He’s adorable! Look at those cheeks. My word, those eyes! People are oohing, ah-ing, and gushing over the Baby Yoda aka The Child plush toy from The Mandalorian by Mattel. No one was prepared for Baby Yoda mania, including toy manufacturers who missed the mark at Christmas. People were clamoring to get their hands on anything Baby Yoda, which caused an Etsy boom late last year. Etsy artisans delivered felt and crocheted versions of The Child, as well as stickers to help satiate our thirst for this little creature, but now official merchandise is starting to arrive.
I received Mattel’s The Child 11-inch plush this week in a cardboard replica of the space bassinet. The face is adorable and the head is molded plastic, as are the hands. Overall, the quality of the materials is good. Considering the retail price of $24.99 I was surprised just how good this plush feels.
Mattel has captured the expressive brow lines and a slight smile of The Child very well. The head and hands are also slightly textured to replicate skin. What makes the whole face work, however, is the eyes — they’re large, with oversized pupils and watercolored irises that add depth. Two shades have been used to airbrush details on the face and head: pink for the facial details, eyes, mouth, cheeks, and ears, and a purple-gray for the wrinkles in the brow and across the head.
The Child has two poly-filled arms and no legs; the body is stuffed with a bean bag bottom. I imagine this is to counterbalance the large plastic head. The Child’s robe is well stitched throughout the arms and front seams in a tan material that imitates the look of burlap without the scratchiness. There is an ample cowl neck made of faux sheep’s wool and that same material lines the cuffs of the robe.
Mattel’s version of The Child retails at $24.99 and for that price, it’s a bargain. However, at this time the toy is sold out and people are taking advantage. I have seen listings as high as $60 on eBay.
Baby Yoda Plush Pros
Those Eyes: The eyes are the windows to the soul, or in this case the windows to realism. If they had not gone with clear acrylic eyes with such depth, much of the character would have been lost.
Mold-tastic: Whoever molded the head was spot-on. The diminutive nose and slightly wrinkled brow that spreads up over the head lend to The Child’s inquisitive expression that makes it more endearing.
Cuteness Overload: The Child is adorable. You can imagine him toddling along in his floor-length robe to chase a frog. Children are going to love this toy, especially because of the squishy body that makes The Child easy to hug. It likely won’t stop with children, either — I showed my mother the toy while on FaceTime the other night and she exclaimed, “that’s adorable! I want one.” I think Mattel has a big hit on their hands with this one.
That being said, I am also a bit of a perfectionist. So, here are my cons:
Baby Yoda Plush Cons
No Force For Us: The arms should be posable. A bit of wire in the arms is all that was needed. Across the internet, you can find images of The Child raising his little arm to use the Force, but sadly we cannot imitate that pose. I understand that the toy is meant for little children (3+), so this may be why they veered away from the wire in the arms.
Quality Control: Someone on the inspection line is sleeping, or they knew this toy was going to be in such high demand that they lowered their standards to get one more on the shelf. The left cheek of The Child has a clear fingernail mark where Baby Yoda just had lovely pink sprayed on its little cheeks and someone was moving it down the conveyor line in haste. Ding, swipe, and off down the line.
Oh and our little guy has a corneal abrasion. There is a bubble on the left eye, most likely where they poured the acrylic and it didn’t settle, but here again, quality control should have caught this. I can see some collectors being upset that their version is not perfect.
Lebowski’s Robe: Is The Child trying to emulate the Big Lebowski with a scruffy robe? The edges of the robe are roughly cut, which is already leading to fraying. I am not sure if this was intentional but when you look at the other finishes of the robe it seems like an oversight.
Those are minor quibbles in the grand scheme of things, though — this is absolutely worth the money. If you can get your hands on The Child 11-inch plush, do so. You, your child, or even your mom will love it.