Mattel Reveals Plush Of Babu Frik From 'Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker'

C-3PO's oldest friend is getting the Mattel treatment! 

Babu Frik, the droidsmith who accesses crucial information from C-3PO to aid in Rey's mission, was the unexpected breakout star who stole fans' hearts in Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker. Mattel's latest creation, the new Babu Frik talking plush, brings Babu from the big screen right into your home. The plush will feature six voice clips from the film, which is perfect for anyone who has been quoting Babu's iconic whoops and laughs since December like I have.

In anticipation of the release of this plush, sat down with the senior product designer from Mattel, Alexander Lathrop, to talk about the process he and his team went through to bring Babu to life.

It is no secret that Lucasfilm has a history of keeping their tiny, adorable aliens under wraps; The Child was kept a secret ahead of The Mandalorian's release, and Babu Frik, while featured in some of the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker promo material, was a character we knew very little about going into the film. When asked about the timeline for the creation of the Babu Frik plush and whether or not Lathrop's team got to have prior insider knowledge about Babu Frik before the film's release, Lathrop had this to say:
"One of the amazing things about working for the Mattel plush team is our speed to market. We began this project in January, almost a full month after the movie was released. Coincidentally, it was also one of the first projects I worked on when I started at Mattel. When I started designing, I had already seen Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in theaters and instinctively knew the character would be perfect for plush; I’m glad everyone else at Lucasfilm and Mattel thought so, too. Altogether, the project was about 6 months from concept to completed sculpt."

One of the most impressive parts about the Babu Frik plush is the impeccable attention to detail, from the welding visors Babu Frik sports, to the gauntlets he wears on his wrist. The plush is a combination of soft material and hard plastic. Lathrop elaborated on how they chose to design these pieces, saying:

"Babu’s design is so iconic, he kind of made it easy on us. When you think of him, the first thing you think of is his oversized head, and since most of his details are in his face and welding helmet, it made sense to rotomold the whole head. Meanwhile, with his chubby body and long arms and legs, his body proportions are already pretty perfect for holding and hugging." 

Lathrop was also involved in the design of Mattel's version of the Child, and when asked about what he  learned from this project, he had nothing but praise for his team.
"The Child is an amazing accomplishment from our team and I’m so excited to have been able to be a part of it. The designers and sculptors at Lucasfilm are incredible artists who spend years crafting these creatures, and there are so many details that we would never be able to recreate in a toy, so it’s important to capture what people love about the character as much as possible."

Finally, when asked about his favorite part, Lathrop talked about the details he's most proud of in the finished product.

"I especially love how one of his eyes is squinting just a little bit. It makes me laugh every time I notice it. We also added a really nice antique wash to his face to add some color variation and “pop” to all the wrinkles, as well as some really nice glossy plastic eyes that really draw your attention to the face. It’s little details like that that really bring our Babu to life."

The Babu Frik plush, which will be released on October 17, 2020, is available for pre-order now