Star Wars breathed new life into its merchandising line with The Mandalorian, which introduced the world to "Baby Yoda." This still unnamed young member of Yoda's race became an instant hit, dominating the pop-culture zeitgeist as 2019 came to a close. In a rare show of economic restraint, Disney and Lucasfilm actually held off on the first production runs of Baby Yoda merchandise, in order to preserve the surprise reveal in The Mandalorian's premiere episode. Unfortunately, it seems like Disney's good deed will not go unpunished; the outbreak of the coronavirus has now threatened to delay production of Star Wars Baby Yoda toys.
CNN reports that toy producer Hasbro has already confirmed that the coronavirus has disrupted its supply chain; industry analysts therefore predict that one of the products affected by the delay would be Star Wars' Baby Yoda toy line. As Jim Silver, CEO of toy site Toys, Tots, Pets & More, sees it, delays with the Baby Yoda line haven't happened yet, but: "If things aren't normal by the time June and July roll around, there will be shortages on a litany of toys."
Right now, the Baby Yoda toys that are being released (or released for pre-order) are getting snatched up as quickly as you'd expect. The Baby Yoda Animatronic figure, The Funko POPs, even third party merch like board games - it's all going fast. You can click any of the links to check out that particular merchandise - or go HERE for the entire Baby Yoda catalogue
The Mandalorian season 2 is set to premiere on Disney+ in October. We still don't know if the sophomore season of the show will jump forward in time or pick up right where season 1 left off. If it's the former, then "Baby Yoda" could arguably have a whole new design to reflect any growth or physical change. Or (if you're cynical about Disney making money) it may be just as easy to believe that Disney wouldn't change a thing about Baby Yoda's design, in order to keep selling that sweet merch. Star Wars isn't exactly known for abandoning popular character merchandise for the sake of novelty in storytelling...
"Baby Yoda" (aka "The Child") seems even more likely to hang around a bit now that we know a "Young Yoda" is also in the works. The newly unveiled "High Republic" line of the franchise will be introducing him, alongside an entire score of new Jedi characters, 200 years before the Star Wars prequels take place.
The Mandalorian season 2 will premiere on Disney+ on October 20th.