Baby Yoda fans, rejoice! Hasbro revealed a toy that captures the movements and cuteness of “The Child” from the hit Disney Plus series The Mandalorian.
Here’s the official description:
“He may look like “Baby Yoda,” but this lovable creature is called The Child — and now you can become his protector with this animatronic toy from Star Wars. Touching the top of The Child Animatronic Edition’s head activates over 25 sound and motion combinations, including happy and excited sounds, giggles, babbles, and more, all while the figure’s head moves up and down, ears move back and forth, and eyes open and close. Boys and girls ages 4 and up can pretend to harness the power of the Force as The Child toy closes its eyes, raises its arm, and sighs as if exerting a great amount of energy.”
The animatronic requires two AAA batteries and is limited to two per customer. It is currently available for pre-order through Hasbro Pulse, and is expected to ship on December 15, 2020. It is currently listed at $59.99.
Another, Better, Baby Yoda
Hasbro isn’t the only one who created an animatronic Baby Yoda.
Grant Imahara, of Mythbusters fame, created something a little more upscale than Hasbro’s Baby Yoda.
Imahara explains, “Pleased to present my newest creation: a fully animatronic Baby Yoda.”
He then detailed all the hard work and time he’s put into it.
“It’s been three months of hard work and countless revisions. He’s a personal project that I started in early December. I did all the mechanical design, programming, and 3D printed the molds.”
He continued, “He’s currently running a continuous sequence, but soon I’ll be able to trigger specific moods and reactions, as well as incorporate sound.”
He then thanked those who have helped him on the project, “Special thanks to @saltiesthime for creating the silicone skin, painting and hand-punching the hair, @misslindsayxoxo for the coat and jumpsuit, and Project 842 for the incredible digital model.”
Imahara then detailed that he plans on taking the Baby Yoda on tour to visit children’s hospitals beginning in April.
“This is a not-for-profit project. We’ll be touring children’s hospitals and our first visit is scheduled for April!”
Saltiest Hime also shared the Baby Yoda on Instagram.
“What a wild project. @grantimahara and I started working on our little robot a few months ago, and it was such an incredible learning experience.”
She added, “First time really painting silicone, seaming it, and punching hair. I’m incredibly fortunate to work with a friend that supports and helps to foster my skills, pushes me to be better, and believes in me even when Imposter Syndrome tries to creep in.”
She then detailed how much joy Baby Yoda will bring to kids.
“This little guy is (and already has, holy cow, y’all) going to bring joy to so many kids, and that’s really what this was about and what made the long days worth it.”
SaltiestHime then concluded, “I’m so excited for our Baby Yoda to go out and spread joy in the world!”
Merchandisers Keeping a Secret
“The Child” has become quite a phenomenon on social media since the introduction of the character on The Mandalorian series on Disney Plus. Since the series premiere, fans have been searching online retailers for anyone who might be selling a version of the miniature Yoda creature. It was at the insistence of the showrunners and Disney that plans for “The Child” not be leaked and toy developers hold back on trying to sell their versions of the doll until after a span of time from the series premiere.
John Favreau, the creator of The Mandalorian, spoke with Collider last year about the creation of Baby Yoda. He also spoke about how they were able to keep a lid on him until the show premiered. He credited Disney and Lucasfilm for keeping a leash on the toy companies.
“I have to thank Disney and Lucasfilm, because the way the cat usually gets out of the bag with that stuff is merchandising and toy catalogs and things like that. So they really back us up. We really wanted to have it be that you had to watch it yourself, so that every time you watch the show, there are new twists and secrets that come out. That requires a lot of restraint from the people who are footing the bill, saying they’re gonna hold back on certain things so that the public doesn’t know ahead of time. Part of that was holding back on some of the merchandise and holding back on some of the characters.”
The Great Baby Yoda Shortage of 2019
At that time, the only merchandise available were cups and shirts with printed designs. None of the toys or dolls of the character were going to be available for purchase until May 2020. Even now, the quality plush figures are still for pre-order.
This has led many consumers (myself included) to purchasing a crafted doll from an independent seller on Etsy. This led to Disney going after independent sellers, and issuing many take down notices. Still, you can purchase the knock-off crochet versions (and you’ll get them before May).
But what do you think of the animatronic version Hasbro is advertising? Is it too late for the toy company to try to cash in on the Baby Yoda craze? Or will this be right in time for the next season of The Mandalorian, which will start streaming in October of this year?
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, or let’s talk about it on social media!