Everyone loves Baba Yoda, but official characters were difficult to find because Disney didn't want to spoil the surprise for the little green alien by premiering toys and t-shirts before The Mandalorian . In this vacuum, many enterprising Etsy sellers have popped up to sell their own homemade Baby Yoda plush toys and toys – at least until Disney began to publish pirated listings removal from Etsy.
Several Etsy sellers tell The Verge that their listings have been removed, popular products cut, and existing sales disrupted. A shop assistant, Tanya, who runs the YourStuffedMemories soft toy store, has been selling homemade baby Yoda plush toys for about a month when she got a message from Etsy. She had deactivated her sales list after receiving a complaint from Disney about using the words "Star Wars," "Mandalorian," and "Yoda" to sell the plush toys.
Another saleswoman, Kate, had a listing for a Baby Yoda-style dice bag in their Etsy HedgeCrafts store, for similar reasons, the character removed. Most of the businesses that The Verge spoke to have had shutdowns in the past week.
The original offers for these stores were extremely popular: a Yoda doll had “over 2,000 views and 300 favorites”. Another salesperson said that she saw at least 100 to 200 views a day. Removing the listings also caused problems with existing orders for at least one seller and delayed delivery as they tried to match orders in Etsy's system between the old and new listings. (My own order for a Baby Yoda from YourStuffedMemories was delayed, among other things.)
The decrease occurred when Disney finally started selling its own Baby Yoda toys and soft toys, including dolls that can be pre-ordered, and of a planned Build-A-Bear partnership for later this year. Disney strangely managed to offer hit-style products very slowly. After the premiere of the show, it took a few weeks for Disney to sell even the most lackluster T-shirts and mugs. In this void, the Etsy market was one of the few places where Baby Yoda products were available – often better looking than Disney would offer.
It's a difficult situation for sellers. Baby Yoda (such as Star Wars, The Mandalorian, and Yoda) is owned by Disney, and the company has the legal right to enforce its intellectual property and prevent others from benefiting from its work. But fans were excited about products that Disney does not offer, and the sellers' handmade toys can supply new customers to Etsy stores, which usually sell much less well-known goods, such as stuffed unicorns and wall decorations. Tanya, the only salesperson who gave approximate sales figures, reported The Verge that she had sold about 200 plush toys.
Etsy declined to comment on the shutdowns, but referred to its "Intellectual Property Policy". It states that "Etsy reserves the right to disable listings, shops, or accounts" when intellectual property claims are made. Disney has not yet responded to a comment request.
Tanya has the sale of her soft toys under the ambiguous name "The Baby Child" with all direct references to [19459003wiederaufgenommen] Star Wars and The Mandalorian away. She is still worried that Disney might try to remove the listing, but the shutdown has already had an impact – as the Star Wars keywords have made it difficult to find her product and viewing her page slows to a trickle of two to 10 views a day.
Kate also re-listed her dice bag with a more general description: "Is he an alien, a goblin? … his origin is unknown." List it again without the keywords Star Wars but she believes the slowdown is the best: all of her bags are handmade and she has been on orders for weeks.
The 1OOAcreWoodshop has a similar approach: it now sells a "Baby Alien Plush Doll". Although the company The Verge reports that this is the case, it has dropped significantly to the new list as a result.
You are not the only one. A quick search on Etsy for "the kid" or "the alien" reveals a variety of shops trying to avoid Disney's gaze. However, Disney's copyright claims seem strange, and there are still thousands of offers on the website that blatantly sell "Baby Yoda" and "Mandalorian" markets. It is not clear why these specific entries were selected, but their popularity may have played a role. Kate said her dice bag became more popular when Geek Girls exposed it in December, which brought shoppers into her store and increased sales – at least until Disney discovered it.