Disney is Eliminating Unofficial Baby Yoda Merch Now That it's Releasing its Own

By Shabana Arif on at

Sellers of various Baby Yodas on Etsy are getting takedown notices as Disney ramps up its own official Mandalorian merch.

The approach Disney has taken with the launch of its streaming service and the roll out of the inevitably popular Baby Yoda merch has been a bloody stupid one, frankly. While no one can question the legality of piracy, or the basis of intellectual property, people are going to fill gaping voids in the market when there's a demand that Disney just isn't catering to.

For example, Disney+ isn't going live in the UK and Ireland until March 31, while viewers in the US, Canada, Netherlands, Australi, and New Zealand have had access to the streaming service since November. Rather than patiently waiting their turn, the delay caused the series to surge to the top of the piracy charts instead.

Similarly, by opting to lay off the Baby Yoda merch in order to keep the little green guy's appearance under wraps, Etsy sellers stepped in with their own products so that fans could have something to cuddle up to. But that's all in the past, now that Disney is going hard on its own shit. Back in November, it tentatively started out with boring tees, mugs, and other things no one actually wanted. Now it's added Funko Pop figures, Hasbro toys, a Build-A-Bear, and its own plushies to the lineup, meaning any competition must be eliminated.

The Verge reports that a number of sellers on Etsy have received takedown notices on their listings, forcing them to scrap keywords relating to both the character and the show, and relist them with more vague tie-ins, like “The Baby Child,” or "baby alien," which has resulted in a plummet in views as you might imagine. Etsy has an Intellectual Property Policy saying it "reserves the right to disable any listing, shop, or account that we believe violates our Terms of Use, including this Intellectual Property Policy or our Prohibited Items Policy" and Disney is, of course, well within its rights to go after people infringing on its IPs, but its going to suck balls for sellers and those of you who don't want to be on waiting lists or hanging around for pre-orders.

There are sellers who haven't been affected yet, so it could be that the House of Mouse is starting with the most popular and ignoring the smaller accounts for now, or will get around to them later. Either way, you can still find your unofficial Baby Yoda merch, but you might have to think outside the box when it comes to keywords in your search. [The Verge]