This Christmas, the most popular toy is small, green and very cute. Lori Heppner and Matthew Purdy at Toy Traders in Langley with Grogu, the formerly nameless ‘baby Yoda’ character from the Disney series “The Mandalorian (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

This Christmas, the most popular toy is small, green and very cute. Lori Heppner and Matthew Purdy at Toy Traders in Langley with Grogu, the formerly nameless ‘baby Yoda’ character from the Disney series “The Mandalorian (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: What is the most popular toy this Christmas? Experts say he’s green, tiny and cute.

Meet Grogu, from The Mandalorian streaming series on Disney+

Grogu rules.

The formerly nameless tiny green character from The Mandalorian Disney+ streaming series is, hands down, the most popular item of the holiday season this year, according to Matthew Purdy, owner of Toy Traders in Langley.

“This is the hottest toy of the year,” Purdy told the Langley Advance Times, demonstrating how an animatronic Grogu toy can open his eyes, waggles his ears and makes cute burbling sounds, exactly like the series.

Formerly known as ‘baby Yoda,” after the Jedi master from the original films, the creature was finally named last month, about two-thirds of the way through the second season of the Disney+ streaming series that is devoted to the attempts of the title character to reunite the “child,” or “asset,” as he is referred to by some characters, with his own people.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Why Baby Yoda was never making it home for Christmas

It is a struggle keeping the toy on the shelves.

“We just got 18 more, and we’ll be out in two, three days,” Purdy estimated during a Wednesday Dec. 9 interview.

The difference this year, is there are actually toys based on the character that are available before Christmas, unlike last year, when there was a frustrating delay in getting toys based on the tiny alien to market.

In December of 2019, the new character introduced in the Star Wars series was an instant hit, but no dolls were made prior to the premiere of the show for fear of the character being leaked.

As a result, none were available until the new year.

This year, in addition to a moving and burbling life-sized Grogu, there are many other versions available, including plush toys and games.

Like every business, the iconic toy store has had to adjust during the pandemic, taking steps to limit the spread of the coronavirus through the use of measures like masks and social distancing.

There will be no seasonal visit by “Santa Vader” and other cosplay Star Wars characters this year, due to what a Toy Traders newsletter cites as “complications caused by Death Star droid COVID-19.”

According to the newsletter, Vader will return next year with a friend – the Grinch.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Langley kids meet ‘Darth Santa’

Purdy has noticed a change in buying patterns as well, especially a surge surge in sales of traditional jigsaw puzzles and board games that can be played at home.

“Puzzles have been big since the pandemic started,” Purdy observed.

“This year, because of COVID, we can’t travel, we’ve got to stay at home. we’re trying to be safe,” he summarized.

“People want to entertain their kids, so games and puzzles are bugger than ever.”

So big, in fact, that the store initially had to limit the number of puzzles any one person could buy during the early days of the pandemic.

“We had to tell people, you can only buy one of each,” Purdy recalled.

Purdy said it appeared some were buying multiples of the same puzzle from Toy Traders, then trying to resell them at a markup.

Things have settled down some since then, and the restrictions are no longer necessary, he added.

READ ALSO: Going Back To The Future for Father’s Day in Langley

Another Toy Traders expert, Lori Heppner, has noticed anything that can keep kids occupied at home is selling well.

“Everything indoors is up [in sales],” Heppner commented.

Among the top sellers are crafts and science kits, “which is great for little minds – it keeps their minds going, it keep their little hands going,” Heppner said.

Like most indoor-friendly products, they are “flying out of the store,” she commented.

Always-popular Lego also has a Mandalorian connection, with different u-build projects for different age and skill levels.

One especially popular Lego offering, Heppenr said, is “NINJAGO” which is set in a kid-friendly world of ninjas battling against evil.

Harry Potter and Jurassic World Legos are also doing well.

Other popular items cited by the Toy Trader online newsletter, are L.O.L. Surprise collectible dolls – the name stands for Little Outrageous Little Surprise — as well as the Funko Pops series of vinyl figurines, based on a pop culture character.

And yes, there is a Mandalorian Funko, holding Grogu.

When customers come to Toy Traders, they are less likely to linger these days, Purdy has observed.

“Wer’e seeing people for shorter bursts of time,” he noted.

Where before, people might be inclined to linger to look over the many displays, now they arrive with a goal and a desire to efficiently realize it.

“Nobody wants to be shopping too long,” Purdy commented.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Celebrity Kevin Smith delivers Facebook Live tour of Langley toy store

Toy Traders, at 19880 Langley Bypass, is B.C.’s biggest independent toy store.

It routinely wins positive reviews for its selection and atmosphere, with one of the most memorable endorsements coming from filmmaker Kevin Smith, who called it “phenomenal,” and “spellbinding,” during a 2018 tour of the premises, live-streamed online



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

ChristmasCoronavirusLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley Township civic facility. (Black Press Media files)
Two cannabis shops close to approval in Langley Township

There were more than 20 initial applications spread across multiple locations

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million

A virtual marketplace and food concierge service has been launched by Willowbrook Shopping Centre in Langley (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Willowbrook Shopping Centre in Langley launches virtual marketplace and food concierge service

Customers can go online to shop product assortment assembled from centre’s food and beverage tenants

Fraser Health has included Brookswood Secondary School to its list of COVID-19 school exposures, alongside exposure events at Aldergrove Community Secondary and Betty Gilbert Middle schools. (Google Maps)
8 Langley schools now on COVID exposure list, 3 added on Tuesday

Public Health has initiated contact tracing

THROUGH YOUR LENS: Frosty came for a visit this past weekend to Sharon Vose’s South Langley home. Her grandchildren erected the snowman in her backyard. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
SHARE: Frosty returned for a short visit

Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, and it could be featured in a future edition

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
RCMP appeal for witnesses after hit-and-run leaves girl, 17, in critical condition

The Metro Vancouver teenager was found unconscious and critically injured after being hit: police

Most Read