It was only a matter of time before internet sensation Baby Yoda, officially known as “the Child” from Disney+'s “The Mandalorian,” was packaged for retail. Albeit very late.
While not much is known about the diminutive, 50-year-old character who appears to be the same species as the wise “Star Wars” Jedi master, toy versions of the breakout star did not go on sale ahead of “The Mandalorian’s” premiere last month.
But fans of Jon Favreau’s live-action series were delighted Tuesday when an 11-inch vinyl-and-plush Mattel doll showed up for presale on Walmart’s website for $24.99. It’s big-eared, bug-eyed, green-skinned and robed.
However, their excitement was dashed with the force of a lightsaber when it was revealed that the dolls won’t arrive until May 2020. And the in-demand item disappeared from Walmart’s website shortly after it appeared, making it even less likely for even a printed-out IOU to show up under Christmas trees this holiday season.
“A little too early did our pre-orders launch. Sorry we are. Opportunity to pre-order again soon on Walmart.com customers will have,” the retailer said in a statement to The Times, evoking Yoda’s speech pattern.
A statement from Mattel said that the doll will actually start shipping in February and is available for pre-order on Disney’s official website, Disney.com, and through other retailers. Funko Pop bobbleheads of the character also are available for pre-order, and apparel and merch bearing his adorable likeness are already up for grabs.
Hasbro said it won’t launch any of its Baby Yoda-inspired merch until 2020 either, which means Disney will fail to cash in on the high demand for the products before the end of the quarter. (Fear not, there’s still plenty of intergalactic merch pegged to the release of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” this month.)
Meanwhile, plenty of unofficial versions of the doll, including horrifying bootlegs and crazy expensive Etsy knockoffs, have filled the Baby Yoda vacuum over the past few weeks. Several of them have become the stuff of memes and nightmares.
Here’s a look at some of the best (and worst) Baby Yoda dolls online, courtesy of the good people on Twitter.