By Arriana McLymore
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Baby Yoda toys from Walt Disney Co’s streaming TV hit “The Mandalorian” will reach store shelves next month, the company said on Thursday, after missing the 2019 holiday shopping season.
The character, officially called The Child, but which has been dubbed Baby Yoda by fans, is the breakout star of the “Star Wars”-themed show on the Disney+ subscription streaming service.
Fans have clamored for toys and merchandise since the service’s debut in November. But Baby Yoda toys were not available before the premier season of “The Mandalorian” because the creators wanted to maintain the show’s secrecy, executive producer Dave Filoni said in an interview in New York.
Toys from other shows including “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” will also go on sale next month.
Disney partnered with toy makers Hasbro Inc, Funko Inc and Mattel Inc to make board games, figures and costumes.
Pre-sales of some of the products began last year and customers are expected to receive their orders starting next month.
Paul Southern, senior vice president of franchise for the “Star Wars” consumer products division for Lucasfilm, said during a panel that he and his product development team were on a tighter deadline to create products, despite missing the holiday shopping season, which caused much controversy with fans.
“We had to re-engineer the way that we go to market,” Southern said.
Southern said that Disney+ has completely changed how the company releases products.
“Disney+ is a different paradigm,” Southern said. “People are going to see products on shelves on a 365-day basis.”
Southern said that having content and shows constantly available to consumers keeps viewers interested in products year-round.
The second season of “The Mandalorian” is set for release in October and the final season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” premieres on Feb. 21.
(Reporting by Arriana McLymore; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)