The coronavirus has, over the past month, become a major topic of conversation due to its quick spread across the world. COVID-19 has, as of March 3, been reported in more than 90,000 individuals worldwide. Now there are reports that the spread of the illness—and subsequent quarantines and travel restrictions in China—will likely impact the arrival of Baby Yoda toys.
Hasbro, which has the license for several Star Wars toys, including some dolls and figures of The Mandalorian’s breakout star, is very concerned about the potential for the coronavirus to disrupt its toy-making supply chains. CNN Business spoke to toy-industry expert Jim Silver, who said that the first batch of Baby Yoda toys, which are supposed to arrive later this month, are mostly in the clear so far. However, if things don’t return to normal by the start of the summer, Silver predicts “shortages on a litany of toys.”
In a filing released on Thursday, Hasbro admitted that it was experiencing coronavirus-related production difficulties in China, where more than 80,000 people have been infected. The company added that the flu "could have a significant negative impact on our revenues, profitability, and business."
Disney and Lucasfilm—which are normally pretty quick to turn anything into a toy as soon as possible, especially when it comes to the Star Wars franchise—famously did not start production on Baby Yoda toys until after The Mandalorian had premiered so they could keep the existence of “The Child” a secret, with no chance that toy listings could spoil his debut. Official Baby Yoda toys were, therefore, MIA during the 2019 holiday shopping season. Last month, Hasbro revealed a highly anticipated, $59.99 animatronic Baby Yoda toy at the Toy Fair, an annual expo in New York City.
Silver says he expects production of Hasbro’s Baby Yoda toys to decline by 5 to 10 percent due to the virus, but that the company is “close to being able to ship what they originally projected.” The Baby Yoda toys now join the new James Bond movie, No Time to Die, as the latest piece of pop culture to be affected by coronavirus.
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Originally Appeared on GQ