The Margin: Disney is giving us Baby Yoda toys for Christmas
Make Disney a lot of money, this will.
Spoiler alert for those who haven’t tuned into “The Mandalorian” on Disney+ yet, but the “Star Wars” series shocked and awwww-ed fans last month by revealing a surprise, adorable character. This 50-year-old alien baby is simply called “The Child” in the series, but the little green creature with the wide eyes and huge ears looks just like an infant version of the iconic Yoda character from the original “Star Wars” trilogy. It has been dubbed “Baby Yoda” or “Yoda Baby” by viewers on Twitter
to release plush and toy versions of the cuddly character. To the surprise of absolutely no one, their wishes have been granted.
Walmart is now accepting preorders of an 11-inch plush doll of “The Child” for $24.99 — complete with the adorable big eyes and wide eyes that have won hearts across the internet, and swaddled in a brown robe. Although it won’t be shipped or arrive in Walmart
stores until well after the holidays — June 1, 2020, to be exact — fans can treat themselves or their Baby Yoda-crazed loved ones with the peace of mind that they will eventually get their hands on one by reserving theirs now, before they sell out.
This plush figure, as well as vinyl Funko bobble heads for $12.99 to $29.99, are also available for preorder on Disney.com. (They are expected to be available by June 3, 2020.) And “Baby Yoda” apparel and accessories are rolling out on Amazon
Hot Topic and Box Lunch. A Disney spokesperson confirmed to MarketWatch that more apparel will be available at the Disney Store, ShopDisney and in Disney Parks and at retail before the holidays, as well, while presales for plush toys and other playthings will arrive in the coming weeks. After that, “a wide variety of products,” including toys, plush, specialty apparel and additional categories will also be hitting shelves in the coming months.
There are already several “Mandalorian” T-shirts featuring “Baby Yoda (aka “The Child”) available on Amazon, starting at $22.99 apiece, as well as shirts, totes and iPhone cases on Disney’s online store, which have met with mixed responses from fans clamoring more for a cuddly plush.
“Baby Yoda” toys weren’t included in the early marketing and merchandise launch for the series, to avoid spoiling the surprise when the mystery baby was revealed. Director Jon Favreau told “Entertainment Tonight” that, “I have to thank Disney and Lucasfilm, because the way the cat usually gets out of the bag with that stuff is merchandising and toy catalogs and things like that. So they really back us up.”
He added, “That requires a lot of restraint from the people who are footing the bill, saying they’re gonna 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 and holding back on some of the characters.”
Marissa DiBartolo, Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, told MarketWatch that holding back the “Baby Yoda” toys initially will probably work in Disney’s favor.
“As long as the merch hits before the holidays, it’s going to be a huge success. If it drops before Black Friday, which we expect it will, I guarantee it’ll be gone in an instant,” she said. “‘Baby Yoda’ will be the Tickle Me Elmo of 2019 — just grab yours before it ends up on eBay. “
Three episodes of the series have been released on Disney+ as of Friday, and the “Baby Yoda” character has become the show’s breakout star and a social media sensation.