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Do not trust animatronic Baby Yoda

Jedi mind tricks are afoot!

baby yoda standing in front of a house fire
Image: KnowTechie

The first season of The Mandalorian wrapped up on Disney+ before the new year, but it wasn’t until now that the merchandising has started to hit in earnest, including a multitude of ‘The Child’ (aka Baby Yoda) merch. This includes Hasbro’s $60 animatronic The Child.

I don’t trust the damn thing.

First of all, the show, while ingenious in its presentation and shift of style to a bit more space western from space opera, was a solid ok. Thankfully, Disney+ gave us a healthy dose of Jeff Goldblum to justify the seven bucks a month cost. The real star, what we are all paying for, is Baby Yoda (not Yoda). A silly muppet that sips tea and falls asleep often.

Remember Furby? Remember how you can turn them evil? Does this new animatronic Baby Yoda have a similar feature? What happens when it’s connected to the internet (not a current feature, but certainly feasible) and becomes a spy for big tech? Not that your Alexa or Google Home already isn’t.

Let’s put that kind of paranoid nonsense aside for moment and think about the true purpose of this animatronic doll — no, not to make a shit ton of money — but to keep you subscribed to Disney+ through the adorable eyes of both Baby Yoda and your children, begging you to purchase the damn thing. That’s the manipulation of merchandising to make up for a severe lack of new content.

For most of us, the charm and shine of Disney+ wore off the second The Mandalorian ended

Sure, some of us are waiting for the next Clone Wars season and maybe re-watched some of our favorites, but most of the content on there is aimed at our children. Seven bucks a month is a hell of a lot cheaper than buying a stack of DVDs. Or is it?

How many Disney movies come out each year? Nine in 2017 (and one was a Pirates movie). Six in 2018. 11 in 2019, three being animated and one straight to Disney+ (Togo). Disney channel still exists. Our kids grow up and have a different level of nostalgia. Our own nostalgia is cheap and easy to satiate. Knowing this, and knowing it does not have a constant stream of new content like Netflix, Disney has to turn to the one weapon it has to retain subscribers — merchandising.

And that’s why I don’t trust a niche animatronic doll that represents a character from a show that was mediocre at best, on a streaming service that is just a subscription-based excuse to finally toss your old DVDs and VHS tapes, things you didn’t watch anyway. It’s a powerful weapon that Disney wields like a hammer. It was pervasive throughout the Marvel universe releases, and it’s the one thing that will ensure the survival of Disney+.

disney+ shows off launcher

Image: Disney

Because it sure looks like it won’t be new content. Right now a lot of it is slated for who the hell knows and what we do know (WandaVision for example) are six episodes at a time. The amount of content slated to be released on Disney+ over the next two years is about equal to what Netflix releases in a month. Disney has the money, why isn’t there more new content?

Easy, because Disney+ wasn’t launched initially to be a home for new content. That’s a side effect. It was launched to be the fucking Columbia House of Disney Movies. Subscribe, get access to all your favorite Disney classics you’ve seen a billion times and aren’t really going to re-watch because of all the new content on Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix and maybe Apple TV.

This is why animatronic Baby Yoda, released now, is so important to Disney. It has to be in your home, a reminder that yes, Disney+ exists and you should be paying for it. Disney never wants you to ask “why am I paying for this service again? There are plenty of dumb cartoons on Netflix and Hulu that would equally entertain my kids. Forcing my nostalgia on them is quite pointless because I’d rather be watching something else and they can fuck off with the tablet and watch Adventure Time.

What do you think? Have you been enjoying Disney+ and Baby Yoda? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Writing about consumer technology, social media and the deep layers of psychological torture endured by all of it. The world is changing, but that doesn't mean we can't be cynical about it. It's not all sunshine and roses in Silicon Valley. It's self loathing, pretentiousness and machines that squeeze juice for you. Also, a strong affinity for toasters.Follow on Twitter @cebsilver for them jokes. Chaotic neutral. Pitches to cebsilver@gmail.com

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