Hasbro Bets Big on Baby Yoda
For those out of the loop, Baby Yoda is a TV reference. Disney’s ‘The Mandalorian’ is all about a lone bounty hunter adventuring through the Star Wars Universe. One character in the show, not actually Yoda, but one of Yoda’s species, has turned into the latest inside joke that the entire Internet is in on.
Officially called ‘The Child’ by Disney, he’s adorable, he’s cute, and that’s pretty much all there is to his virality. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get the joke, though. For Disney and Hasbro, virality is virality, and there’s money to be made by pretending to laugh anyway!
Both iconic American companies are enjoying a lucrative year thanks to a rich Star Wars-based content slate, and they’ve brought their investors along for the ride, too. Disney is up 31% for the year and Hasbro up 19%. Now, bullish market players are chattering about a possible “Baby Yoda effect.” Really?
Yesterday, shares in the toymaker rose 3% as it announced collectible sculptures and Baby Yoda plushies. Owing to Hasbro’s master toy license for Star Wars-branded toys, this social media sensation is doing more than drive eyeballs to streaming service Disney+. Trinkets, t-shirts, and mugs are selling like hotcakes. The collectibles can be pre-ordered now for delivery in Spring 2020.
Jumping on the bandwagon with a timely commercial merch drop sounds shrewd, but “meme culture” moves fast. Unless the show permanently bubbles in popularity, the hype may not survive until Spring 2020. Some people are already sick of Baby Yoda, so could the toymaker have joined the party too late? It may not take long to get our answer.