Ever since “The Mandalorian” premiered on Disney+ in November, the adorable “Baby Yoda” character has melted hearts and minds around the world. However, despite fervent requests for Baby Yoda dolls, Disney has been rather slow to respond to product demands, reportedly in order to keep Baby Yoda’s reveal in “The Mandalorian” pilot a secret per Jon Favreau’s request.
But the cat was out of the bag after the show’s premiere, and “The Child” quickly became a social media sensation. It shouldn’t then be a surprise that impatient fans have already taken matters into their own hands, with Etsy crafters and sellers creating their own unofficial Baby Yoda toys to capitalize on the demand. And for a while, the bootleg Baby Yoda market seemed to flourish.
Of course, it didn’t take long before Disney discovered this, and began issuing takedown notices, reminding Etsy that it owns the intellectual property rights to all Star Wars characters. And Etsy businesses with popular Baby Yoda products suddenly found their listings deactivated, at the request of Disney, according to The Verge.
In December 2019, the company announced that it would release a Baby Yoda plushie in March 2020, and earlier this month, Disney announced a partnership with Build-a-Bear, the retailer that sells teddy bears and other stuffed animals and characters, for a Baby Yoda stuffed animal down the road.
Unofficial Baby Yoda products were inevitable, as are Disney’s claims of copyright-infringing. Nobody really wins. And this game of whack-a-mole continues.
Meanwhile, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” released in December, has grossed $494.2 million in the United States and Canada, and $534.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of over $1 billion.
And the long-awaited “Rise of the Resistance” flagship ride, which features a highly immersive journey through the world of Star Wars, opened on Friday in Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
But fans won’t be able to get their hands on licensed merchandise of the “The Mandalorian” mascot until April 2020 at the earliest. The official Baby Yoda plush from Mattel is slated for an April release, while a Funko Pop! figure won’t be available until May. A larger version of the latter item won’t be out until June, according to Disney’s website.