Bil Simser

Dear Disney, Girls Can Be Pirates Too!

*This post was written by my husband after an epic fail during a Christmas shopping trip*

This is the time of year you go through the list, figure out what you’re going to spoil your child on, make your pilgrimage through the hoards of people to grab that last gift on the shelf that will make your princesses Christmas morning a bright ray of sunshine. Well, something like that.

As is usual in our household Christmas tends to start around November 3rd when the ads come on the television, links shows up on iPad apps and websites, and our daughter begins to append every item she sees on her our shopping list. This year was especially nice as she started to ask for things like a remote controlled car and a pirate ship. Awesome. My 5 year old daughter wants to sail the seven seas with her imagination and who am I to fail on this request.

jakepirateship Dear Disney, Girls Can Be Pirates Too!

Off we trudged to one of the larger malls in the province and making our way to Toy’R’Us. It’s early December but the stores are not as crammed as we thought they would be. As we go through the isles merrily tossing all kinds of gifts into the shopping cart (and my mental tally of the grand total slowly giving me a mental breakdown) we pass by a full wall of Jake and the Neverland Pirates paraphernalia. V had mentioned this show a few times and has watched it whenever she gets a chance. It’s the new breed of Disney shows that’s all the rage. And there on the shelf, lo and behold, a gianormous pirate ship! Success. Or is it?

We check out the box and realize it comes with the Jake character and a parrot. Okay. Looking around the shelf there it is. The Ultimate Pirate Pack with all the characters. Again, perfection. Or is it?

Where’s Izzy? Izzy is the only girl pirate from the show and from the Wikipedia entry, is Jake’s second-in-command.

How is it they could have missed her. She’s the second-in-command for pirates sake! If Jake bites it are they going to turn to Cubby or Skully or even the parrot? No. The captain of the ship job will go to Izzy. How could they omit her out of the Ultimate Pirate Pack? Jake is there. Captain Hook and his cohorts are all there. Absently missing is Izzy. The second-in-command!

There must be some mistake. Izzy is key here. It’s like Laurel without Hardy. Batman without Robin. Scanning the entire wall of toys not a single mention of Izzy. No figures or even a picture of her on any of the boxes. It’s as if Izzy’s existence has been erased from the Fisher-Price world of Jake and the Pirates.

jake 750x268 Dear Disney, Girls Can Be Pirates Too!

Since I can’t contact Disney directly about this we have to wonder why she’s not there. Maybe she’s not a popular character? After all, popular sells and it’s all about selling. Checking the episode list, she’s in more episodes than Jake himself (36 to 29, not sure how this is possible but let’s roll with it). So it can’t be a question of popularity or else they would have drowned her ass back in Season 1. How about success with the kids? Checking the website she’s actually hosted two shows without Jake (which might contribute to the numbers above) and many of the episodes revolve around Izzy. Izzy is just as popular from what I can tell on all the Disney sites about the show. So that’s not it.

Where does that leave us parents that want to get our girls into things they like and can relate to but without the merchandise to support it. What kind of message does this say to our kids when a primary character who’s second-in-command of a pirate ship is nowhere to be found in our toy stores alongside all the “boy toys”. I did manage to find that Fisher-Price does make a figure set with just Jake, Izzy, and Cubby but I didn’t see that at the store. I find it a little insulting that they excluded the only girl character from the show in something like their Ultimate Pirate Pack. Obviously the second-in-command doesn’t deserve to be included. It makes you wonder. If Izzy was a boy would he have been included in the pack? Or the ship?

It is for this reason we turned down the isle, put the pirate ship back, and moved on. No Fisher-Price and Disney. You will not be getting our money this year.

I’m not alone in this thinking as Melissa Wardy wrote on August 30th of the year with Disney, Where is Izzy?

So here were in full tilt of the Christmas season and Izzy is still AWOL from the store shelves. I wonder how much more merchandise has been absent from the shelves simply because the toy is a girl in a boys world.

 

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