Nothing goes together like a new marketable Star Wars character hitting the shelves and the Christmas shopping season. The end of the year 2019 might as well be declared “Year of the Yoda,” because the competition for an iconic character to capture the public’s favor isn’t even close.
The hashtag to watch on Twitter is #babyyoda. On Instagram, the #babyyoda hashtag is around 250K posts and counting. Baby Yoda has his own Facebook page. Baby Yoda is his own category in IMGUR. What about the stuffy all-business social network LinkedIn? Surely Baby Yoda is too frivolous to appear there? Guess again, he’s the “Executive Director of Industrial Light & Magic,” worth linking to because at least one executive director will be friends with you.
This Mandalorian character, The Child, is actually a member of Yoda’s same species, without actually turning out to be Yoda himself. Just to clear that up. Nevertheless, we’re not about to be stampeded by hordes of new-generation fans who don’t care beans about lore. It’s a Baby Yoda!
Yoda, as an overall character in the entire Star Wars franchise, is actually a very familiar archetype: That of the martial arts mentor, so established that it has a sizable TVTropes page. Which should come as no surprise, because George Lucas originally patterned Star Wars after Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress, a cultural debt acknowledged right on the main fan site.
But enough about Yoda’s background: you’re here because you know a Star Wars fan with a Sarlacc-pit-sized appetite for merchandise. You need Baby Yoda merch, and “no questions asked.” Fine, let’s get you hooked up…
POP! Star Wars: The Mandalorian The Child – Gamestop
In true Star Wars marketing tradition, the Funko Pop figure won’t actually ship until March of 2020. Because the demand for the cute character obviously meant to be marketed in merchandise caught them by surprise, of course. They’ve been pulling this since the original, when the Kenner figures weren’t available for the first Star Wars Christmas in 1977. So you get to pre-order them, just like in the good old days!
The other pre-order official figure is the even more adorable Baby Yoda plush. Same story, except this time the ship date is “to be determined.” We swear, we will have tangible merchandise available in this list for people who want something under the tree right now. Bear with us, the official news of the release just broke two days ago as of this writing. But for you purists who will settle for nothing less than the authorized figures, there’s your pre-order.
Star Wars The Mandalorian The Child Floating Pod T-Shirt
At least they can print the T-shirt on time! This is our pick for the best Baby Yoda shirt, given that he’s in his iconic levitating bassinet, in full color glory, and is part of the official Disney Mandalorian line. Look, they got his dewy baby eyes just right! He looks like he’s looking forward to a new tomorrow of hope for the triumph of the Force – or else he’s looking at a tasty frog to slurp down, it’s hard to tell.
The Mandalorian Star Wars Baby Yoda Snowflake Blinking Light Holiday Christmas Tree Ornament
Now this is what we’re talking about when we say “Baby Yoda Christmas”! A snowflake ornament which flashes different colors, to hang right on the tree. Cherish it year in and year out with your other Christmas (or Life Day) ornaments – don’t even pretend you don’t have enough to decorate a whole tree already.
Mugs again, of course. It’s also fast to print up a run of mugs. Except the Mandalorian just so happens to have hit home with drinkers of hot muggy drinks, be it coffee, tea, hot cocoa, or whatever CBD concoction they’re sipping out in California these days. Since the Yoda-child can be seen sipping from a mug himself – which is probably pureed frog guts, given his tastes – mug drinkers have found a new Internet mascot for sipping recreational beverages. A position which used to be held by Kermit the Frog:
Which closes some kind of circle, since Muppet veteran Frank Oz has also voiced Yoda.
12″ Baby Yoda Wall Decal Mandalorian Sci Fi Star Fantasy Wars Removable Vinyl Wall Sticker – 12” Wide x 10” Tall
For those of you with roughly a square foot of clean, flat surface in your lives which could use a Baby Yoda decal, this is also a pretty solid contender. Maybe you will opt not to use it as a sticker and instead keep the original backing and frame it, because who wants to anchor it in just one permanent place?
LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Yoda’s Hut 75208 Building Kit (229 Pieces)
We’ll wind up this list with a couple classic Yoda gifts you might have missed the first time. This isn’t Baby Yoda (The Child) himself, but do you know what it has going for it? It’s Lego, so you know it’s official, and you can have it right now. It’s not the more iconic Yoda bust that’s on every collector’s top list (and much more expensive) but we feel this set is underrated for being an actual playset with not just Yoda, but Luke and R2-D2 too.
LEGO Star Wars: Attack of The Clones Yoda 75255 Yoda Building Model and Collectible Minifigure with Lightsaber, New 2019 (1,771 Pieces)
Just by coincidence, Lego hustled its long-standing Star Wars franchise deal to turn out this version of Yoda from Attack of the Clones. Just in time for 2019 and the premiere of the Mandalorian, what do you know? It’s almost like somebody deep in Lego marketing had the foresight to put out a set on the market to cash in on the new series, even though this is from some seven movies ago.
So yeah, that’s the best write-up of Baby Yoda merchandise you’re likely to find online this year. As for The Child (that’s his official name), he is, we reiterate, a member of Yoda’s species, but not Yoda himself. The confusion stems from the fact that George Lucas never thought to name Yoda’s species, so we literally have no better name for this guy. The only other named member of Yoda’s species is Yaddle, and that’s about all we even know about her.
On the other hand, who knows what plot twists will be written into the series once Disney sees what a big splash he’s made? For a tiny frog-eating critter with no dialogue but gurgles, he sure has taken over the franchise. We’ll leave you with this knowledgeable guy to help you figure it out.
Was that enough cannon geekery for you? We sure hope so. And no Yoda post is complete without the two canonical best Yoda songs: