The role of movie merchandise, and the way it doesn’t include women, has been a hot discussion topic lately, with the likes of Star Wars and Marvel coming under fire — but thankfully, it looks like the upcoming Ghostbusters films won’t have that problem, and it’s thanks to the all-lady Ghostbusting team.
It should come as no surprise that, between the 30th anniversary last year and multiple Ghostbusters movies on the horizon, Sony are very excited at the possible money to be made on merchandise — and that means toys, shirts, and everything you could possibly slap a Ghosbusters logo on. But fortunately, they also expect that some of that merchandise will cater towards a female audience, now that the franchise will include a group of female protagonists. Here’s Greg Economos, Sony’s Senior VP of Global Consumer Products, discussing the merchandise in a recent interview with License Magazine:
While [casting females] has caused some controversy in the fan world... [it] allows us to actually expand the demographics of who we think will buy product. Ghostbusters is a big role-play brand, and whether the leads are male or female, 8-year-old boys are still going to want to capture ghosts — having female leads includes girls in that too.
There’s almost too much common sense in those sentences for their own good.
It’s a little sad that they’ve only come to this conclusion now that there’s going to be female Ghosbusting protagonists, but snark aside, it’s genuinely nice to see these big companies starting to understand that women and girls want to be part of these universes too. Kids want to be able to feel like they can connect with this stuff, through the toys and merchandise they buy and play with, just like boys get to. It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do — after all, being more inclusive means there’s probably going to be more people to spend money on your products.
Let’s hope this focus isn’t something that lasts just for the all-women Ghostbusters movie. That “guy-themed” spinoff that’s planned could do with a little more marketing inclusion, too. Ghostbusters toys for everyone!