There’s a moment in the third episode of The Mandalorian in which Werner Herzog mentions “how uncharacteristic” it is that our hero would do a certain thing at a certain time. My thoughts echoed Herzog’s voice when I excitedly went to take a look at an announcement from starwars.com touting “The Child Merch from The Mandalorian is Here!” How uncharacteristic it is for a merchandising behemoth like Star Wars to release such an underwhelming assortment.
Like most of the since-removed items that surfaced last week, the new merch is limited to T-shirts, tote bags, phone cases, and the like — the kind of print-on-demand stuff that you would’ve been really excited to order from Cafe Press back in 2001. But for the breakout character from one of this fall’s most-buzzed-about series? This isn’t gonna cut it. The best item is likely the coffee mug.
To be fair, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the image, which is concept art from The Mandalorian concept supervisor Christian Alzmann. It’s how this has been executed — a launch that seems hastily thrown together at the last minute. And while most of the usual suspects, such as Hasbro and Funko, have remained absolutely silent on plans for toys based on Baby Yoda (unofficial name), a widely cited report from CNBC indicated that preorders should’ve been up last week. The story was so big, the Pop Insider’s Editor-in-Chief Marissa Dibartolo spoke to MarketWatch about the buzz.
While the plush and action figures have yet to surface, an incoming transmission from Rebel spies indicates that Dec. 1 might hold some importance. It also might not.
With the global rollout of Disney+ happening in a staggered form, it’s entirely possible that a proper consumer product launch had been planned to take place after the series had been seen in as many territories as possible. The popularity of the little munchkin may have changed things.