Posted on Friday, November 14th, 2014 by Angie Han
Guardians of the Galaxy fans were thrilled when Marvel finally announced in October that a dancing baby Groot toy would be out in time for Christmas. At the same time, though, it was hard not to wonder why it had taken Marvel/Disney so damn long. Wouldn’t the obvious move have been to have the merch ready so audiences could fork over their money the minute they walked out of the theater? Was it really possible they had no idea the film would inspire such demand?
According to director James Gunn, there’s actually a very good reason why a dancing baby Groot toy wasn’t ready earlier. Read his explanation after the jump, and then decide for yourself whether it justifies all the long, lonely weeks we’ve spent without a dancing baby Groot toy to cheer us up.
Speaking with Vulture, Gunn revealed that he had suggested a dancing baby Groot toy very early on.
While we were still shooting the movie, I brought up putting Dancing Baby Groot out as a toy. The reason it didn’t happen is because you have some control in the film industry over secrets getting out there, but the people you don’t have much control over are the toy people, unfortunately. Those toy designs get out, always! And people definitely would have gotten ahold of the Baby Groot if we had started manufacturing it in time for it to come out after the movie, so that was the biggest reason we didn’t push on that particular element.
So it’s not that Marvel/Disney was too dumb to anticipate consumer demand, it’s that they decided they’d rather keep a major spoiler under wraps. Makes sense. Had plans for a dancing baby Groot toy leaked in advance of the movie, the Internet (ourselves included) absolutely would have pounced on them and tried to figure out what they meant.
Besides, it’s not like Guardians of the Galaxy fans have been totally without options. DIY versions of the toy hit Etsy just days after the film’s release, a Funko bobblehead came out some weeks later, and a Dragon Models snap-together kit hit shelves sometime after that. And now, the dancing baby Groot toy we’ve been clamoring for since August will be out in time for your annual holiday shopping spree.