Even after the first season of The Mandalorian concluded on Disney+, the effects are still being felt from the popularity of “The Child” character, dubbed “Baby Yoda” by fans.
Disney didn’t want details of the show leaked prior to its release, so no Mandalorian merchandise was made beforehand. Based on the overwhelming popular response and cultural impact of Baby Yoda, the gamble appeared to have paid off. On the flip side, with no merch to speak of, Disney relinquished the lucrative cash cow that was the 2019 holiday season; In essence, they traded the assurance that there would be no leaks leading up to the premiere of the Disney+ Star Wars series in exchange for all the potential earnings they could have made by selling Baby Yoda toys.
A sizeable number of enterprising individuals on the craft website Etsy have taken advantage of the voracious demand for Baby Yoda and have sold their own bootleg versions.
Disney has not taken kindly to the surge of knockoffs, however, and have quickly stepped in to demand that vendors cease and desist in selling their Star Wars wares. Some stores have had their listings removed after receiving takedown notices; when asked to comment, Etsy simply referred to its intellectual property policy: “Etsy strives to respond quickly when we receive proper notice of intellectual property infringement by removing or disabling access to the allegedly infringing material.” However, some people are getting around the Disney by simply renaming their creations something generic like “baby gremlin dolls”.
Disney has not been ignorant to the demand; they have recently opened pre-orders for a Baby Yoda plush doll, and Baby Yoda will soon be available at the Build-a-Bear workshop.