The best way to ensure that the secrets of a popular project remain secrets is not to have any merchandise. Many times, merch leaks are how fans find out specific characters or plot points. So, in the case of The Mandalorian, no merch was created that revealed the show’s big secret: Baby Yoda, aka the Child.
As a result, Baby Yoda’s existence remained a secret until the episode debuted, just as producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni intended. Success! Then things went wild. Fans, of course, wanted Baby Yoda in their hands and they wanted it yesterday. Disney quickly obliged, promising fans Baby Yoda merchandise was coming before the holidays.
And indeed, several pieces of Baby Yoda (referred to as “the Child”) merchandise are now available at several retailers. Hot Topic, Amazon, Her Universe, and others all have Baby Yoda merch. Disney’s official site, ShopDisney, seems to have the most, though, from t-shirts and phone cases to tote bags and coffee mugs.
But, if we’re being honest, most of it is boring.
Here’s a screenshot of the ShopDisney offerings, all of which feature the concept art by Christian Alzmann slapped on pieces of merchandise like a bad CafePress store.
Here’s the thing: The concept art on its own is amazing, some incredible work by Alzmann. The fact that all of this is available at all is better than nothing. Simply put, you can buy Baby Yoda stuff for friends and family this holiday season if you wish. However, the lack of variety has to be disappointing to fans who hoped to hold the little bugger in their hands next month.
The reasons why all this merchandise is so simple are numerous. Most obviously, it takes a lot of time to design, approve, create, ship, and finally stock store shelves for any kind of merchandise. And if manufacturers or retailers were kept in the dark about the character until roughly three weeks ago, the fact that there’s anything at all is a minor miracle. More advanced items, like toys or plushes or electronics, can sometimes take years to develop. So unless those gears started turning a while ago, we’ll be lucky to see a high-end collectible or floating carriage by next Christmas. In fact, Hasbro confirmed to Vanity Fair that it won’t have any products of the character until 2020. Sorry, Black Series fans.
Beyond the items above, which are basically the same on most sites, Amazon’s UK site does have slightly different merchandise. In other words, t-shirts that aren’t just one piece of concept art. And yet, again, it’s all relatively simple apparel items. Here’s an example.
io9 reached out to multiple people to see if there’s more merchandise coming this year and was unable to get a definitive answer at time of publication. Sources close to the matter would only confirm product will be slowly rolling out in the weeks leading up to the holidays, but it was unclear if this was all of it. Lucasfilm representatives pointed us to this StarWars.com post which says “Check back on StarWars.com for even more products featuring the pint-sized star coming soon…” We’ll update when and if we hear more.
Will you be ordering any of this Baby Yoda merch? Is there a specific item you’re waiting for? Let us know below.