The biggest news to emerge from Disney Plus’ critically acclaimed new show The Mandalorian isn’t how badass the titular character is. Or the fact that it’s the first live-action TV series set in the Star Wars universe. No, instead, what’s taken everyone by storm lately is the absolutely adorable Baby Yoda.
We imagine that for most people, the reveal was spoiled before they even had a chance to watch the show, as it was hard to avoid the little guy on social media. Nevertheless, the character presents many lucrative merchandising opportunities for the Mouse House, a company known for their love of printing money. But in a rather surprising move, it seems that Disney isn’t actually cashing in on the Baby Yoda craze yet.
Yes, as you’ve surely noticed, there really isn’t much merch featuring the alien floating around store shelves and most of it has been delayed until after the holidays, costing the studio about $3 million as a result. And even more surprising is that we actually have Donald Glover and Beyoncé to thank for the lack of merchandise.
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Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview, The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau explained how it was his Lion King stars who convinced him to keep Baby Yoda a secret until his debut and thus, delay the merchandise that featured him until after the holidays to preserve the surprise.
“We were talking about music and pop culture and he was saying that what people really like now is to be surprised, because it doesn’t happen that much. When Beyoncé did an album, she would just put it online and everybody would react to it. Just putting it out there spurred a conversation that would become more viral and bring more genuine attention than any marketing.”
While it’s definitely a shame that Disney couldn’t put enough Baby Yoda merch on the shelves for Christmas, you do have to give credit to the team behind The Mandalorian for deciding to keep their new creation under wraps for as long as they did, rather than parade him about like a shameless cash-grab. Besides, we already know that Lucasfilm is positioning the character to become Yoda for a new generation, so there are clearly big plans in store for him.
But in the meantime, The Mandalorian continues on Disney+ this Friday with its season finale, which promises to be a can’t-miss outing. If for no other reason than to catch one more glimpse of the beloved Baby Yoda before the show goes on hiatus for a bit ahead of its season 2 debut, which will presumably come in late 2020.