Anyone with half a brain can see that The Mandalorian‘s Baby Yoda is a merchandising dream. He’s unbearably cute, literally toy-sized and ever since his debut has been stealing the hearts of everyone that’s seen the show. He’s by far the breakout character and given Disney’s all-consuming desire to license and merchandise everything possible, you’d expect Baby Yoda merch to be flying off shelves. Well, it isn’t. Because they didn’t make any.
Yup, the big brains at Disney whose job it is to commoditize the heck out of their IP were sleeping on the job. There are no plushies, there are no toys, there’s no cute keychains or really any tangible representation of Baby Yoda on shelves. Caught on the hop, the studio quickly assured fans that they’d rush through some Baby Yoda merchandise for the holiday season and they’ve just put it on sale, but the reaction is… dismay.
What’s on sale on Disney’s online store are T-shirts, mugs, phone cases and tote bags featuring exactly the same printed piece of Baby Yoda concept art. It’s basically the lowest effort you could imagine. Fans began complaining that it looked like the kind of stuff automatically generated on Zazzle – a joke which soon stopped being funny when people realized it’s literally from Zazzle. And then came the mockery…
The current product lineup for The Child merch at shop Disney looks like the kind of merch that you'd see auto-generated on Zazzle after you design a shirt. pic.twitter.com/7UxmRSeiXJ
— Rob Plays (@RobPlays) November 26, 2019
Fuck Disney, I just wanted quality Baby Yoda merch and they gave me REDBUBBLE. FUCK Y'ALL
— Kamaboko Gonpachiro (@Mang0P3ach) November 27, 2019
So @disney just dropped baby yoda merch and all of it sucks. Shirts, tote bags and phone cases with stills from the show that we've already seen.. but NO plush dolls? Wow. Just wow. ?
— justine. (@sch_mittens) November 27, 2019
I refused to believe, and I’ve checked the store myself. Appalling. It’s like… they didn’t know that Baby Yoda would be a hit? It was a story secret kept way too well by the showrunners, even from merch execs ? Cc @ObsKenobs
— Thibaut Thomas ?? (@thibautthomas) November 27, 2019
The new Baby Yoda merch pic.twitter.com/a5MvRyVNXn
— #TheGoldfinch on Digital 11/19; Blu-ray/DVD 12/3? (@BerryMary92) November 27, 2019
Disney rushing to put out baby yoda merch pic.twitter.com/YaC749577K
— Stephen (@stephensweeps) November 26, 2019
Now, I can understand why they can’t get the kind of merchandise fans demand onto shelves. Setting up a production line needs a lot of notice, especially in the run-up to Christmas, and especially when the factories dedicated to Star Wars products are currently pumping out The Rise of Skywalker merch.
Even so, Disney’s merchandising team will have been able to see rushes and character designs from The Mandalorian for probably over a year now, so it’s entirely on them that they overlooked the goldmine that is Baby Yoda. There’s word that some plushies might make Disney’s parks and stores before Christmas, but unfortunately, we don’t have long left to go now.