Bootleg Baby Yoda Merchandise Bountiful as Fans Clamor For New 'Star Wars' Character
Star Wars fans have made it clear: Baby Yoda (or whoever the cute little tyke actually is) is a massive hit. In fact, there is such a clamoring for the breakout star of Disney+ series The Mandalorian that bootleg merchandise has flooded the Internet, as nothing officially licensed has been released as of Friday afternoon.
A quick search on eBay for Baby Yoda results in a plethora of items, including shirts, mugs and stuffed toys. "He protects. He attacks. He also takes naps," a shirt reads. A coffee mug proclaims "Adorable he is. Protect him, I will."
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There are also a number of unlicensed items on Etsy.
For the moment, it appears there is no official Baby Yoda merchandise available; searches for official Baby Yoda items on retail stores turned out empty and a number of Disney stores in Los Angeles told The Hollywood Reporter they had no items in stock and were uncertain when they would.
However, a source with knowledge of the situation said a number of apparel and accessories will be available in the coming days through Amazon, Zazzle, Target.com, Kohls.com, Macys.com, HotTopic.com and BoxLunch.com. Merchandise will be available at the Disney Store, shopDisney, Disney Parks and at retail before the holidays. Also in the coming weeks, pre-orders can be made for toys and a plush inspired by the new character. A wider variety of products will also be rolling out on shelves in the coming months.
A few shirts featuring the character, officially licensed, went on sale at Hot Topic Friday night.
Series creator Jon Favreau has explained the lack of items was done on purpose to avoid spoilers. It's common for details from spoiler-phobic movies like the Avengers or Star Wars franchises to come out via toy catalogues months ahead of time. So keeping Baby Yoda toys back worked to avoid that reveal coming to light. However, the downside would seem to be bootleggers are running wild. That is, until they receive a cease and desist letter from Disney.
The third episode of Mandalorian dropped Friday. And yes, there is more Baby Yoda.
Nov. 23, 10 a.m.: Updated with Hot Topic putting items on sale Friday night.
by Graeme McMillan