The Mandalorian‘s The Child, aka Baby Yoda, is one of the most popular characters in television and film of the year. Naturally, everyone is trying to cash in on that popularity. Disney has been tightening up on unlicensed sellers of Baby Yoda merchandise.
The Baby Yoda reveal was under tight wraps
Disney worked very hard to not spoil the fact that The Child was a character in The Mandalorian. Because they didn’t want to spoil, Disney didn’t have Baby Yoda merch, not even for the holiday season.
Series creator and executive producer Jon Favreau told Entertainment Tonight, “The way the cat usually gets out of the bag with that stuff is merchandising and toy catalogues and things like that.
He continued, “We really wanted to have it be that you had to watch it yourself, so that every time you watched the show there’d be new twists and secrets coming out. But that requires a lot of restraint from the people footing the bill. Part of that was holding back on things like merchandise.”
But even if Disney wanted to have Baby Yoda dolls out for Christmas, that would have been unlikely in even the best-case scenario.
Richard Gottlieb, the CEO of Global Toy Group, said that public prototypes should have been unveiled by October 2018 for this to happen. “Chances are that someone would have seen it in their showroom and word would have gotten out. There’d be no way to keep it quiet,” he said.
Etsy stores are getting takedown notices
Disney has been issuing takedown notices to Etsy shops that are selling Baby Yoda products. Per The Verge, Disney requested that shops that sold unauthorized Baby Yoda merch be deactivated. Several Etsy sellers have told the publication that they have received the notices.
While Disney did not give a comment on The Verge’s report, Etsy reiterated that they reserve “the right to disable any listing, shop, or account.”
The situation is a different one that normal because so many fans were yearning for Baby Yoda merchandise, especially during the Christmas season. Because of this, the market was wide open for an assortment of sellers to hop in.
Disney has official Baby Yoda merchandise in the works, including a plushie and a Build-A-Bear.