindergarten and my sensitive little boy. I need to write more letters! Good for this mom and advocating for her children!

    • Great point, Jill! It is a frustration I hear from many, many parents!!

    • THIS exactly. My son is right on the edge of leaving preschool for kinder and all of the characters he loves (Tinker Bell, Elsa, etc) are starting to get hard to hold on to because he’s finally noticing that the kids aren’t accepting it as ok. IT SUCKS.

  8. Adrienne says:

    Gentle reminder that chastising Emily for giving the answer is unfair. Emily probably makes minimum wage or just above, may not actually be in the U.S., is probably not named Emily, and has ZERO responsibility for the marketing choices of the company for which she works. She’s in customer service, and all she is authorized to do is repeat the policy created by people paid twice or more than she is.

    • Adrienne –
      Emily Kelly is the Licensing Manager for Springs Creative, a substantially large supplier of fabrics and goods around the world. Licenses held by Springs Creative include Disney, John Deere, Hello Kitty, and other major brands. She is not a lowly customer service rep nor is she earning minimum wage. That aside, her reply was sexist, unprofessional, and offensive.

      You’ll note, no one is encouraging people attack Emily personally. Rather, the call to action was to contact Springs Creative as a company and use a polite and informed tone to help them see how damaging their marketing practices are to children.

      • “Lowly customer support representative?”

        Emily was sexist, yes. But now you’re being classist. It’s one of the hardest jobs in a corporation and mostly filled by women. Terrible.

        • Joan –
          I used those word in my reply to Adrienne and the assumption she made about Emily, when I corrected her on Emily’s actual title and position in the company. I should have put them in quotations to indicate they were not my thoughts or feelings. Thanks for pointing that out!

    • Emily is a real person. You can find her on LinkedIn.

  9. Sad that sexism is still rampant in 2015. WE loved this movie (especially with the underlying nursing theme) I am a RN. I am sad that they do not include these characters. My nieces and daughters loved this movie! My daughter saw it twice!

  10. While understandable, you new parents need to realize this has been going on for a LONG time, and with good reason. Companies are concerned with making as much money as possible. They do this by trying to sell as much product as possible. Female characters tend (please note I write “tend”) to not sell as well as male characters in “boys properties.” There is nothing stopping a girl from buying a “boy toy,” and nothing stopping a boy from buying a “girl toy.” Labeling a toy as being JUST for a boy or girl is an unfortunate side effect of a long history of trends. Believe me, if Disney or Spring Creative thought they could make lots of money selling those female characters, they would. Disney underestimated the appeal of the “Frozen” characters, as the popularity of Disney Princesses were waning. The Success of Frozen proved they underestimated the demand, and had to scramble to produce more product. They weren’t trying to keep female characters out of the hands of little children – they were just following trends so they wouldn’t end up with lots of Elsa dolls that end up in a landfill.
    Properties that are commonly know as “boy’s toys” deal with the issue you bring up all the time. Princess Leia – an iconic character from Star Wars – sells less than the male characters. Lucasfilm/Hasbro tries to insert Leia into the line, but many of the figures go unsold. That’s bad business. Hasbro’s popular Transformers line has a few female characters, and fans cry out for more figures like “Arcee,” the heroic pink character, but sales are mostly limited to fans – not enough to support the expense of designing, producing, packaging and shipping a large quantity to make the figure cost-effective.
    I am also reminded of a young woman that wanted to buy an Easy Bake oven for her brother, but was disgusted the colors were “girly” and the box only had pictures of girls. She was equally disgusted and found it to be “unfair.” She was unaware that the makes of the Easy Bake oven had tried to marked a “boy’s” version (The “Queasy Bake” oven) but that version proved unpopular and was discontinued, because the cost to continue manufacturing, advertising and stocking Queasy Bakes was too much to wait a decade or two for this individual to come along and buy one.
    What has to be done? Girls (and, let’s be realistic here – PARENTS) need to buy products featuring female characters, and do so frequently. A note is one thing, but money is the real message. Spring Creative gave you the key in the first response. If lots of Honey Lemon and Gogo items start flying off the shelves, they will definitely start cranking out more merchandise to meet demand.
    What can you do? You can do what I did. Be creative. My daughter wanted a remote controlled truck, but all decent products were geared toward boys. So, I bought one, painted it her favorite color (purple) and bought some Disney princess stickers & applied. Boom. Disney Princess car. In your situation, I would direct you to a hobby store, where one can buy do-it-yourself iron-on transfers. You can place any image you want onto your fabric. Lacking that, try Etsy, where there is likely some (bootleg) merch available. I wish you luck in finding what you & your children need. Just remember the hard truth that life isn’t fair. The toy industry isn’t trying to ignore anyone. Mattel was shamed into starting an African-American line of Barbie dolls in the early 90’s. They weren’t popular, so they stopped making them. I have read they are trying again, and we’ll see what happens. They just listen to money first and foremost. Sadly, the only way to enact change will be lots & lots of your money. Start spending.

    • Gabrielle says:

      “Girls (and, let’s be realistic here – PARENTS) need to buy products featuring female characters, and do so frequently.” We would, if we could find them. And therein lies the rub.

    • Helen Krummenacker says:

      Wow, you sure patronized the heck right out of us! Tell me, how are the parents supposed to buy products that *don’t exist*? When the girl characters are excluded– Gamora not being printed on Guardians of the Galaxy beach towels, for instance, how do the parents purchase beach towels with her to prove there is a market for it? You might as well tell them to go purchase colld fusion units to end our dependence on fossil fuels.
      Also, way to miss the point with the EZ Bake Oven. Walk to your kitchen, and look at your oven. Is it pink? does it have daisy decals? If the answer is yes, you need to meet with an interior designer. If the answer is no, like it for most people, *why* was it impossible to have a toy oven that looked like a real oven in miniature? Instead of being pink and floral ( for girls) or decked out gross (for boys who like food that makes the queasy– any wonder that didn’t sell?), you could make *one* realistic model and show a brother and sister making cookies together on the package. *That* is what parents are saying they want.

