Baby Yoda is getting it all. As Star Wars‘ first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon, Baby Yoda will take a historic flight at today’s parade. But it isn’t Disney bringing the galaxy far, far away to the streets of Manhattan — it’s Funko.
The company behind the vinyl bobblehead craze, Funk Pop’s iconic big-headed, wide-eyed collectibles of iconic characters from pop culture like Luke Skywalker or Alexander Hamilton first made their appearance just 11 years ago at 2010’s SDCC. “If there’s anything that epitomizes pop culture, it’s Funko Pops” says David Mebane, the Guinness world record holder of the largest collection of Funko Pop! figurines. His collection contains over 7,000 Pops.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade returns to its full capacity tomorrow after last year’s smaller affair. Today, Wednesday, Nov. 24, vaccinated crowds can watch the balloons inflate all afternoon at Central Park. The parade itself won’t have any vaccine requirements due to its large scale. The festivities begin at 9am.
It’s also fitting that the 23-year-old collectible toy company is making its parade debut with a balloon rendering of a fairly newish pop culture icon: Grogu aka Baby Yoda. https://t.co/oO0kRvPDV2
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Paul Southern, Senior VP of licensing at Lucasfilm, told the New York Times that Grogu’s balloon was well received at the Macy’s Balloonfest on Nov. 13, a test run for the inflatables. The balloon was Funko’s idea — the company having approached Macy’s and Lucasfilm. “We’re known for having one of the largest portfolios of licenses in the world, and it’s because we take our creative process and the integrity of our partners’ I.P. very seriously,” CEO Brian Mariotti says of the collaboration. Funko has previously made Star Wars collectibles and capitalized on that relationship to forge the collab.
There is, of course, a commemorative line of Pops and apparel, along with more The Mandalorian merchandise, available at the flagship Macy’s in Herald Square, Funko stores, and online.