Most Shared

What if all movie toys made the same mistakes with female characters that Hasbro did?

Hasbro famously left out the female lead in many of its first 'Star Wars' play sets (they're fixing it). What if they did the same to other female-led action movies?

What if all movie toys made the same mistakes with female characters that Hasbro did?

It started with the hashtag #wheresrey and became a phenomenon.

(TINY SPOILERS FOR "STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS" BELOW.)

On Nov. 13, Jamie Ford noticed something odd about the "Star Wars" play set from Hasbro at Target.



This wasn't the first time female leads had been left out of Hasbro's toy lines. Last summer, fans of Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" learned they couldn't buy toys featuring Zoe Saldana's kickass heroine Gamora. Avengers fans who wanted Black Widow action figures? Same story. Leaving Rey out of the "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" games and toys was somehow even more egregious. So people spoke up.

Hasbro finally learned their lesson, this time, but only after lots of public feedback.

Rey is, by all accounts, the star of the movie and the key character the rest of the trilogy will revolve around. Director J.J. Abrams agreed, saying, "it is preposterous and wrong that the main character of the movie is not well represented in what is clearly a huge piece of the Star Wars world."

Hasbro had pretty weak reasons for not making their first "Force Awakens" toy sets look like the film they're from. They said that there were spoiler reasons. Rey holding a light saber would have given too much away. (Then don't include a lightsaber? She also has a giant beating stick. Just sayin.')

So, in that spirit, we took a few creative liberties to imagine what Hasbro toy sets for famous female-fronted movies might look like if they were as oblivious about other women lead characters as they were with "Star Wars."

Katniss Everdeen may have stopped the Hunger Games, but she had a lot of help, ya know?


Buttercup is a cat. Which is sort of like Katniss, so that's cool, right?

Think Elsa and Anna are the most important part of this story? Let it go, yo.

Does Hasbro make toys like these for real? Yes. Is this set a satirical fake? Also yes. (Happy now, legal department?) Would it be dumb to exclude Elsa and Anna? That's the ice-cold truth. Did they ever do that in real life? Not to "Frozen." Did we cover our ass in this disclaimer? Damn right, we did.

A "Charlie's Angels" play set with 200% more Bosley!

If you sat through these movies, you're not just an angel, you're a saint.

A tragic love story becomes a triumph when Jack Dawson finally gets the whole piece of floating wood to himself.


Without the Rose action figure, you won't be able to yell at her to scoot over 5 damn inches so sexy perfect icicle Jack can survive. Thanks, fake Hasbro.

You know what's less fun to play without Thelma & Louise? The "Thelma & Louise" action play set.

Just FYI, if you need to overcome your rage at this slight, focus all your energy on loathing J.D.'s rock-hard Pitt abs. You're welcome.

Remember the 87 of 93 minutes Sandra Bullock was on screen trying not to die? Too bad.

Sandra Bullock is an Oscar winner and America's Sweetheart ™ who rescues herself from space in this movie. But tragically, the children given this fake action set will be forced to only play with the corpses of her coworkers.

Hasbro finally is starting to listen, but there's still a long way to go.

Since we started on this project (terrible Photoshopping takes a long time, mmmkay?), both Hasbro and Disney have apologized for leaving Rey out of their first-wave play sets. Hasbro is re-releasing their Monopoly set with a Rey figurine, and Disney promises many more Rey toys to come. In this case, calling them out worked.

But what about the other big female-led movies coming out this year? Hasbro is the official toy partner for Marvel, who has two huge movies coming out this year. Will they make sure there are plenty of Black Widow toys for the release of "Captain America: Civil War"? Will there be Mystique, Psylocke, and Jean Grey toys for "X-Men: Apocalypse"?

Assuming that kids wouldn't want to play with female action figures is like assuming people won't buy tickets to see female-led films. Neither are true. Last year, three of the highest grossing films were helmed by female actors. Imperator Furiosa from "Mad Max," Katniss Everdeen from "Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II," and Melissa McCarthy's character from "Spy": They're all female leads in films that made more than $100 million at the box office last year.

As we wait to find out if they do the right thing, know this: Women make up 51% of the world's population and buy 50% of all movie tickets. It's time the toy world reflected more of our real world.

Listen to us, Hasbro-meh-Kenobi. It's YOUR only hope.

Few child actors ever get to star in an award-winning film, much less win a prestigious award for their performance. That fact appeared to hit home for 8-year-old Alan Kim, as he broke down in tears accepting his Critics' Choice Award for Best Young Actor/Actress, making for one of the sweetest moments in awards show history.

