If you’ve been on social media at all over the last couple of months, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the latest meme phenomena that has taken over the zeitgeist, and that’s, of course, Baby Yoda.
It appears that Disney has opted to put off selling Baby Yoda merchandise until 2020, in an attempt to not spoil the surprise of the Disney+ exclusive TV series.
To satisfy the explosive demand, do-it-yourselfers have stepped up. Arlene Esplin, maker of lifelike infant dolls known as “reborns”, decided to create a custom doll inspired by the fictional character. Her first attempt didn’t perfectly resemble the character, but still sold for $599. Her second sold for $1,000. Soon, multiple DIY guides started popping up all over the internet advising fans on how to create their own dolls and ornaments.
I was checking out the baby yoda merch on Etsy. LOTS of crocheted dolls…and the fancier ones included bum pics and I’m so very grateful. So much giggling. pic.twitter.com/iNvWIpKH3V
(?: @wheresannabeen.etsy on IG) pic.twitter.com/ra4vCe49B3
Disney quickly added Baby Yoda merch to their official store. The dolls and figurines won’t be shipping until 2020, but they’ve added T-shirts, mugs, magnets and phone cases that they claim will arrive in time for Christmas. Jon Favreau also posted a tweet on December 13th to placate the fans. The executive producer of the TV series posted a folding cutout that fans can print and fold to have their own.
But Disney is now going after the DIYers. Several sellers on popular craft online marketplace Etsy have received copyright infringement emails and notices that their listings are being deactivated at Disney’s request. Sellers are now having to get creative with their wording to bypass the crackdown, using names like “alien doll,” according to WSJ.
Someone I know got a cease and desist letter from Etsy for copyright infringement for making a baby yoda cross stitch.
Has anyone else had anything like this happen? pic.twitter.com/pBEOBQw5do
One seller named Jacqueline has sold nearly 200 6-inch crocheted Baby Yodas for $50 each. New orders are having to wait 4-6 weeks as she’s getting only four hours of sleep a night and crocheting around the clock to meet the flooding demand.