      • Helen –
        “Walk to your kitchen, and look at your oven. Is it pink? does it have daisy decals?” made me LOL. 🙂

      • Future Commercial Artist says:


        I didn’t feel she sounded patronizing at all. She sounded very reasonable and sympathetic. Also, she’s right about companies just wanting to make money. They’re not on some crazy Orwellian mission to indoctrinate kids into some boy or girl mold, they just go where the money is. It’s the nature of the beast.

        As someone who’s studying commercial arts in college, I can tell you two things:
        1. Whatever you design has to be easily and quickly understood.
        Consumers scan over items, taking only a fraction of a second to look around most of the time. A miniature Easy-Bake Oven designed to look like a common white or stainless steel kitchen oven isn’t going to be as eye-catching as a brightly colored Easy-Bake. I learned about color psychology and color theory extensively in my major. Color is so important, that it has its own entire class separate from design theory. Companies don’t just pull these decisions out of their asses when they apply colors to toys; it would simply be too risky in terms of sales. They rely on *years* worth of trends, design expertise, and analytics to design the most appealing product.
        2. You rarely ever see successful manufacturers of niche toys (toys that don’t fit the gendered paradigm), because they’re still not successful. Even successful companies have a hard time breaking the mold. For example, in 1985, Hasboro created the My Buddy doll for little boys to teach them about being caring and playing nice with their friends. The sales for the doll were abysmal as a majority of little boys *hated* them, so they pulled them from the shelves in 1990.

        It may seem like many parents are asking for more action heroines for their daughters and companies aren’t delivering, but the truth is, there have been many companies making attempts to market action dolls to girls. The thing is, they’re still not selling quite as well, so progress is coming very slowly.

        I do want to emphasize that agree that the response from Emily Robbins Kelly was very stupid, and the company really should have a better public relations person. I also think writing the company and asking them for more female characters is a great first step. However, once a company releases a product, we have to *buy* them to show interest!

        And it can’t hurt to put some money towards a few niche toy-makers as well:

      • Helen, I *loved* your comment, “*Why* was it impossible to have a toy oven that looked like a real oven in miniature? Instead of being pink and floral ( for girls) or decked out gross (for boys who like food that makes the queasy– any wonder that didn’t sell?), you could make *one* realistic model and show a brother and sister making cookies together on the package.”

        Yes, a toy oven could be designed in gender-neutral but still-fun colors such as bright red, yellow, etc. It could be decorated with gender-neutral designs such as animals, stripes, etc. It doesn’t have to be a gender-specific design.

        To Future Commercial Artist, I’d like to respond to your comment, “A miniature Easy-Bake Oven designed to look like a common white or stainless steel kitchen oven isn’t going to be as eye-catching as a brightly colored Easy-Bake.” I agree. But, pink and flowers aren’t the only way to offer bright colors. There ARE gender-neutral bright colors that are widely used in products for children, and there ARE design options other than flowers that could appeal to children. As for your comment about there being decades of research…. yes, I agree. But I do wonder, how much of that research was flawed due to researcher bias? Maybe it’s time for researchers to think in terms of “children” rather than boys/girls?

        • Future Commercial Artist says:


          “But, pink and flowers aren’t the only way to offer bright colors. There ARE gender-neutral bright colors that are widely used in products for children, and there ARE design options other than flowers that could appeal to children.”

          You’re absolutely right, but as I said, your design needs to be easily understood in an instant. While ‘pink is for girls; blue is for boys,’ is a seemingly arbitrary construct, it somehow stuck (for reasons still unknown to researchers), and because it stuck, businesses pushed the idea. It made shopping easier for parents, because those colors became quick and easy gender signifiers that made finding toys for children more efficient (which meant more profits).

          As a quick example, read the very first paragraph of this article:
          “So I’m at my doctor’s office the other day and notice they’ve got new keychains for the restroom keys: a pink baby shoe for the women’s and a blue one for the men’s. Even though there’s no words on them, the colour-coding is enough to tell us which one we should take.” < And that's the key.

          "As for your comment about there being decades of research…. yes, I agree. But I do wonder, how much of that research was flawed due to researcher bias?"

          As cold as this sounds, research that gets you money isn't flawed. Pink and blue sells. Sorry about the links, but I thought the comment below on this article really related to the plight of marketers everywhere:

          "After working in design for a major toy company for several years in both girls and preschool departments, I have to say that we tried to change things. BUT the marketing numbers show – the pink sets sell. It's a business, running on making a profit for the company.
          We tried, but the bottom line rules.

          Parents are buying the toys."

  11. Thank you so much for posting about this. I will be contacting Springs Creative. How dare they tarnish Big Hero 6 with their misogyny? I’m furious.

    • Hi Sydney –
      I’m furious as well and you are welcome for the post. From years of experience in this field my suggestion is to channel that fury into a message that can create meaningful change. The folks over at Springs Creative are probably individually really nice, great people who haven’t thought about this issue the way we have/do. That is to say, instead of sending words that effectively punch their lights out, craft a message that helps them to see the light. All of our kids will thank you for it 🙂

      • At the risk of mansplaining, you are not Springs Creative’s customer. While they will doubtless try to at least be polite, they really don’t care what you think. JoAnn’s is their customer. You are JoAnn’s customer. Write to JoAnn’s. Once JoAnn’s believes that lack of desired merchandise is costing them money, they will explain it to Springs Creative. At that point, Springs Creative will pay attention.

