LOS ANGELES (BLOOMBERG) – Walt Disney unveiled dozens of new products tied to its hit show The Mandalorian and the breakout character popularly known as Baby Yoda, ahead of New York’s big Toy Fair trade show this weekend.
The products run the gamut from Hasbro’s US$30 (S$42) black-bladed lightsaber to Funko bobbleheads based on the show’s bounty hunters. The big draw, however, is expected to be Baby Yoda, a cuddly green character who may or may not be related to the wise Jedi from the Star Wars films.
The eight-episode Mandalorian programme was the runaway hit for the company’s new Disney+ streaming service, which launched in November.
The US$7-per-month service has quickly signed up more than 28 million subscribers, in part due to the popularity of the new series.
A second season is scheduled to begin in October.
Toys and other merchandise have always been a big factor in the economics behind Star Wars. But the Baby Yoda character created a logistical challenge. Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau asked Disney to hold off on making toys tied to the Baby Yoda character until the series aired, to maintain the surprise of his appearance.
That meant consumers couldn’t get merchandise during the social-media frenzy that the show kicked off.
“Holding back on product development gave everyone the chance to discover the character affectionately known to fans as Baby Yoda together,” he said in a statement on Thursday (Feb 20). “This is something special in the age of spoilers.”
Products unveiled on Thursday include US$13 plush dolls based on the character – officially known as the Child – and a US$60 animatronic version, which moves and makes sounds.
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