Less than a year ago, no one would’ve ever guessed that “Baby Yoda” would even exist, much less unite fans of Star Wars and non-fans alike. But then November hit, and there he was. Like an image torn from a Michelangelo painting, the little, Yoda-like creature was touching index fingers with Din Djarin, the titular bounty hunter of The Mandalorian.
Unusually, there was no merchandise for fans to indulge themselves with following the big reveal. In fact, the existence of The Child was as much a surprise to the usual licensees as it was to all of us watching at home. The rush was on to create official toys based on what Bounty Hunter’s Guild boss Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) called “a precious little creature.”
Mattel was one of the first to fire up the hyperdrive to get The Child into development and production, and the end result is one of the most perfect depictions of the little munchkin that kids and collectors could ever ask for.
Don’t let the “plush” in the name fool you, The Child 11-inch Vinyl Head Plush is more akin to a baby doll.
The Child has a sculpted, soft vinyl head and hands with eyes that really give off an emotive look — almost a reflection of childlike wonder. The body is soft but with some heft to it thanks to a bean-weighted base to help it stand. The Child can be cuddled by kids or displayed by collectors.
My own kids were instantly enamored by this version of The Child. Because he’s really an out-of-this-world baby doll, Baby Yoda immediately joined the family of other similarly-sized human-inspired dolls. He comes in robes like what he wears on TV but he’s regularly dressed in real baby clothes (18-month outfits work well, according to my 11-year-old daughter) and goes for walks in a stroller, often to the local park.
As of this writing, The Child has been a part of our family for nearly three months and is regularly included in our daily activities. In fact, he’s been around so much, we’ve essentially started an album of baby photos for the little guy.
In a lot of ways, going on “an outing” (as my kids say) with The Child is a lot like the adventures on The Mandalorian. A protector that never takes their mask off, guarding precious cargo against evildoers and non-social distancers who try to approach for a closer look in hopes of soon finding a Child of their own.