clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

You think all the animals in Jurassic World are female, but Hasbro's toyline ... found a way

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Hasbro, the company that excised Black Widow from her most marketable moment in Avengers: Age of Ultron in favor of her male counterparts, is referring to the majority of the dinosaur figurines in its Jurassic World toy line as male. When not using a "he" pronoun to describe the figurines, the company's copy defaults to "it."

"All the animals in Jurassic Park are female," said Dr. Henry Wu in 1993's Jurassic Park. We all know this. It's a major plot point of the series and spurs one of the central mysteries of the original novel. A security measure that fails spectacularly, serving as a symbol of mankind's hubristic assumption that it can assert any modicum of control over the natural world. In Jurassic World, while not explicitly stated, it seems to hold true, given that all the mentioned "character" dinosaurs — the raptor pack, the Indominous, the Rex, the mosasaurus — are referred to as female.

Definitely, absolutely male. Boy dinosaurs. Totally boys.

Not so for Hasbro's licensing and copywriting department, however. "Meet the new king of Jurassic World: Indominus Rex!" proclaims one product description. "The Jurassic World Chomping Tyrannosaurus rex towers over its prey and bites with a vengeance, using push-button chomping action!" says another.

Toy marketing is a game of divide and conquer, where it's more efficient to spend resources locking down a segregated market than it is to pitch to a broad audience. Once a company segregates its markets, it's in the organization's best interests to keep their products from competing with each other. For example, you'll notice that you don't see very many fairy or fantasy-themed Barbies these days ... not since Mattel put Monster High dolls on the map.

But even those impulses — to pitch Jurassic World figurines so directly at boys that their gender as stated in the movies cannot be acknowledged, and to make sure that they don't overlap into the girl's section so as not to steal marketshare from Hasbro's properties there — seem to hit a hard wall when they come up against the movie's raptor pack.

Here, you can watch Hasbro wanting to have its cake and eat it too: wanting to play off of the way the movie made the four raptors characters that kids could identify and recognize ... but wanting to ignore the fact that they're female at all costs. Here's the box copy for Blue, the raptor pack's beta, which opens with a reference to one of Jurassic Park's most quotable lines, "Clever girl," neatly excising the female gender from it as it goes.

Clever as ever, Jurassic World's velociraptors are masterful hunters. And this awesome figure looks just like Velociraptor "Blue"! He's ready to team up with his fellow Velociraptors (other figures sold separately) to hunt the ultimate predator! His slashing claws and growling attack will destroy anything in his way. Let the hunt begin with your Velociraptor "Blue" figure!

That's right, kids! It's a figurine of a male dinosaur that looks like Blue! He can team up with three other dinosaurs that look just like CharlieDelta and Echo and just so happen to be male. Definitely, absolutely male. Boy dinosaurs. Totally boys.

Somebody should remind Hasbro that the character who consistently misgenders Blue even after being corrected several times — as if he simply cannot fathom the idea that a female animal could be a dangerous, intelligent killing machine — gets eaten by her.