Most families looking for a distraction from all the chaos of 2020 have brought a new pet into their lives. Little did my family know that we’d be taking a different route when Sideshow Collectibles sent its new Mandalorian life-sized the Child (aka Baby Yoda) replica to join our brood. Life with a Force-wielding 50-year-old hasn’t been easy, but he hasn’t soiled the carpets yet.
As a result of the extreme secrecy Disney enforced around the big reveal at the end of the first episode of The Mandalorian last year, the immediate demand for Baby Yoda merchandise went unsatisfied until well into 2020. Toymakers like Hasbro and Mattel eventually revealed an onslaught of goods featuring the Child, but it was Sideshow Collectibles who delivered the ultimate piece for those desperate to own the tiny alien: a 16.5-inch tall life-size replica made in partnership with Legacy Effects, the special effects studio that created the animatronic version of the Child used to film The Mandalorian.
That help explains why Sideshow Collectibles’ life-sized the Child will set you back $375 with shipping now slated for early 2021. The figure is considerably more expensive than even the animated Baby Yoda toys that Hasbro and Mattel have created. Those are both fun, but there’s a definite emotional connection when you first lay eyes on Sideshow’s replica.
You’ll find yourself staring at and examining all of the little details on the Child when you first pull him out of the packaging, but it’s his giant eyes that will really grab your attention. They’re incredibly lifelike with a detailed brown iris hidden just below the surface. Had Sideshow not put as much detail as it had into them, this replica simply wouldn’t look as lifelike as it does.
Perhaps stressed at being separated from his kind, at just 50 years old the Child sports a head full of delicate white hairs. Sideshow recommends giving them a bit of a fluff after the replica has been removed from the packaging, but also advises to be gentle as they can be easily dislodged. In other words: resist the urge to style Baby Yoda’s hair.
No one really knows who dressed the Child. Was it his parents? The people who found him once he was separated from his kind? The character probably wouldn’t be even half as adorable were it not for his over-sized coat with its fluffy, scarf-like collar. Sideshow has recreated it perfectly (or at least as perfectly as I can tell without actually seeing the animatronic used for filming) with long sleeves and a collar enhanced with a wire support inside ensuring it can be properly scrunched up around the replica’s neck.
Roll up the Child’s sleeves and you’ll find a tiny pair of posed green hands with little claws. The replica’s arms can’t be moved (unlike the head, which can be turned from side to side) but Sideshow has included the shifter knob from the Mandalorian’s ship, the Razor Crest, which Baby Yoda can hold thanks to magnets embedded in both.
We’ve yet to get a look at what’s under the Child’s coat in The Mandalorian (it’s Disney, after all), but thanks to Sideshow’s replica we finally know what Baby Yoda’s feet look like. They’re tiny, which confirms that whatever his species ends up being, they weren’t creatures known for their track and field prowess. I guess when you’re blessed with the Force you don’t have to do much fleeing.
The detailing under the Child’s coat stops somewhere around his knees, however. After that it’s a smooth, nondescript torso designed to fill out the costume instead of revealing more secrets about the character (belly buttons??). While the replica is apparently able to stand on its own, I could not get my figure to balance without stressing over it face-planting. So it’s a good thing it also comes with a matching display stand.
If there’s one aspect of Sideshow Collectibles’ the Child that disappoints, it’s the limited poseability of the replica. Its head can turn from side to side, but that represents the entirety of its articulation. A head that could also tilt and some limited movement in the arms would have been a nice upgrade, as would swappable hands so the Child could be posed to look like he was using the Force.
It’s only been a couple of days since he joined our family, but life with Baby Yoda has so far been mostly rewarding. We weren’t able to trick-or-treat this year, but that didn’t stop us from carving pumpkins. While most of us opted for sharp knives, the Child insisted on using his own tools.
Integrating a new addition to a family can be challenging, especially when it’s not the only child. There was initially some friction between the Child and other dependents living under our roof (possibly because of unresolved parental issues), but they eventually grew to respect each other, and each other’s powers.
There were definitely some important lessons learned over the past few days, such as not assuming that just because a child is 50 years old that they’re completely potty-trained—or even know what a toilet is. We could have easily pointed fingers at certain bounty hunting caregivers for neglecting to properly raise and care for Baby Yoda, but it ended up being a bonding experience—right up until the Child used the Force to throw our toilet into the bathroom mirror after being startled by the sounds of it flushing. Live and learn!
Sideshow Collectibles’ life-sized the Child figure is still available for pre-order for $375 with delivery estimated to be sometime between January and March of 2021 if you didn’t pre-order months ago. It’s a limited edition collectible, although Sideshow hasn’t specified how many will be produced.
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