  12. The gender problems in programming and marketing and all entertainment are so pervasive it’s exhausting. This inspires me to keep plugging away at the makers, to bring more balance and outside-the-box thinking for what culture and entertainment is available to my kids. As Dory says, just keep swimmin’, just keep swimming.

  13. This has been driving me insane for very many years. And it’s not only the absence of female characters that the big companies (especially Disney) are guilty of. You try being a girl who idolises Lightning McQueen or Woody/Buzz! I wrote to Disney 9 years ago when all my daughter (then 3) wanted was Cars stuff…for girls. She wanted HER vests and pants to have Lightning on. But no – the only message she got from the Disney store was that exciting fast cars/cowboys/space rangers were not for her. She could have princesses on her undies, and that was it.
    When will they realise that girls are just as kick-ass as boys?? I try to be a good role model (I’m a scientist, a manager, a mum, a wife, I run, I have jumped out of planes and I generally don’t let much get in my way). But it all feels undone when my little girls looks at me and asks why there’s no fun, hero stuff for girls. Grrrrrr.

  14. Hey Melissa, Veronica can do one better than contacting the company, she can start a petition on and get signatures of people who want this ridiculous ruling by thing company changed…just a suggestion. I for one would sign it!!

  15. I have two girls and a boy, ages 8, 6 and 4, and it infuriates me that licensed designs are so gendered, with male characters for the boys and female characters for the girls. A random list of characters my children have been into and what we experienced: Jake and the Neverland Pirates — Izzy missing from nearly every product; Superheroes (of course I have to shop in the “boy” section to find these) — female superheroes nowhere to be found; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — my son asks “where’s April O’Neill?” because he loves her character but she’s never pictured; Legos — my 8 year old daughter asks “where are the girl minifigs? why does there need to be ‘girl’ Legos and why are they so lame?”.

    I know for a fact that boys don’t think girls are “gross”; my son certainly doesn’t. I know for a fact that boys and girls like characters and toys other than what’s currently marketed to them; my children who all equally enjoy all the characters in Frozen, all love Legos, all play with Barbie dolls, telescopes and science kits have proven this to me. I know for a fact that boys are girls are not that different. It makes me angry every time I see a t-shirt marketed to my 6 year old cut to show off her “curves” while the boy version is cut straight, or when I see a whole aisle of science and engineering type toys very obviously marketed to boys (that is, hanging on a blue pegboard and completely separate from the pink-pegboarded dolls and sparkly crap), or when the girl insert inside Lego magazine includes beauty advice for my 6 year old, or when the boys get “iron knee pants” but girls don’t because obviously girls don’t play in the dirt and build elaborate stick and leaf houses and rip out the knees of their jeans having bug races in the backyard.

    I used to be on a consumer opinion board for a major brand of toddler training pants. I think they got sick and tired of hearing me post suggestions about making single designs with both male and female characters to appeal to girls (and their parents) who would appreciate something besides Disney princesses and boys who would love additional choices beyond Disney Cars. You can bet I’ll be sharing my opinion with Springs Creative too.

  16. I had this reaction as well when I took my kids to pick out some new sheets at Target a couple months ago. My 9 year old daughter chose the Big Hero 6 set (over the Pokemon set because they “felt softer”). We got home, threw it in the wash, and then excitedly made her bed… only the fitted sheet only shows Wasabi and Fred. Huh? Oh, well, everyone must be on the flat sheet. Um, no. There you get Baymax and Hiro and some other cool newspaper graphics… but no HL or GoGo. The pillowcases, surely, show all 6, right? No, again. Just Baymax. The level of indignance BOTH my children (girl and boy) showed was pleasing. Both wanted to call, write, email, picket at Target and whoever made the bedding set (it just says “Disney”)

  17. Gabrielle says:

    Hey, Disney, please make sure that when you produce or lease the rights to manufacture goods with your characters, you ensure the products are using ALL your characters, and not ignoring half of your customers. Girls like robots and super heroes and pirates, too, and boys want all the characters, not just the male ones. My daughter (and my husband and I) really like the movie Big Hero 6, but there is no way I would buy her a product, such as a t-shirt or sheets, that didn’t include ALL of the main characters. For a company to just write off two of the main characters, and the only female characters, because they are assuming that every single boy will reject their products for having the taint of a girl on it is just appalling and selling all our kids short. Women make up half this world, and our kids, boys and girls both, need to see us represented in media. This movie provided a wonderful opportunity to show intelligent educated women, engineers and scientists, and to exclude female characters from merchandising is incredibly disappointing, and amazingly sexist for this day and age. I sincerely hope Disney reconsiders their position, as it can only cost them money from lost sales and lost customers.

  18. Hit them where it hurts…financially. Nothing teaches a better lesson to companies like this. Go to eBay. They have all the female characters from Big Hero Six. Chances are Disney will never see a dime of that money and, well, hell, serves them right.

  19. Whoops. They also have iron on transfers for T-shirts with *all* the characters.

  20. So does that mean my Fantastic Four merchandise will not have Invisible Woman? Or the Avengers won’t have Scarlet Witch or Black Widow on them . . . oh, wait . . .