Kim showed up to the awards (virtually, of course) decked out in a tuxedo, and his parents had even laid out a red carpet in their entryway to give him a taste of the real awards show experience. When his name was announced as the Critics' Choice winner for his role in the film "Minari," his reaction was priceless.

Grinning from ear to ear, Kim started off his acceptance speech by thanking "the critics who voted" and his family. But as soon as he started naming his family members, he burst into tears. "Oh my goodness, I'm crying," he said. Through sobs, he kept going with his list, naming members of the cast, the production company, and the crew that worked on the film.

"I hope I will be in other movies," he added. Then, the cutest—he pinched his own cheeks and asked, "Is this a dream? I hope it's not a dream."

Keep Reading Show less
True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

Social media spats usually end in ugly words or blocking people—unless you're Patton Oswalt.

Actor and comedian Patton Oswalt has made a name for himself off screen as a blunt yet caring, compassionate human. His raw openness after his wife's unexpected passing and his willingness to engage in conversations about depression and dadhood after her death has touched people's hearts and opened people's minds.

And once again on Twitter, Oswalt has proven that he is unquestionably one of the most kind-hearted dudes in Hollywood.

Keep Reading Show less
Tory Burch

Courtesy of Tory Burch

True

This March marks one year since the start of the pandemic… and it's been an incredibly difficult year: Over 500,000 people have died and hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs. But the pandemic's economic downturn has been disproportionately affecting women because they are more likely to work in hard-hit industries, such as hospitality or entertainment, and many of them have been forced to leave their jobs due to the lack of childcare.

But throughout all that hardship, women have, over and over again, found ways to help one another and solve problems.

"Around the world, women have stepped up and found ways to help where it is needed most," says Tory Burch, an entrepreneur who started her own business in 2004.

Burch knows a thing or two about empowering women: After seeing the many obstacles that women in business face — even before the pandemic — she created the Tory Burch Foundation in 2009 to empower women entrepreneurs.

And now, for International Women's Day, her company is launching a global campaign with Upworthy to celebrate the women around the world who give back and create real change in their communities.

"I hope the creativity and resilience of these women, and the amazing ways they have found to have real impact, will inspire and energize others as much as they have me," Burch says.

This year's Empowered Women certainly are inspiring:

Shalini SamtaniCourtesy of Shalini Samtani

Take, for example, Shalini Samtani. When her daughter was diagnosed with a rare immune disorder, she spent a lot of time in the hospital, which caused her to quickly realize that there wasn't a single company in the toy industry servicing the physical or emotional needs of the 3 million hospitalized children across America every year. She was determined to change that — so she created The Spread the Joy Foundation to deliver free play kits to pediatric patients all around the country.

Varsha YajmanCourtesy of Varsha Yajman

Varsha Yajman is another one of this year's nominees. She is just 18 years old, and yet she has been diligently fighting to build awareness and action for climate justice for the last seven years by leading school strikes, working as a paralegal with Equity Generations Lawyers, and speaking to CEOs from Siemen's and several big Australian banks at AGMs.

Caitlin MurphyCourtesy of Caitlin Murphy

Caitlin Murphy, meanwhile, stepped up in a big way during the pandemic by pivoting her business — Global Gateway Logistics — to secure and transport over 2 million masks to hospitals and senior care facilities across the country. She also created the Gateway for Good program, which purchased and donated 10,000 KN95 masks for local small businesses, charities, cancer patients and their families, immunocompromised, and churches in the area.

Simone GordonCourtesy of Simone Gordon

Simone Gordon, a domestic violence survivor and single mom, wanted to pay it forward after she received help getting essentials and tuition assistance — so she created the Instagram account @TheBlackFairyGodMotherOfficial and nonprofit to provide direct assistance to families in need. During the pandemic alone, they have raised over $50,000 for families and they have provided emergency assistance — in the form of groceries — for numerous women and families of color.

Victoria SanusiCourtesy of Victoria Sanusi

Victoria Sanusi started Black Gals Livin' with her friend Jas and the podcast has been an incredibly powerful way of destigmatizing mental health for numerous listeners. The podcast quickly surpassed a million listens, was featured on Michaela Coel's "I May Destroy You," won podcast of the year at the Brown Sugar Awards, and was named one of Elle Magazine's best podcasts of 2020.

And Upworthy and the Tory Burch are just getting started. They are still searching the globe for more extraordinary women who are making an impact in their communities.

Do you know one? If you do, nominate her now. If she's selected, she could receive $5,000 to give to a nonprofit of her choice through the Tory Burch Foundation. Submissions are being accepted on a rolling basis — and one Empowered woman will be selected each month starting in April.

Nominate her now at www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen.