From the moment the Child first appeared in its floating bassinet at the end of the first episode of the Lucasfilm series, The MandalorianTM, on Disney+, viewers of the show were filled with a sense of wonder and questions about the mysterious creature.
Most pressing of all … why is it so darn cute and can I have one?
Now, fans of Star Wars™ and The Mandalorian will get the chance to take a Squishmallow inspired by the Child home with them as their own adorable bounty! Coming to our galaxy soon, this curious quarry will be available at your local Walgreens store, and available for pre-orders right now at Walgreens.com.
We spoke with Jeanne Yoon, SVP of Product Development and Sales for Kellytoy (a subsidiary of Jazwares, LLC), who oversees the development of Squishmallows of all shapes and sizes to find out how the Child-inspired plush is making its way to store shelves everywhere.
What’s the first thing you do when you start to design a character like this?
Jeanne Yoon: We research the character and its features while studying products on the market to look and think through what makes them successful and how to improve them. For the Child, we worked closely with Lucasfilm to get the design just right.
What are some of the challenges you face in terms of matching the style of a Squishmallow with that of a character like the Child?
JY: One of our biggest challenges is transforming 3D characters into 2D artwork for our design process. Squishmallows have a smooth and soft surface, so we cannot add certain characteristics like wrinkles and glossy eyes. It took a number of steps to get the Child’s features – such as big eyes and embroidered wrinkles – just right. We wanted to balance the Child’s appearance from The Mandalorian series while keeping the look and feel of our cute and cuddly Squishmallows.
How is the process different when designing an original character versus a character inspired by film or television?
JY: When designing an original Squishmallows character, we have complete creative freedom with the colors, facial expressions, and accents, or whether we add a tail, or fuzzy ears and belly, for example. With characters inspired by film and television, it’s far more challenging to keep a character’s features within the Squishmallows style. But we’re really happy with the results of the Child plush and are so excited to share him with Squishmallows and Star Wars fans.
How do you decide on specific colors and/or materials?
JY: We did our best to match the original colors of the Child and used the same Squishmallows fabric and polyester stuffing that have made these so popular. The fur collar adds some fun and 3D texture.
We asked our resident Squishmallow (and Star Wars) superfan, Lucy, what some of her favorite things were about the Child-inspired Squishmallow:
1. The colors (especially the mint green)
2. “It’s very soft, squishy and cuddly”
3. The cute forehead wrinkles and wide eyes
4. Super soft, furry collar
5. The big, pointy ears, “just like in the show!”
The Child-inspired Squishmallow will fit right in with Lucy’s already extensive Squishmallow collection.
Did you know a lot about Star Wars, The Mandalorian, or the Child before you took on this project?
JY: Yes, many of us on the Squishmallows team are very familiar with the Star Wars galaxy and we even have some super-fans around the office.
What do you want a kid’s first thought to be when they see this product on the shelf at Walgreens?
JY: “I want one!” Squishmallows fans of all ages have been clamoring for Star Wars-inspired Squishmallows and can’t wait to add them to their collections – or “Squishmallow Squads” as they are known in our fan community. Squishmallows are great companions on the go or at home and because they help soothe and comfort during difficult times. Imagine how excited kids will be when they discover characters from the beloved Star Wars mythology as one-of-a-kind Squishmallows?
What makes Squishmallows different from other plush and toys?
JY: Squishmallows are versatile and made with ultra soft, tactile material. The marshmallow-like stuffing is very appealing to all ages. The Japanese-inspired delicate designs with cute, simple facial and body features are adored and loved by kids and adults alike.
Is it fun to go into a Walgreens store and see items you’ve designed on the shelves?
JY: Oh, absolutely. We’ve produced thousands of products at Kellytoy for more than 30 years and it’s still as exciting as ever to see our finished product on the shelves. It’s especially rewarding to see a child or adult enthusiastically holding Squishmallows or taking them in the basket to checkout. They are excited to add a new member to their family! It’s equally rewarding to read the emails and social media messages coming in from happy fans.
Pre-Order yours today, only at Walgreens.
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