Time for another Figure Friday/Gift Guide contribution! I, for one, never grew out of wanting toys for Christmas. Yes, I grew out of asking for toys for Christmas probably around the time I hit junior high school but I also pretended to like Pearl Jam then. The early ’90s were a confusing time.
Since I am filled with the holiday spirit, I just finished making my annual donation to the Toys For Tots program. Several years ago I began donating, at first as a way to clear out some carded action figures I had in my collection that I was never going to do anything with. Eventually, I progressed to buying NEW toys to donate (don’t get me wrong, the stuff I donated previously were some pretty sweet Marvel Legends and Star Wars figures) and I’ve made it an annual thing ever since. I feel a little conflicted writing about it because I loathe tooting my own proverbial horn on the internet but I believe that the less fortunate kids out there should get something for the holidays and it’s a cause I support.
In the Star Wars Expanded Universe there used to be a popular abbreviation of “BBY” which stood for “Before the Battle of Yavin” which was used to denote events that took place before A New Hope. Well, there’s a NEW “BBY” out there and it stands for “Before Baby Yoda”, the tiny green puppet that won both our hearts and minds early last month.
For the record, I believe that the hitherto unnamed Child is real and was grown in a lab by Disney. He was created by scientists to be instantly adorable and infinitely marketable. That being said, there is absolutely NO merchandise of The Child available for purchase at this point in time. I understand that Disney had to keep this thing under wraps until the big reveal at the end of the first episode of The Mandalorian and I applaud them for being able to pull it off. If an action figure or other collectible was being produced to coincide with the release of the show, an image would have leaked to the internet at some point during production.
So now we’re left with a Baby Yoda-less Christmas… OR ARE WE?
A virtual tidal wave of The Child merch is coming within the next six months and you can preorder it NOW! NOW! NOW!
For the old-time collectors among us, some of you may remember a Christmas from forty-two years ago when the first Star Wars movie had hit big over the summer. The movie was an unexpected success and there was no way Kenner was going to have the necessary toys available for Christmas ‘77. So they sold parents an empty box.
Yes, it was the fabled Early Bird Certificate Package which was, as I stated above, essentially an empty box that came with a mail-in certificate for four Star Wars figures to be delivered at a later date (Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, R2-D2, and Chewbacca FYI). It also came with some stickers and a membership fan club card which I’m sure totally kept kids entertained until the toys actually showed up in the mail.
Christmas 2019 would have been the perfect time to bring back the Early Bird Certificate Package with The Child being the breakout character from The Mandalorian. I believe that the ad wizards in charge of marketing could have even sold various tiers of boxes, each filled with more and more Baby Yoda-ness, to the hungry masses and they would have sold like gangbusters. Granted, I’m not sure how “KIDS TODAY” would take to getting an empty box for Christmas…but it would probably make for some funny viral videos.
I’m already looking forward to Christmas 2020 when I’ll be able to place Baby Yoda in every Nativity Scene manger I happen upon.