Here's Why Baby Yoda Toys Took So Long To Arrive

This is the way... to make a bunch of Baby Yoda toys, months after the show has ended.

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For months, it's been a bit shocking to see the disconnect between the popularity of the Baby Yoda character from Star Wars: The Mandalorian and the sparse amount of official, licensed merchandise available. It seemed, based on initial impressions, that Disney was unprepared for the character's wave of popularity.

But at the Disney+ Star Wars Product Showcase in Manhattan on February 20, it was revealed that the delay in Baby Yoda merchandise was purposeful. Series creator Jon Favreau wanted as few people to know as possible; putting massive toy orders into production, for example, would create too many possibilities for leaks.

"We sat down with Jon about two years out," said Paul Southern, senior vice president for licensing and franchise at Lucasfilm. "He brings out this big box and says, 'I'm going to show you The Child,'… And then we talked about the idea that we were going to do no development on the ground until after the show aired, and we talked around that for a little while… we came to terms with it, but it created some challenges for us."

Even within Disney's retail product chain of command, many high-ranking executives had no idea what the character was or looked like; even within the company, the assets were kept secret. They found out about Baby Yoda at the same time that we did--when Disney+ launched--and had to play catchup.

"I was definitely in the dark; I was after the lockdown, so I didn't know about the character until I saw the show myself," said JoAnn McLaughlin, senior vice president of brand merchandising and product design at Disney. "So I was one of those people who had that magical moment… The next day was all-hands-on-deck: 'How are we going to get this done?' It was really exciting."

The latest Baby Yoda merchandise, which includes toys, clothing, apparel, accessories, and electronics, will be released at steady trickle over the next several months. The crown jewel is Hasbro's large animatronic plush, which coos, giggles, blinks its eyes, and wiggles its ears. It retails for $60 and is available for pre-order now.

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superdoyle1

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The character is named "The Child", and it's a well known fact that the creator hates the name Baby Yoda, yet articles still name it exactly that...

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Thelostscribe

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@superdoyle1: I guess if the shows creators hate it so, they should have given it a real name. The Child is simply a title used to refer to the character, that is not it's actual name. Similarly, Baby Yoda is a title people use to refer to it. I think they'll just have to get used to it.

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deactivated-5e50d2c5e25a2

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Anyone who refers to him as "Baby Yoda" automatically nullifies their Star Wars card.

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Thelostscribe

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@deactivated-5e50d2c5e25a2: Man I wish I was part of such a prestigious club, but I'd rather call baby Yoda baby Yoda, cause baby Yoda is much cooler than any Star Wars card.

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P00DGE

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Edited By P00DGE

@deactivated-5e50d2c5e25a2: having a "Star Wars Card" is really not so prestigious a thing. It wasn't before, and certainly isnt after the train wreck of the new trilogy.

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Mogan

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Mogan  Moderator

@superdoyle1: It's going to be Baby Yoda until the show gives him an actual name. And even then, it'll probably still be Baby Yoda everywhere else.

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RogerioFM

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@superdoyle1: Why should we care, Baby Yoda stuck, so Baby Yoda it is.

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