Prior to the beginning of the Fall, had you told me that the most beloved piece of Star Wars content would be The Mandalorian and not Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, I would have tested your blood’s spice levels.
Alas, that has ultimately wound up being the case, as the combination of The Mandalorian‘s awesomeness and The Rise of Skywalker‘s general subpar-ness has led to The Mandalorian becoming perhaps the most widely popular piece of Star Wars content to be released in recent years.
Now, while The Mandalorian certainly stands on its own merits, much of the obsession for the show has been centered around the series’ adorable green MacGuffin that is Baby Yoda.
Unleashed in the show’s pilot episode, Baby Yoda was an immediate home run with essentially every demographic of fans, as the 50-year-old Mini Yodes became an instantaneous pop-cultural phenomenon.
Yet, despite the character’s expeditious ascension to icon status, Disney was almost ill-prepared for its success, as they famously did not have Baby Yoda toys prepared in time for Christmas. And according to recent reports, that lack of foresight cost the company a couple million.
According to new reports, Disney allegedly has left $2.7 million dollars on the table thanks to the Internet’s collective obsession with Baby Yoda. (A CNBC reporter even mentioned she feels this estimate is “on the low side.”) You may have already considered buying a plush or a Funko pop only to find that the only merch available for the adorable new Star Wars critter are bootleg items.
As of this week, Disney has started making a Baby Yoda plush and more available for pre-order, and there are a few t-shirts and phone cases up on the official Disney store. However, there is a dearth of good merchandise out there, and there won’t be a ton of Baby Yoda goods under anyone’s trees this Christmas morning.
The new toys based on “The Child” often won’t be hitting stores until May of 2020, which is still months away. In fact, many of them are timed for the spring, which features the popular Star Wars holiday, May the Fourth, when people may shell out additional money for Star Wars products. But by keeping The Mandalorian character a huge secret, Disney most certainly left money on the table. [via CinemaBlend]
Granted, roughly $3 to $5 million dollars is legitimate chump change for the Mouse House. And with Baby Yoda all but guaranteed to be a force in the Star Wars universe going forward, there will be plenty of opportunities for Disney to turn him into a cash cow in the coming years, don’t you worry.
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter @eric_ital for movie and soccer takes or email him firstname.lastname@example.org.