  21. Mhari Holtzclaw says:

    So trust me that I do understand the frustration — but in the opposite way. I have two boys. I can empathize with the mom wanting to have these girl characters available, but seriously stop, think, and reflect on Disney characters. There’s how many princesses and girl related items in comparison to the boys. There is NO Flynn Rider available to purchase anywhere (which before BH came out was my son’s fav) Disney princess stuff is everywhere and their main focus is for girls. Can the “older” boys not have one thing that is Disney related. Yes my son loved all of the characters and they are available to purchase in other products, but to chastise a company because they are selling something that is boy related (finally) is well im my opinion wrong. As for those that were saying these companies need to put all of the characters on there — because boys need to accept the girls — well I then can say the same thing for all of the other famous movies — where’s Kristoff on all of the girlie frozen sheets? where is The Prince on all of the Cinderella fabric, and Flynn Rider, and Peter Pan, and Eric, and so on and so forth. I see a double standard there.

    I agree that these characters are wonderful and should be marketed — and they are. I have seen plenty. In fact my son has them. But really, can’t boys have something??

  22. You might be interested to know that the company (or at least someone claiming to be the company) responded in the comments where this was mentioned on BoingBoing and promised to see that it gets fixed.

  23. Maggie Cain says:

    I have so many emotions about this issue, I actually just started crying. I have two sons, 8 and 5, who love strong female characters. They both, for example, love the movie Frozen. My 8 year old tells me to promise not to tell anyone, and publicly “hates” the movie. My 5 year old was told by the little girls next door that he can’t like Frozen, because that means he’s a girl.

    My 8 year old has been best friends with 2 girls throughout kindergarten and first grade, and in second grade his best friends rejected him. They’ll play with him after school on the playground, alone, but ignore him in school. I can only assume it’s because the pressure on them is so great, they can’t be friends with a boy. It broke his heart. I recently pulled him out of school and began to homeschool him, and at our biweekly homeschooling meetings with our new community, he spends hours playing with girls.

    What is wrong with us, that we are so awful to boys who like girls? It’s made even more shameful by the fact that in a few years, any boy who ISN”T completely obsessed with girls will be equally rejected.

    I am thankful for what you do to keep this on my radar.

  24. I don’t know about this one. I absolutely understand this is a real problem in general, but this seems to be just one item, fabric.

    My daughter has the action figures, shirts, and pop vinyls dolls of/including BOTH the girls in this movie. One of the shirts she has is JUST of the 2 girls.

    Does every single piece of merchandise need to include all the characters?

    Also, I can’t help but wonder why don’t we ever hear mothers (of either girls or boys) complain about Price Eric, Prince Charming, Flynn Ryder, ect. not being included in merchandise for those movies? (All those movies that are marketed to girls that only have secondary male characters.)

    • Melissa,
      It is not just this one product. This is a pattern that repeats itself. Check out the hashtag #IncludeTheGirls on twitter for more examples (stories and photos). And we *do* hear moms of boys complain about not being able to find male characters if the media is deemed “for girls”.

      • Hi Melissa,

        The first thing I said was that I understood this is a real problem. I don’t need to check anything. I see the angry blog posts everywhere. I was on board and angry at first too, and I still am sometimes, but I’m not sure this is one of those cases.

        I find it interesting what you selectively chose to address from my first comment. Here are the other things I said:

        …”My daughter has the action figures, shirts, and pop vinyl dolls of/including BOTH the girls in this movie. One of the shirts she has is JUST of the 2 girls.

        Does every single piece of merchandise need to include all the characters?”…

        I have a daughter that has a ton of big hero six merchandise, some with all the characters, some with just the main characters. I personally didn’t find this particular movie lacking in merchandise of the female characters. They get just as much (if not more) as the other 2 minor male characters. The 2 main characters get the most, of course.

        Her favorite character from the movie? BAYMAX.

        • It seems totally normal to me that the MAIN characters from a movie would be included in most of the merchandise.

        • It also seems totally normal to me that the companies that make the merchandise would assume the most popular characters from those movies would be the MAIN characters. Regardless of gender.

        “And we *do* hear moms of boys complain about not being able to find male characters if the media is deemed “for girls”.

        True, but not like we do for girl merchandise, and that wasn’t really my point anyway. My point was, there are plenty of movies marketed to just girls (more than for boys imo). These movies have TONS of merchandise just for girls featuring mostly just the female MAIN characters.

        But what I hear THE MOST is complaints that the movies we see as being marketed more toward boys are somehow slighting the girls.

        Sometimes it just feels like a case of parents stoping their feet because they can’t find *exactly* what they want when they want it.

        • Melissa,
          I chose to leave the rest of your comment alone because it required so much unpacking that I didn’t have time for. In the case of Big Hero 6, it is great you were able to find tees with all the characters or just the two girls. From what I hear, initially the girls were included in/on much of the merchandise. That’s great! But as the months went on and the licensees got their products on the shelves we saw the girls disappear. While Hiro and Baymax were the two main heroes, it was really the team of six that partook in most of the action for most of the film. To exclude the girls is nothing short of sexist.

          I agree with you that not every product must have every character on it. But let’s not be obtuse to the patterns we see, which scores of parents express frustration over. I also think you are right that the most complaints we hear are from parents of girls about movies aimed at boys. But maybe that is selective listening on your part, because I hear many many parents voicing their sons’ complaints about missing girls (Paw Patrol was the most frequent example as of late). I think it is less parents whining they cannot find *exactly* what they want as it is the majority of us focusing on the bigger picture and the unsettling patterns we see, this fabric being a symptom of that problem.

          • “From what I hear, initially the girls were included in/on much of the merchandise. That’s great! But as the months went on and the licensees got their products on the shelves we saw the girls disappear. While Hiro and Baymax were the two main heroes, it was really the team of six that partook in most of the action for most of the film. To exclude the girls is nothing short of sexist.”

            So what your saying is, in the beginning these products were available but as the months went on the companies decided to stop making them because they’re sexist DUN DUN DUUUUN!!! I see now.

