Grogu in 'The Mandalorian'

Things We Saw Today: The First Official Baby Yoda Merchandise Is Not Great

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After the explosive popularity of The Mandalorian‘s “The Child,” aka Baby Yoda, aka New God of the Internet, we wondered how best to express our devotion. Under late capitalism, this usually takes the form of buying overpriced things and displaying them prominently on our desks and bodies. Unfortunately for our hearts and wallets, the first official offerings from Star Wars’ Disney overlords reek of a rush job.

Disney was clearly caught off-guard by the demand to own a piece of Baby Yoda all our own. The character was kept top-secret, which means that toys were not planned in advance, presumably to prevent leaks (which can often come in toy form). This is understandable. However, it seems clear from the merch finally put on offer today via an announcement on that Disney really just had no idea Baby Yoda was going to take off the way it did. They seem to have had no toy or merchandise design plans waiting in the wings.

Hasbro confirmed to Vanity Fair that there will be no Baby Yoda toys come Christmastime, and toys will not appear until sometime in 2020. Considering how many Baby Yoda toys they could sell at the moment for the holiday season, this seems like a huge oversight. You have to strike while the Baby Yoda is still hot. Will we even remember who Baby Yoda is by, say, March? Questions abound.

What has now been put forward is a single concept art image from series concept supervisor Christian Alzmann (the image itself is perfectly cool and adorable, but they have offered just the one), and then they just kind of …. slapped it on a bunch of generic stuff. T-shirts, stickers, mugs, totes, phone cases, popsockets, etc.

The line looks like items I’d expect to see for sale by fan artists on a Redbubble account, only most fan artists I know would have done much more thoughtful and nuanced work. promises more merch to come, of which I have little doubt, but this put a bad taste in my mouth.

I understand a rush to capitalize, but maybe the giant megacorporation that employs some of the finest artists and graphic artists in the business could maybe pause a minute and make some merch we’d more happily splash out on?

(via, images: Disney)

  • Grease spin-off series has been ordered by HBO, because God is dead. (Not you, Baby Yoda! Never you.) (via Deadline)
  • Imelda Staunton could possibly replace Olivia Colman in The Crown‘s later seasons, which is a glorious idea even if I will hate Dolores Umbridge forever. (via Hollywood Reporter)
  • A capybaras-only coloring book may be a better use of your money than a bad Baby Yoda t-shirt. (via BoingBoing)
  • Is the release of a Snyder Justice League cut only a pipe dream? (via Comicbook)
  • Meanwhile, DC seems to be plotting far into its future, and the best bit of intel is that Michael B. Jordan took a meeting with them to talk Superman. Unfortunately, we’d probably not see Jordan’s Superman, if it were to happen, for many years. (via Variety)
  • The President is an idiot, exhibit #89062.

What did you see today?

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.