Fans of The Mandalorian on Disney+ collectively lost their minds when "The Child" appeared in the new series. Demand for merchandise featuring the adorable Baby Yoda was fierce and Disney didn't release anything prior to the show's premiere as not to spoil the surprise.
In the meantime, Etsy shop owners took out their crochet hooks along with many other skills to create plushies and toys featuring the little guy which set their shops on fire, so to speak. The "bootleg" merchandise was selling like hotcakes in many of the Etsy shops until Disney began issuing takedown notices.
According to a story on The Verge, many of the complaints Disney sent to Etsy stated that shop owners used the words, “Star Wars,” “Mandalorian,” and “Yoda” in their listings for unofficial merchandise. Etsy proceeded to deactivate those listings, even those with current orders, causing issues for the shop owners.
Disney sent out the notices once they began offering their own Baby Yoda merchandise for sale several weeks after the show premiered, but many of the items seemed lackluster in comparison to some of the handmade items that were offered on Etsy.
Obviously, Disney has the right to enforce its intellectual property and to prevent others from profiting from its work. Fans were eager to purchase products that Disney was not offering. Etsy sellers’ handmade toys delivered a plethora of new customers to Etsy shops that usually sell many lower-profile items such as stuffed unicorns and wall decorations.
Some sellers have edited their listings and removed the keywords that caused them to be noticed by Disney, but The Verge also reports that those sellers have seen a noticeable decline in sales and searches as their products are much more difficult for customers to find.
Image Source: Disney