From the moment Baby Yoda first graced the screen in Disney+'s Star Wars: The Mandalorian, the adorable creature officially known as The Child has been a fan-favorite, capturing the hearts and imaginations of fans all over the world. That huge popularity send fans to seek out merchandise featuring the now-iconic creature, but with no official merchandise available, talented creators on sites such as Etsy quickly came to the rescue with their own, hand-crafted Baby Yodas. Now, though, Disney appears to be putting a stop to that by reportedly cracking down and having listings for the homemade toys and merchandise removed from the site.
According to The Verge, Disney has started issuing takedown notices that are forcing Etsy to remove listings for the bootleg Baby Yoda merchandise. The report specifically notes that several sellers have reported having their listings entirely removed from the site, a move that has disrupted existing sales of the Baby Yoda creations. The Disney complaints are specifically targeting items with words such as "Star Wars," Mandalorian," and "Yoda" in the listings.
The timing of these takedown notices is interesting as many of the sellers who have seen their listings and sales deactivated have been selling Baby Yoda items for a couple of months now, but with authentic Baby Yoda merchandise on the way - plush dolls featuring The Child are available for pre-order and it was recently announced that Build-A-Bear will also be selling their own plush of the character - it seems like Disney is looking to clear a space for their own offerings. It's a complicated situation. With the Baby Yoda character being owned by Disney, Disney is well-within its rights to crack down on these handmade items. The flipside to that is that Disney isn't yet offering items to meet the fan demand. According to the report, Etsy declined to comment on the situation beyond pointed to their Intellectual Property Policy while Disney has not yet responded.
As for those selling their version of Baby Yoda merchandise on Etsy, many of the sellers have continued to list and sell their items, just with modified names and tags that do not contain references to Star Wars, The Mandalorian, or Yoda, though these changes do not guarantee Disney won't request another takedown. On top of that the changes in the listings have made them a bit more difficult to find.
As for the official Baby Yoda merchandise, the Build-A-Bear plush does not yet have a release date. Hasbro and Mattel's plush versions of the character are set to be released in April or May of this year.
What do you think about reports that Disney is putting a stop to bootleg Baby Yoda merchandise on Etsy? Let us know in the comments below.