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Hasbro’s animatronic Baby Yoda is every ounce as cute as I hoped

With the Manalorian’s success on Disney+, it was only a matter of time before fans of the show would be treated to some merch. Baby Yoda stole the show, so it’s no surprise that toymaker Hasbro is delivering something special with its animatronic replica. I searched long and hard at the New York Toy Fair 2020 for The Child — and the journey took me to Hasbro’s own, private toy fair.

The cute is strong with this one

As a Star Wars fan, I can see why Baby Yoda is so beloved, though I’ve yet to watch the show. It’s adorable, with its big eyes, long ears, and robed fashion. Who doesn’t want a cute and cuddly companion for all of their cosplay adventures, right?

When it comes to the replica, the real magic is found in The Child’s ability to act like just like the character from the show. I’m talking facial expressions, babbling, cooing, and even raising its hand — as though it’s using the force.

Hasbro Baby Yoda Mandalorian posing
John Velasco / Digital Trends

I saw three of the toy’s action sequences, out of 25 per-programmed actions that have beenpromised by the toy’s release. The Baby Yoda animation I checked out was a prototype, activated by staffers who press a button connected to its cradle. The final version, though, will be activated by touching its head — something explicitly shown on the toy’s packaging.

Baby Yoda’s animations give it a realistic touch, and its overwhelmingly adorable look will melt hearts. Everything seems spot-on with the snippets I’ve seen from the show — Hasbro’s attention to detail is meticulous. The best I saw in action was Baby Yoda fighting the sandman, complete with drooping eyes, cooing noises, and, finally, peaceful snoring.

Hasbro Baby Yoda Mandalorian in box
John Velasco / Digital Trends

From the short time checking it out, I can tell you it’s a tease, because the three actions demoed show only the pleasant side of Baby Yoda. That makes me wonder if there’s more. Might it get angry, or be seduced by the dark side?

I’d love to see more range to add to the toy’s personality, especially if The Child breaks out some wicked expressions to accompany it. Still, it makes for a fantastic addition to any Star Wars fans’ collection.

Not as expensive as expected

Despite its detail, The Child Animatronic Edition isn’t as expensive as I’d expected. You’ll need to fork over $60 to pick it up when it comes out this fall, according to Hasbro.

In comparison, the plush edition of The Child, measuring 7.5 inches tall, will retail for $25. The $60 cost of the animatronic version hits the sweet spot for fans who are eager for a lifelike replica. And it’s far, far more obtainable than, say, the life-size version priced at $350. Though I kinda want that as well.

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