In the day and age where trends can come and go just as fast as a week can end, you would think Disney and Lucasfilm would have been all over merchandising the runaway freight train that is Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian. Even after the first episode in which Baby Yoda was introduced, you’d figure the cat’s out of the bag now and Disney would start rolling out the onslaught of officially licensed merchandise.
Usually Disney has no qualms with releasing toys and potentially leaking plot points in pursuit of more revenue. But with TheMandalorian being the flagship for the new Disney+ streaming service, it seems they wanted to wait a bit. Because of this move, they havepreserved the secrecy of the plot in exchange for a speculated $2.7 million dollars in revenue lost, since no form of merchandise was available for the holiday season.
So where have the consumers gone to get their fix? Etsy. But the short-lived success of several homemade sellers has caught the ire of the proverbial evil empire run by Disney and Lucasfilm. A reporter at The Verge spoke with several people who sell items through Etsy and learned that Disney has been sending take down notices to Etsy, which has subsequently removed these sellers’ listings for popular Baby Yoda-related items like plushies, dolls, and dice bags.
Removing the listings has caused problems for both buyers and sellers alike as they tried to reconcile orders in Etsy’s system between the old and new listings. Many of the listings that were removed were very popular, with one having more than 2,000 views and another apparently earning 100-200 views per day. But given that these Sellers use words like “Star Wars,” “The Mandalorian,” and “Yoda” in their product descriptions – words that are all copyrighted by Disney and Lucasfilm – it just makes it easier for them to find. The Verge points out that “there are still thousands of listings on the site that blatantly sell ‘Baby Yoda’ and ‘Mandalorian’ merch.”
Build A Baby Yoda Instead
So if you are tired of waiting until May to receive the Funko Baby Yoda toy that you might have pre-ordered from Amazon in early December, there is always Build-A-Bear. The CEO of we will now affectionately call Build-A-Baby-Yoda, Sharon Price John, said, “I’m excited to share we will be one of the first companies to provide the digital and internet phenomenon who is trending higher than all the presidential candidates combined.” And according to Business insider, it got a little more ominous: “We now will have The Child, also known as Baby Yoda.”