Disney has missed out on upwards of $3 million by delaying Baby Yoda merchandise until after the holiday season, according to findings collected by Amazon product research tool Jungle Scout (via TheWrap). The character — officially dubbed "The Child" but informally nicknamed "Baby Yoda" for his resemblance to Star Wars' iconic green Jedi Master — became a viral sensation after first appearing in the Jon Favreau-created The Mandalorian, the first live-action series from a galaxy far, far away now streaming on Disney+. A limited amount of Baby Yoda merchandise items have made their way into stores, but pre-orders for official and in-demand merchandise like plushes and Funko POP figures won't go live until the spring, months after the Christmas holiday.
Disney's decision to hold off on Baby Yoda merchandise means an estimated $2.7 million in revenue will go unclaimed this holiday shopping season, according to Jungle Scout. Data from Amazon shows the online retailer has had more than 90,000 searches for "Baby Yoda" products since the Nov. 12 premiere of The Mandalorian. The show itself was searched for 126,000 times.
The findings also show nearly 50 top products inspired by the hit character — who is cared for by the titular armor-wearing bounty hunter, played by Pedro Pascal — have sold an average of 1,842 pieces of merchandise priced at an average $23 per item.
In November, Favreau praised Disney and studio Lucasfilm for holding off on Baby Yoda merchandise to keep the reveal of the character a secret. "The Child" wasn't shown until the final moments of The Mandalorian's series premiere, and the true identity of the Mandalorian's mission was so closely guarded the first episode was described only as containing what was called a "dramatic Star Wars-universe spoiler."
"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," Favreau told Collider. "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."
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