Forget Porgs. The Child is here. And love him, you will!
Unless you’ve been living in a slimy mudhole, you’ve seen the “Baby Yoda” memes, the GIFs, the trending hashtag… even this New Yorker “Baby Yoda” cartoon!
We're all fans of Baby Yoda. pic.twitter.com/pp4rEfwAc3
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) November 20, 2019
The breakout star of The Mandalorian – the first live-action Star Wars TV series and current flagship offering of the Disney+ streaming service – is a blanket-bundled little tyke in an anti-grav bassinet who looks for all the rootleaf stew in the swamp-like he (or she?) belongs to the same species as Yoda.
(And, for that matter, blink-and-you’ll-miss-her Yaddle from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace… but no one’s calling this kid “Baby Yaddle!”)
Given how big this little green guy has hit, you’d think “Baby Yoda” merchandise would be as plentiful as sand on Tatooine.
But only now, more than a few weeks after The Mandolorian debuted, are “Baby Yoda” apparel and accessories making it to market, with promises of other toys and collectibles on the way.
Let’s face it: The House of Mouse isn’t known for passing up chances to monetize its intellectual property.
So what took “Baby Yoda” merch so long?
So Cute He Made Werner Herzog Cry
That great disturbance in the Force you felt on November 12 was millions of voices suddenly crying out in tenderness when The Child was revealed at the end of The Mandalorian’s first episode: “Ooooh, he’s so a-DOR-a-ble!”
Sure, the Galaxy Far, Far Away has shown us some cute and cuddly denizens before. Endor’s got Ewoks. Ahch-To has the Porgs. But “Baby Yoda” is definitely the franchise’s Chosen One when it comes to cuteness.
Even Werner Herzog, the highbrow director, and actor who plays the Mandalorian’s client told GQ the puppet is “heartbreakingly beautiful… It made you cry when you saw it.”
But The Mandalorian creative team didn’t want viewers seeing that heartbreaking beauty too soon.
“Restraint from the People Footing the Bill”
“I have to thank Disney and Lucasfilm,” series creator and co-executive producer Jon Favreau recently told Entertainment Tonight‘s Ash Crossan, “because the way the cat usually gets out of the bag with that stuff” – i.e., instant fan-favorite stuff like “BABY YODA!” – “is merchandising and toy catalogs… They really backed us up, because we really wanted to have it be that you had to watch it yourself, so that every time you watch the show, there are new twists and secrets that come out.”
Favreau continued, “That requires a lot of restraint from the people who are footing the bill, saying they’re going to hold back on certain things so that the public doesn’t know ahead of time. Part of that was holding back on some of the merchandise.”
“We didn’t know if we’d make it,” added co-executive producer Dave Filoni.
Clearly, they did. Such marketing restraint is admirable, especially in a franchise that has, from its beginning, been eager to capitalize on its “toyetic” elements.
Like Obi-Wan keeping Padme’s babies away from Darth Vader, The Mandalorian team was wise to hide “Baby Yoda” from us – and now their success is complete!
“Baby Yoda” Toys are Here – Entertainment Earth is Ready!
Now that “Baby Yoda” is the year’s hottest alien, all the fun merch can begin.
We all know that the toy form The Child must take is a plush doll. And Mattel has you covered with this The Child 11-inch plush.
Shrouded in mystery, Yoda and his species long have been. How much, if any, The Child will add to our knowledge of Yoda’s kind remains to be seen.
What’s no mystery is that Entertainment Earth will be ready to fill all your “Baby Yoda” toys and collectibles needs, not to mention other merchandise celebrating The Mandalorian. Always in motion, the future may be… but always here your browser should be pointed!
What’s your dream piece of Baby Yoda merch? Tell us in the comments below!