Pop winter cover

Mando tossing The Child into the air while laying in a grassy forest may sound like a dream scene from the next season of The Mandalorian, but it’s actually the image that plays out on the cover of the Pop Insider‘s winter print issue.

This cover image — a collaboration between the Pop Insider, toy photographer Mitchel Wu, and Hasbro — shows everyone’s favorite intergalactic bounty-hunting duo having a blast together. The photo features two figures from Hasbro’s Star Wars The Black Series collection: a 6-inch figure of the Mandalorian and a 1.1-inch figure of The Child — the adorable character who quickly became a global phenomenon late last year, beloved by Star Wars fans and newcomers alike. While the Mando figure was released late last year, it’s currently sold out across multiple retailers. The Child figure is available now for pre-order and will start shipping in May.

Wu, who has worked with the Pop Insider before (most recently shooting the cover for last year’s holiday gift guide) says he wanted this photo to convey the characters’ relationship from the first season of The Mandalorian, which became increasingly more like that of a father and son.

“I really just wanted to take the dynamic we’d all seen developing between Mando and The Child, and take it to a slightly higher level with the playfulness and emotion,” he says. “I mean, just look at the joy on Mando’s face — just kidding!”

The Pop Insider Editor in Chief Marissa DiBartolo calls the new cover the magazine’s best, ever. “There’s truly something special about this one,” she says. “The Child really breathed new life into the Star Wars fandom, and I think this image captures his innocence and adorableness in a way that will resonate with our readers. I can’t wait to see everyone’s reaction to it.”

Making everyone’s favorite force-wielding toddler the subject for this cover was a natural fit, not only because of his immense popularity but also because it corresponds with a feature story inside the print issue. In the piece, senior editor James Zahn chats with executives at Lucasfilm, merch makers like Funko, and even artists who were inspired by Baby Yoda to give fans insight on the new Star Wars character. There’s even a sneak peek at some of the upcoming merch on the way for The Child fans.

So where can you get your hands on this cover? We’re glad you asked. The winter issue of the Pop Insider will be available at Toy Fair New York, C2E2 in Chicago, and Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle. You can also find it online starting tomorrow morning.

The Pop Insider subscribers will also receive this issue in the mail next week. If you’d like your own subscription to the Pop Insider, click here.

But that’s not all: The cover image will be available as limited-edition poster prints, too. Wu will sign 200 prints of the cover at Toy Fair New York booth No. 1801 this Saturday at 12:45 p.m., and the Pop Insider will give away 600 exclusive prints of the cover at C2E2 booth No. 626.

For more from Mitchel Wu, follow him on Instagram!

Photo: Mitchel Wu Toy Photography

About the author

Madeleine Buckley

Madeleine Buckley

Madeleine Buckley was a Senior Editor at The Pop Insider, The Toy Insider, and The Toy Book. She covered all things toys and fandom, and has appeared on Cheddar and a variety of regional news networks to talk about the latest trends in both. She is a movie score enthusiast, mediocre knitter, proud Syracuse alumna, and Marvel lover. You can usually find her at the movies or hanging out at home with her super-pup, Parker.