            In most cases, companies will continue producing what sells. If the merchandise with the female characters on it were selling like hot cakes (as people claim it would) it would make no business sense to discontinue it. To stop selling a popular toy just to “exclude the girls” again would make no business sense. I don’t believe this to be a case of sexism. It’s about what sells. It’s business and I think it’s naive for anyone to think it’s anything else (sorry). Sexism is out these, but this is about money.

            Things that are never heard in a sales meeting:
            Q: Our products are selling well and we’re making tons of money because little girls like it?

            You make it sound as if there are a bunch of little girl hating men sitting around a board room somewhere twirling their mustaches.

            It’s ridiculous. Stop.

            “I chose to leave the rest of your comment alone because it required so much unpacking that I didn’t have time for.”

            Also ridiculous.

          • Melissa,
            Another day where I really don’t have time for this, so I’m just going to leave this here for you:

            Thanks for reading the blog. Take good care.

          • Are you familiar with Lego and the female scientists? There was plenty of evidence of demand — it sold out quickly, yet Lego would not make more.

          • Hi Laura –
            Yes, very familiar with that set. The PPBB Community was one of the original groups who helped to push the voting to 10,000 to get the set made int he first place. Some of the LEGO Ideas sets are only available for a limited time, others become permanent. Why this didn’t become permanent, with this level of consumer demand, is beyond me.

            Here are some past blogs of mine on the topic:
            1. LEGO’s Female Scientists Here and Gone In Two Weeks
            2. Lego Female Scientists Infuriate Me
            3. More LEGO Female Scientists, Please!
            4. LEGO Gets It And Seems To Not Care: The Elves Spa Edition

          • “it sold out quickly, yet Lego would not make more.”

            Are you? The set was manufactured as a limited edition, they never intended to produce more. They didn’t sell out and then decide not to make more because they’re sexist.

    • Maggie Cain says:

      There are movies with male leads that have mostly male merchandising, and movies with female leads that have mostly female merchandising, and movies with leads of both genders that have merchandising featuring both. The secondary characters in all of those movies have much less merchandising, regardless of their gender. The issue here is that the female leads were removed, which is completely different.

      • They weren’t removed, they just weren’t included in every singe piece of merchandise.
        Just like the male characters weren’t included on the T-shirt my daughter has of just the 2 girls.

        • Maggie Cain says:

          If you wrote a letter to the company and asked why it was impossible for you to find a t-shirt that included the boys (ahem, assuming that were true), and the emailed you back saying they took the boys off because girls thing they are gross, then you would have a very valid complaint against the decisions the company made and their bizarre attitudes about children’s gender role expression. However, none of the above things happened, so the situations are not comparable.

  25. Joseph Michael says:

    This doesn’t just affect kids, ya know. I’m an adult male and wanted to get some Agent Carter merchandise. Sadly, Marvel’s online store doesn’t have any. NONE. It’s not even listed as a character option. If you search “Agent Carter” NOTHING comes up.

  26. SwanKat Cosplay says:

    I am a 35 year old female who is obsessed with Power Rangers. *phew* Now that I have that out in the open, guess what? You can’t find the female Ranger action figures quite as easily as you can their male counterparts. I have made it a point to buy the girls first before the boys figures. One of the pictures you included is of a PR Super Megaforce backpack. Look at who is on that bag – Red, Blue, Green. Oh come on, where’s Pink & Yellow? They are a team of 5. I have even noticed when a Ranger team has the standard Red, Yellow, Blue, Pink, and Green/Black, SOMETIMES we get the Yellow on the merchandise because it’s such a gender neutral color. Saban has been known to swap the Yellow Ranger from it’s male counterpart in Super Sentai to a female that doesn’t have a skirt. This is what happened with Trini in MMPR. Followed by Lost Galaxy, Lightspeed Rescue, Time Force, and Wild Force. Since then, we have not had a Sentai Male to Ranger Female swap. There have been a few instances of females taking on a predominately male color. The first example we have is in the series SPD, where the “A Squad” Red Ranger turned out to be a girl, much to the surprise of the “B Squad” male Red Ranger.
    Second is in the series Samurai, where it is revealed that the Red Ranger’s older sister is the sibling that should have had the powers in the first place. Eventually she does morph into the Red Ranger, but her suit is fitted with a skirt that 99% of all female Rangers sport.
    I will be doing what I can to further the #IncludeTheGirls movement. You can find me on Instagram as @fishiebug.

  27. Not surprised. Many boys and girls still go by the whole opposite gender is icky. Too many businesses sell products geared towards certain genders instead of both. It’s annoying and frustrating, however as I do not buy character themed products for my children, not even toys, I can understand the frustration with the fabric. It is not that I cannot find specific character clothing for a specific gender, it is that it is harder to find many nice fabric / clothing WITHOUT characters being shoved down your throats. I wish instead of focusing on ‘popular characters’ that they’d produce more stuff without them, but alas I understand because they do it during popularity in order to produce bigger income. Makes shopping very difficult for those that do not follow popularity.

  28. Carol Everett Adams says:

    This was my response to the company:

    Regarding your Big Hero 6 fabric and your response to Veronica

    I’d like to share with you the girls that my 10 year old son – a member of that coveted target audience – does not think are yucky: his best friend, his best friend’s mom, me, his grandmothers, his cousins, his aunts, my female friends, some of his classmates, some of his teachers, his principal, his other cousins, his doctor, and… oh yeah, I almost forgot. His sister. The one who was sitting next to him sharing popcorn while they both enjoyed Big Hero 6, a movie which I chose, paid for, and loved.
    Here’s something else to keep in mind – sad as it is, and I wish it wasn’t so – but I’m thinking that the majority of customers choosing and purchasing fabric these days are probably women. Many more women than not find sexism extremely yucky. So there’s a target audience to consider.
    Both my son and my daughter enjoy making pillows and other items on my sewing machine. We will not be purchasing your Big Hero 4 fabric.
    This is 2015. I wish we could all wake up and realize that enjoying movies, looking up to heroes, creating with fabric, and thinking things are yucky do not have to be gendered activities.

