One day, when the Statue of Liberty has been replaced by a giant Funko Pop; when big-headed, black-eyed figures feature in all our religious iconography; when these vinyl toys are somehow made legally available to hold public office, remember this: the beginning of the end came on November 25, 2021, when an enormous Baby Yoda Pop soared through the skies of New York City.
Yes, a giant balloon of Grogu, aka the Child, will be one of the balloons featured in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But not the already adorable version we’ve seen playing with bits of the Razorcraft and eating unborn children in The Mandalorian. Instead, it will be a new, specially-designed Funko Pop version of the character, where he’s reaching out a three-fingered hand to his favourite toy, not unlike God reaching out to Adam in Michelangelo’s famed The Creation of Adam painting.
According to StarWars.com, “the balloon is set to measure 12.50 m high, 8.84 m long, and 11.28 m wide as it travels through Manhattan — a memorable tribute to a modern Star Wars fan favourite.”
While it was designed by Funko art director Reis O’Brien specifically for the parade, it should be the least surprising thing in the world that you will soon be able to buy a regular-sized Funko Pop of it. And not only a vinyl toy, of course. Of course!
“Funko has collaborated with Lucasfilm to develop a line of bobbleheads, deluxe bobbleheads, keychains, and apparel based on the Grogu-inspired balloon, alongside a limited-edition series of balloon-themed Pop! products available exclusively at Funko.com. Macy’s will also feature select items from Funko available for purchase at Macy’s Herald Square in New York City this fall.”
Yep, a line of apparel based on a balloon which is itself based on a toy. Which, and I want to stress this again because of how bewildering it is, is somehow the very first Star Wars balloon to ever appear in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade despite the franchise’s 44 years of pop culture dominance. We could have had R2-D2, Darth Vader, an Ewok, hell, even Jar Jar Binks or BB-8, but no. It’s a Funko Pop.