In a fast-paced world in which trends emerge and disappear within the blink of an eye, Disney’s decision to not produce Baby Yoda merchandise ahead of The Mandalorian‘s release was something of a gamble for the studio. Sure, they preserved a surprise reveal at the end of the first episode. But they also created an opportunity for independent sellers to fulfill the public’s clamoring for all things Baby Yoda until more official merchandise could be mass-produced.
A new report says Disney is now targeting popular Etsy shops and sending takedown notices for Baby Yoda-related items.
A reporter at The Verge spoke with several people who sell items through Etsy, the independent online store famous for its vintage or handmade products, and learned that Disney has been sending takedown notices to Etsy, which has subsequently removed these sellers’ listings for popular Baby Yoda-related items like plushies, dolls, and dice bags. Removing the listings has caused practical headaches for sellers and buyers, with shipments being delayed “as they tried to reconcile orders in Etsy’s system between the old and new listings.” Many of the listings that were removed were very popular, with one having more than 2,000 views and another apparently earning 100-200 views per day.
Sellers have drawn ire of the Mouse House for using words like “Star Wars,” “The Mandalorian,” and “Yoda” in their product descriptions – words that are all copyrighted by The Walt Disney Company. It’s easy to understand why the mega-corporation wouldn’t be thrilled with other people making money off of Disney’s intellectual property – they have every legal right to issue these takedown notices. But also…like, c’mon, Disney. You’re doing just fine. Give these indie sellers a bit of a break, ya know? Part of me wonders if they’re just doing this to try to avoid setting a potentially bad precedent (if they let this slide, what’s next?), or if they are genuinely worried about independent sellers taking possible business away from their already-overflowing coffers.
Not every Baby Yoda-related item has been removed from Etsy…yet. The Verge points out that “there are still thousands of listings on the site that blatantly sell ‘Baby Yoda’ and ‘Mandalorian’ merch,” so if you don’t have the patience or interest in waiting on official merchandise to hit shelves, it appears is if your best course of action would be to place an order now before the rest of these shops receive takedown notices of their own.
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