  29. Of course it’s important that females be equally represented, but maybe you could also look at what you’re programming your children to think by (literally) buying into branding, buying and consuming such merchandise. Isn’t it also strong to offer real-life alternatives rather than mass-merchandised products, probably made in overseas sweatshops and composed of petroleum-based materials, shipped thousands of miles using non-renewable resources and sold in giant corporations’ low-paying, non-benefit-providing retail outlets whose employees have to resort to government programs for enough food to feed their families or health care when they are ill?

    You could easily step outside the whole program of “be like everyone else, buy like everyone else” and encourage both your daughters and sons to be independent, thoughtful and intelligent human beings who gain their personal self-value and respect from making wise choices instead of following a crowd.

  30. Brenda Nikki Black says:

    Florence Bascom and Christine Ladd were denied their ‘sard-earned math and science degree s and accolades from prestigious institutions such as Johns Hopkins University because they were women. Also, institutions such as Harvard, and Yale, were discriminating against women in the early 1900’s. When I graduated from high school way back in 1968, my future was all set out for me to be a secretary or clerk while I looked for my husband to take me home to his house and look after me. We were still looking through the world with those rose-colored glasses that dictated our need to have a Knight in shining armor. There were no “girls” talking about becoming doctors, lawyers, or engineers as we signed our yearbooks…we expected to become nurses, teachers, researchers…someone’s assistant.
    While there is certainly pride in all of the above occupations, the fact that women were limited to the lesser paying, lesser thinking positions in society was the problem. Choice is the operative word here and we are still struggling with that choice. But sometimes the subtleties of things are more alarming than an outright stronghold. This sory brings all of that to the forefront. We can have the Heroes 6, but we won’t market it or advertise the female characters (doesn’t that feel a bit frozen?). We will put the girls in the show, but we will not list them on the billing. So, they are acting like they are all for one, but in reality we are being SCHMOOZED. They are deliberately and consciously leaving the girls out of the picture. But worse, the women made that decision to protect the boys from the yucky girls.
    That is the beginning of sending girls to college but we can’t not letting them earn the “big degrees” because they are allocated for men only. We are, and will continue to be 10 steps forward and 6 steps back. I was considered a rebel for raising my children to believe that girls and boys were equal. The result, I have two beautiful daughters making well “over” 6 figure incomes from “traditionally male” roles. I too, recently retired from a traditionally male dominant role (network engineer). In the beginning, it was emotionally horrific! But, I learned to appreciate my own intelligence and amazing abilities and forged through the muck taking my glory with me. It was never fun, but it was rewarding. I guarantee you that if I were on that marketing team, I would have been fired for my rock solid convictions. I never let the young women in my world forget that success is necessary in everyday life too! We live in a “cold war” of sorts. I am the mother of 2 boys and 2 girls.
    I recall years ago after the Enron disaster, everyone here in Houston busied themselves to hire Enron employees. It was the right political thing to do. I say that, because there were many other people that also needed jobs. I worked exclusively contract opportunities in those days…so for a while I was not having any luck. I ended up at the unemployment office…well weeks were going by and those jobs I applied for were not even contacting me for an interview. That had never happened before because my name “Nikki” can also be interpreted as a male applicant. So I went up to the office and asked the “female assistant” to check into the situation. She, quickly laughed as if she had it all figured out within minutes. “The problem is,” she smiled, “that the jobs you are applying for are for the men…” Stunned, I leaned forward and managed to eek out the word, “what?” She repeated herself only adding, “they are the higher paying jobs that the men need to feed their families.”
    Whoa, double what! I’m not going to go into the rest of the story…just that we still have a huge discrepancy between the sexes. They were actually sending out men that had little to no experience with no industry certifications or degree credentials…and not sending me with over 32 industry certifications and 2 master degrees. (well, at that time I only had MCSE+I, CNA, and MOUS, and a BS and a lot of experience with cisco routers/switches and microsoft’s servers). But, she had the story right…they were only interested in hiring men for the jobs that I was actually “often” over-qualified. Would you want a man working on your network just because he was a man? Don’t forget, personal identity and even National security can be at stake. The female TWC assistant’s last comment was, “they have children to feed.” God forbid that anyone would ever call me insensitive to the plight of any man trying to feed his family…but hey, I spent a lot of time and money to earn those credentials, why should anyone get in front of me because of gender?
    Often at work, women in my field were not “groomed” to learn more in-depth…or newer technologies. I just learned to get my own training. In fact, I have been training myself for many years. And, I let everyone know that I was armed with “answers and solutions.” I tooted my own horn which is why I got the great jobs that I had throughout the years. This kind of thinking begins with stories like this one. This is not a small story by any means. It is a lifetime of struggle especially when those men leave their wife and children and start new families – leaving behind a woman who can only secure low paying jobs to subsidize her usually inadequate child support.
    Until such time as gender is truly not a problem, we all have to be mindful of what lessons our children are getting both at home and in the marketplace. My three small grandsons have to learn that Toy Story has female friends just as Heroes are also women. Women want to work and sustain their independence with an exciting lifestyle. But, why should I do so with the salary of an uneducated person with the credentials of a Master? There is nothing wrong with having a BEAUTIFUL MIND because there is nothing wrong with beautiful! BB

  31. As a physicist and art quilter, I say create your own fabric on Spoonflower using characters you want on your fabric. Don’t let companies dictate your choices.

