MarketWatch photo illustration/iStockphoto, Disney
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 /zigman2/quotes/203180645/composite TWTR +0.72% and Instagram /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB -1.34% , as Yoda’s species and home planet have never actually been revealed by creator George Lucas or any of the “Star Wars” movies, so people simply don’t know what else to call it.
And many viewers have been clamoring for Disney /zigman2/quotes/203410047/composite DIS -0.66% to release plush and toy versions of the cuddly character. To the surprise of absolutely no one, their wishes have been granted.
Hasbro /zigman2/quotes/201249319/composite HAS +1.23% finally revealed its line of “The Child” figures on Thursday, which are now available for preorder on retail sites such as Hasbro Pulse , Target /zigman2/quotes/207799045/composite TGT +0.74% , Amazon /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN -0.79% , Best Buy /zigman2/quotes/205918291/composite BBY +1.09% and GameStop /zigman2/quotes/203755179/composite GME -0.24% . They include a $24.99 talking plush toy that comes with accessories such as the bowl of bone broth that has become immortalized in Baby Yoda GIFs. There’s also collectible 2.2-inch vinyl figures that feature The Child sipping soup, eating a Sorgan frog and being swaddled in a blanket, which come in 2-packs for $15.99. And there’s a 6.5-inch figure and smaller 1.12-inch figures for $19.99 and $9.99, respectively. The toys are expected to arrive in spring 2020; an Amazon order of the 2.2-inch vinyl figures gave an estimated delivery date of May 27, 2020.
“We’ve been so enamored with the conversation and fan reaction surrounding ‘The Mandalorian’s’ The Child, and we know Star Wars fans around the world will be thrilled to see this beloved character incorporated into the Hasbro Star Wars collection of products,” said Samantha Lomow, president of Hasbro Entertainment Brands, in a statement.
Last week, Walmart began 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 /zigman2/quotes/207374728/composite WMT +0.0085% 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 /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN -0.79% , Zazzle, Target /zigman2/quotes/207799045/composite TGT +0.74% , Kohl’s /zigman2/quotes/210414114/composite KSS +1.75% , Macy’s /zigman2/quotes/201854387/composite M +2.15% , 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.
And Baby Yoda is also being added to the PC version of Minecraft .
“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.”
“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 /zigman2/quotes/204653455/composite EBAY +0.43% .”
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.
“The Mandalorian” and Disney’s library of classic animated classics, Marvel blockbusters and “Star Wars” collections helped Disney+ rack up more than 10 million subscribers in its first 24 hours last week.
This story was originally published on Nov. 22, and has been updated with Hasbro’s new toy line.