Hello. My name is James. I am ostensibly an adult. And, like The Mandalorian’s Din Djarin before me, I am the proud adoptive father of Baby Yoda. And Baby Yoda. And the other Baby Yoda. In fact, I have seven of them so far and have no intention of stopping.
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The delayed release of toys based on The Mandalorian’s true star—formally known, if you’re boring as hell, as the Child, better known by anyone with some semblance of joy in their hearts as Baby Yoda—gave me, an idiot who loves toys too much, a lot of time to contemplate which Baby Yoda was the Baby Yoda for me.
Eventually, I ruminated enough to go for the Build-a-Bear (Build-a-Baby? Good lord, that just sounds weird), based on the fact that my very serious and important colleagues got to see one at New York Toy Fair, and it looked adorable. That would be it, I thought. My Baby Yoda. Singular.
But then preorders started coming online for others. Funko Baby Yoda? I mean, duh, you kind of have to. Star Wars: The Black Series Baby Yoda? Of course, to go with my Mando! I thought that was it because when you collect toys you rationalize things in peculiar manners: I had a plush, I had a Funko for the shelf, and then I had an action figure scaled with my primary line of collection. I could stop here. It’s just three Baby Yodas. I’m good. I’m satisfied.
Except the merchandising world doesn’t work like that, and Baby Yoda things just had the audacity to keep being announced. “Wouldn’t it be funny,” my internal monologue considered, “If you started some kind of Baby Yoda cabal?”
Mistakes were made, friends.
Baby Yodas were preordered. Then, over the course of several recent weeks, many of them showed up at my doorstep. The original came first, and I love him, my musical boy. Then the Disney Store Baby Yoda, more compact but still just as cuddly. Shortly after was the Mattel doll, who doesn’t have actual legs and is more of a doorstop, but that doesn’t stop him from being delightful. The Funko Pop, the Hasbro figures of both the Black Series and 6.5" varieties, hell, even the sound-making one, they followed in turn, little green additions to my flock.
Have I learned something from this, to impart to you? Not really. I can’t even warn you from straying down this path yourself, because who would I be to judge? I can’t even say that this has been some quest to find the ur-Baby Yoda toy, the perfect one of them all. I love my children equally—because what kind of monster would have a preferred child? But maybe the Mattel Baby Yoda is secretly my fave, if only because his face is a little less marketing-department-focused-tested-to-hell levels of cute, and more gremlin-y. He’s like a little troll, and the shitposter within me can’t help but love that.
There are more Babies Yoda to come, after all. There’s the Lego Brickheadz set with the Mando and the Lego Razor Crest itself that has a lil’ Baby Yoda. I have the Hasbro animatronic one on order, because it looks adorable. I skipped the life-sized offerings from Sideshow and Hot Toys, but mostly because I was insane enough to instead put an order down for the Mandalorian/Baby Yoda deluxe set instead. There are little vinyls, even more variant Funko pops, and import Baby Yodas to tempt me, too.
I mean, Star Wars is all about found families, right? I’ve found mine. It just happens to be a legion of small, adorable green space wizards. A clan of seven-plus is better odds than a clan of two, anyway.
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