  32. I would not go cheering a victory here until I actually *see* a product that includes all Big Hero characters.

    The response letter sounds like damage control “The good news for you is that we will be talking with our valued long term licensing partner Disney immediately about additional designs for Big Hero 6 that in fact incorporate all of the characters you know and love. We would never intentionally offend any segment of the population. We are a strong company with positive morals and values and we respect and see both genders equally.” is nothing more the corporate speak for, let’s let the dust settle and go back to business as usual.

    Their Licensing Manager should be sent to an awareness training class “Eww girls?” Pathetic.

  33. You really need to cool off. It’s comics. This has been a boys thing for decades. In the last 10 years or so things are shifiting and especially the movies made girls also interested in superheroes (male and female). Thing is, most superheroes were born long long ago and in the 50s or 60s there were No strong women in the media. Now Marvel and Disney are very much pushing forward the idea of strong women. Marvel brought Agent Carter to the small screen and added Black Widow especially to the Avengers so there would be a relateable strong female in the cast. They have more female centered tv shows in the works and have a female superhero movie coming up (Ms. Marvel). Things are changing, especially with Joss Wheadon involved with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Joss always featured strong women (like in Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

    Please don’t bash exactly the people who are working on changing the female roles in fantasy/scifi/superhero movies. If you ask boys to “run like girls” you still have them jump around silly but if you ask them to “run like Black Widow” its another story. Have them run like Maria Hill, like Agent Carter, like Captain Marvel, Jessica Jones, Agent Mae, Gamorra, White Tiger, Wasp, Scarlet Witch, Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird… Those are all kick-ass strong females.

    You want more female merch? Ask in the store. Write the manufacturers. In the past there was absolutly no market for stuff like that because so few girls read comic books. Thats not really changed much but in other media girls now get into the movies and tv shows and with demand there will be merch. It’s just a new market and they need time to adjust. And you probably need to nudge them in the right direction.

    Disney however, you could also thank. Marvel too. Because they already changed things. They understand the mighty important role they play in portraing strong modern women and all in all they are doing a good job with that.

    • “You want more female merch? Ask in the store. Write the manufacturers.”

      Umm….Chris? You realize this is a blog post about a mom writing directly *to* the manufacturer and asking for change, yes? No one is “bashing” comic creators, this post is about voicing concern to one of the Disney licensee manufacturers.

      • I realise that but I think it’s important that change is recognised. And that’s my point, but things are changing, and maybe even moreso than most people realise. Now in many cases we do see female characters being marketed but mostly they are marketed for girls. Take the Lego Movie merch for example. But the cool thing with marvel is that they get the boys excited about the strong female characters too.

        Sure, still write to the manufacturers. Yes, still make your voice heard. BUT: This is hardly the fight of one woman (Victoria) against unsurmountable odds. It’s the fight of many and because of all of them (Victoria included of course) change has already come. The Marvel movies and people like Joss Wheadon had a big part in that. And because of them it’s getting harder to ignore the female characters. Excluding Gamorra from the Guardians merch will probably hurt sales abit (It would more if it weren’t for the insane success of Groot and Rocket. Groot is the biggest selling character of the Guardians, and “he” doesn’t even really have a gender cause it’s a tree). We get female centered tv shows and a movie. With those it will be pretty impossible to not heavily feature female characters on the merch. Especially on the merch for boys. Let’s just hope it sells too 🙂

  34. I’m going to say …my son got the Big Hero 6 jammies for Easter…and complained because Go Go and Honey lemon weren’t on them.
    He’s 4 mind you ..but it was crucial for him.

  35. I realize they have released a statement and said they will fix this. Have they apologized to the mom? I get that they are standing behind their employee, but everyone makes mistakes and admitting an error was made and the company is sorry for offending would be good to see. I’m not getting that at all in the very choreographed response.

  36. Titanica says:

    I have not read all the comments, sorry, but what about this: Why is it four boys and two girls ? We are supposed to be happy when it is ONE girl. Here it is TWO, OMG. But that does not satisfy me anymore – being fantasy why can´t it be equally balanced 3:3 ?
    Just a thought.

  37. For awhile, I’ve been trying to make my 11-year-old understand while I get so frustrated with the roles that are offered up as ‘cool’ for girls–singer, dancer, actress, maybe detective (though she is still worried about how her hair looks). I was heartened when she mentioned Big Hero 6, then I read this. I felt my cheeks growing hot just reading the response from Springs Creative Products Group. And coming from a woman, I’m floored. It makes me realize that I need to be even more adamant that girls do matter and make sure that she knows it.

    • Titanica says:

      Hi Edie !
      Yes ! We all have an obligation to show girls that they are equally important as boys. Not only that the girls see it, especially the boys have to know it ! My daughter is 16 and is constantly reminded through media what matters for a girl: hair, body, clothes, to be timid
      and so on … We both are fed up with it. To say the least.

  38. See, you can get My Little Pony:Friendship is Magic stuff in the girls section like mad in box stores. But, the deal is, it’s more popular right now with boys, specifically young teens to older men. Sure, you can go to Hot Topic, but sometimes a little brony would like a shirt that mom can find on the rack of a box store that isn’t purple and obviously made for a girl. Rightly so, no one wants to invite bullies to their table, so to speak.

    it’s so strange to me, my boys never cared if girls were on their character shirts. I hope enough people express the sentiment that these companies take note. Some boys prefer the female heros or antagonists. Others want them included. How about some gender neutral stuff? Is that too hard to ask for? Maybe the companies should look to fan art to see how it is done. (Which is what We Love Fine does, they sell some of their merch in Hot Topic, re: MLP:FIM and a couple of other fandoms.)

