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With Star Wars series 'The Mandalorian,' Disney spawned a Baby Yoda marketing force

Mike Snider, USA TODAY
·4 min read

Corrections & Clarifications: An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect price and sales website for a Baby Yoda toy.

With the second season of "The Mandalorian" set to lift off Friday, there's a new wave of toys featuring the Child, also nicknamed by fans as Baby Yoda.

Viewers were introduced to the character, evidently a younger specimen of the same race as Jedi master Yoda, in the Star Wars-based series, which debuted on Disney+ last November.

After the first glimpse, fans yearned for toy versions of the Child but there weren't any readily available because Disney kept the character a secret until it appeared in the first episode.

Not this time around. Ahead of the popular series' premiere, Disney is unveiling some of the toys available to preorder. Among the highlights is an 11-inch-tall walking plush toy from Mattel, a Hasbro animatronic toy ($59) that makes a combination of 25 different sounds or gestures, and a Hasbro squeezable toy ($24.49) that makes 10 different sounds.

Baby Yoda: Cute character is back, as adorable as ever, in trailer for Season 2 of 'The Mandalorian'

'The Mandalorian': Season two arrives this month on Disney+

The 11-inch remote-controlled The Child Real Moves Plush toy ($69.99) makes noises, moves its head, ears, and arm, as well as shuffles around your home. The toy is available for pre-order now on shopDisney.com, due in stores Nov. 9.
The 11-inch remote-controlled The Child Real Moves Plush toy ($69.99) makes noises, moves its head, ears, and arm, as well as shuffles around your home. The toy is available for pre-order now on shopDisney.com, due in stores Nov. 9.

People magazine already has the animatronic and talking toys in its top 100 toys of 2020 list along with a Baby Yoda edition of the board game Operation and Mandalorian Lego sets including the LEGO Star Wars: The Mandalorian The Razor Crest Building Kit, which includes among its 1,023 pieces a Baby Yoda figure.

Late last year, 24/7 Wall St., editor-in-chief Jon. C. Ogg speculated that Disney might have lost hundreds of millions of dollars by missing the 2019 holiday season for Baby Yoda figurines and dolls.

Since then, a galaxy of Baby Yoda toy options have emerged and helped increase demand for Star Wars toys. During the first half of 2020, toy sales rose 16% in the U.S. and Star Wars trailed only Disney's Frozen worldwide as the top gaining toy property, according to The NPD Group research firm.

"Fans feel a real connection with The Child toys, just like the connection they have to the character in The Mandalorian," said Denise Wong, Mattel's senior design manager for product design.

In creating the new walking toy ($69.99, available for pre-order at shopDisney.com and in Disney stores and parks starting Nov. 9), the designers sought to stay true to "the characteristics that everyone knows (and loves) about him – like the way he wobbles when he walks and how his hand shakes when he lifts his hand up into the “Force” position," she said.

The moving plush toy moves its head, ears and arm and walks, well, it shuffles. The toy also has some play modes including "Hide & Seek" and "Follow Me," in which the Child will lead you around your home. An included remote control "allows the consumer to take the child anywhere they want," Wong said.

Special attention was paid to the toy's eyes, skin, body and clothing. To make the toy feel like "a real person, not a hard plastic robot," plenty of stuffing and padding was used to give it a natural “baby feel," Wong said. And multitudes of fabric swatches were tested before choosing what was used.

The toy comes with a Mandalorian pendant and special lithograph print.

Funko has just announced some new "Mandalorian" figurines including one of the Cara Dune ($11), a former Galactic trooper played actress and former mixed martial artist Gina Carano, who sometimes assists the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal).

Also new from Funko Pop is the Cara Dune figurine ($11).
Also new from Funko Pop is the Cara Dune figurine ($11).

This Baby Yoda craze goes beyond toys. You can also dress your dog up as the Child with a costume ($26.99). Babies and toddlers can dress up, too, in a body suit ($59) or costume ($34-$39).

New night lights from Jasco include a Child LED Night Light and Mandalorian Helmet Night Light ($6.99 each). Previously released: a tabletop night light featuring the Child ($19.99) and two LED night lights ($9.99) that project "Mandalorian" images on the ceiling.

New night lights from Jasco include a Child LED Night Light ($6.99).
New night lights from Jasco include a Child LED Night Light ($6.99).

Further cementing Baby Yoda as a jewel in the Disney and Star Wars universes: Earlier this month, Pandora began selling a new The Child charm made of sterling silver ($55).

This Star Wars The Child Charm from Pandora ($55) is hand-finished in sterling silver with hand-applied black enamel.
This Star Wars The Child Charm from Pandora ($55) is hand-finished in sterling silver with hand-applied black enamel.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'The Mandalorian' spawned a Disney marketing force with Baby Yoda