The first Baby Yoda tie-in products from The Mandalorian are available, but fans will probably find them disappointing. Disney and Lucasfilm made the curious decision to hide the character of The Child (or "Baby Yoda," as he's commonly referred to by viewers) in marketing materials prior to The Mandalorian's premiere on Disney+ earlier this month. As a result, no Baby Yoda merchandise was on shelves in the weeks leading up to the show's premiere - much to the chagrin of viewers who immediately fell in love with adorable infant member of Yoda's mysterious species.
Disney bypassed the opportunity to cash in on Baby Yoda during the Triple Force Friday event out of respect for Mandalorian producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, who wanted to make The Child's mere existence a shocking twist for The Mandalorian's first episode. Even so, it wasn't long before word came out Baby Yoda merchandise would hit stores in time for the holiday season. Now, the first items are available for purchase... but they may not be what fans are hoping for.
Per ComicBook, official Baby Yoda merchandise is now for sale. Unfortunately, it appears the only products available are various t-shirts and a mug sporting a piece of Baby Yoda concept art. To make matters worse, Hasbro told Vanity Fair there won't be any Baby Yoda toys until 2020.
Some might find it odd Hasbro and Lucasfilm's other licensing partners weren't allowed to make Baby Yoda action figures and collectibles ahead of time, and just withheld the release until after The Mandalorian launched. That way, they'd be able to have toys available for the always-lucrative holiday season, where any Baby Yoda items would have sold like hotcakes. However, it's fairly common for toy designs and packaging to leak online, something Disney was undoubtedly aware of. Since Favreau and Filoni wanted to save Baby Yoda as a surprise for viewers tuning in to see what was sold as "the bounty hunter show," Disney couldn't take the risk of anything coming out early. The studio doesn't share all spoilers with toy manufacturers, so there's a chance Baby Yoda was a huge twist for Hasbro as well.
So, people are left with an uninspiring selection of options for Star Wars fans on their holiday shopping lists. Shirts and mugs are nice and something just about anyone can use, but viewers are more than likely going to feel letdown by this turn of events. It's true Baby Yoda toys will fly off the shelves whenever they do come out, but there's no denying the iron is burning hot right now, and Hasbro can't deliver on fervent demand. Disney's choice to keep Baby Yoda under wraps is admirable, but arguably extremely misguided.
New episodes of The Mandalorian debut Fridays on Disney+