  39. It is sad that we haven’t had much progress in toy equality in the last generation. It is a “Catch-22” situation where parents are not offered the toys their children want, and marketers don’t offer toys because they don’t sell.

    We must face the fact that companies are in the business of making money, and spend our dollars supporting companies that provide the products our daughters (and sons) want. This may require more time, effort, and creativity then simply running to a major retailer and buying something ready-made.

    By making that extra effort, our kids will know we value their personal preferences, and if enough parents do the same the major retailers will also follow suit or lose market share.

  40. Another thing worth noting, I was looking over Disney’s merchandise for Inside Out (a new kids movie about emotions) and noticed the only t-shirts “for” men/boys were showing the Anger character. While the ones “for” girls/women depict either all of the emotions or just the Sadness character.
    Do people really want us to keep buying into the stereotype that all men are angry all the time, or worse, violent creatures? Cause I know I’m sick of it! This is kind of like the Big Hero Six issue, in reverse. Just as its important to keep strong girl characters in merchandise, it’s also important to let boys know different feelings they may have are healthy and normal.

    *The movie does center around a girl (Riley) and her emotions, but from the previews the animated depictions for each “feeling” switch genders often. One minute you see Riley have different characters in her head shown as male and female but the next you may see her fathers emotions, which are all shown as male.

    • Hi Aly,
      That is a great (although depressing) observation about the Inside Out merch. Thank you for sharing it with us. I think your comments around that are spot on. I will definitely look more into that!


  1. […] nos deparamos com um artigo sobre uma mãe tentando achar produtos com uma das personagens principais de Big Hero 6 e só […]

  2. […] pigtailpalsblog se puede leer una historia divertida (en Inglés) que culmina en un hallazgo sorprendente: […]

  3. […] pigtailpalsblog podéis leer una curiosa historia (en inglés) que culmina con un llamativo hallazgo: se eliminan […]

  4. […] pigtailpalsblog podéis leer una curiosa historia (en inglés) que culmina con un llamativo hallazgo: se eliminan […]

  5. […] pigtailpalsblog podéis leer una curiosa historia (en inglés) que culmina con un llamativo hallazgo: […]

  6. […] The Big Hero 6 franchise made news recently for leaving the female members of the team, Gogo and Honey Lemon, off the themed fabric made by Springs Creative. (EDIT: The original story appeared on the blog of Pigtail Pals and Ballcap Buddies.) […]

  7. […] beiden weiblichen Figuren, Honey Lemon und GoGo Tomago, kommen einfach nicht mit auf Kinder-Shirts. Eine Mutter aus Washington, die sich darüber beim Hersteller beschwerte, bekam die […]

  8. […] and founder of media literacy site Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies, heard about the issue she took to social media and urged people to use an #IncludeTheGirls hashtag listing other examples of manufacturers leaving […]

  9. […] Wonder Woman. The Avengers will only highlight the male members. I recently read an article in the Pigtail Pairs & Ballcap Buddies Blog about a shopping trip looking for Big Hero 6 fabric to turn into pillows. To their dismay, all of […]

  10. […] Age of Ultron news was how Black Widow is missing from so much of the merchandise. Of course, having girls disappear is nothing new to the super hero genre. Consumers have to rally to #IncludeTheGirls, even when those female […]

  11. […] In theory, DC’s new superhero girls line will be an inoculation against some of that. If there are more female characters who are actually keeping up with the guys as heroes not accessories, perhaps this casual sexism will be less common. That’s one of the big goals of representation – when characters meet on equal footing, it is harder to dismiss them. The concern is, though, that by specifically targeting female superheroes at girls, and by engaging companies like LEGO and Mattel that have been less than stellar in their representation of girls over the years, it seems likely that this line will continue to fall into the girls stories are for girls, boys stories are for everyone trap. And that bites. Both girls and boys need stories about both genders. There needs to be space for kids to play together and to experience the in-between – that area where everything isn’t about performing gender, and is just about having fun.  It should not be acceptable to exclude female characters from marketing and merchandising because boys think girls are gross. […]

  12. […] Sure, in Big Hero 6 there are two female superheroes out of the six. A full 1/3. But you’ll be hard pressed to find them on any of the merchandising, particularly if you go looking for fabric to make your own clothing. […]

  13. […] duenak Springs Creative konpainiari idazteko argibideak eman dituzte Pigtail Pals blogean eta nabarmendu dute ez dela gertaera isolatua. Sarri, merkatuak emakumezko pertsonaiak baztertzen […]

  14. […] leaves off Gamora, the only female guardian. Even Big Hero Six, which features two female leads, has dropped the female heroes from most merchandise. Fans have noticed that female heroes are missing, and have let their […]

  15. […] When she contacted the company Springs Creative, which manufactured the fabric, this is the response she got: […]

  16. […] When she contacted the company Springs Creative, which manufactured the fabric, this is the response she got: […]

  17. […] When she contacted the company Springs Creative, which manufactured the fabric, this is the response she got: […]

  18. […] When she contacted the company Springs Creative, which manufactured the fabric, this is the response she got: […]

  19. […] leaves off Gamora, the only female guardian. Even Big Hero Six, which features two female leads, has dropped the female heroes from most merchandise. Fans have noticed that female heroes are missing, and have let their […]

  20. […] boys think girls are yucky and girls only care about princesses when it comes to merchandising. This is the message that Spring Creative’s licensing manager, Emily Robbins Kelly, delivered to, Veronica, the mother […]

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