Checkout: Disney finally unveils Baby Yoda toys, months after its TV debut

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on February 25, 2020.

‘The Child’ at the New York Toy Fair Product Showcase in New York last Thursday. (Photo by Bloomberg)

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WALT Disney Co unveiled dozens of new products tied to its hit show The Mandalorian and the breakout character popularly known as Baby Yoda, ahead of New York’s big Toy Fair trade show last weekend.

The products run the gamut from Hasbro Inc’s US$30 (RM126.60) black-bladed lightsabre to Funko Inc bobbleheads based on the show’s bounty hunters. The big draw, however, was expected to be Baby Yoda, a cuddly green character who may or may not be related to the wise Jedi from the Star Wars films.

The eight-episode Mandalorian programme was the runaway hit for the company’s new Disney+ streaming service, which was launched in November. The US$7-per-month service has quickly signed up more than 28 million subscribers, in part due to the popularity of the new series. A second season is scheduled to begin in October.

Toys and other merchandise have always been a big factor in the economics behind Star Wars. But the Baby Yoda character created a logistical challenge. Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau asked Disney to hold off making toys tied to the Baby Yoda character until the series aired, to maintain the surprise of its appearance.

That meant consumers would not get merchandise during the social-media frenzy that the show kicked off.

“Holding back on product development gave everyone the chance to discover the character affectionately known to fans as Baby Yoda together,” he said in a statement last Thursday. “This is something special in the age of spoilers.”

Products which were unveiled last Thursday included US$13 plush dolls based on the character — officially known as the Child — and a US$60 animatronic version, which moves and makes sounds. — Bloomberg