The Force is no match for coronavirus.
Toy-making company Hasbro has confirmed the worldwide coronavirus outbreak may delay the highly-anticipated arrival of merchandise featuring the breakout star from the “The Mandalorian,” Baby Yoda.
Although the adorable toys were set to hit stores by May 2020, the company announced that the virus has disrupted its supply chain and will likely stall production.
In an SEC filing Hasbro explained, “The occurrence of these types of events can result, and in the case of the coronavirus has resulted in, disruptions and damage to our business, caused by both the negative impact to our ability to design, develop, manufacture and ship product (the supply side impact) and the negative impact on consumer purchasing behavior (the demand side impact).”
The toy giant also admitted the coronavirus “could have a significant negative impact on our revenues, profitability and business” due to travel bans and quarantine mandates in China, where a “substantial portion” of their manufacturing takes place.
COVID-19, which originated in Wuhan, China, has infected more than 94,000 and killed more than 3,200, according to media reports.
Despite this, Jim Silver, CEO of toy review website Toys, Tots, Pets & More, told CNN Business that Hasbro factories in China are fully operational and haven’t been disrupted by coronavirus.
“If things aren’t normal by the time June and July roll around, there will be shortages on a litany of toys,” Silver said.
Though Silver expressed that he predicts a production decline by 5 to 10 percent, he said Hasbro is “close to being able to ship what they originally projected.”
Fans have been obsessed with Baby Yoda, the tiny, green 50-year-old infant officially known as “The Child,” ever since his debut on the Disney+ Star Wars series last November. Many jumped at the chance to grab Baby Yoda merchandise, with some pre-ordered items quickly selling out.
It’s unclear whether pre-orders, like the animatronic plus doll, will be delayed. However, Hasbro CFO Debroah Thomas reassured, “We are working to mitigate the impact of our manufacturing partner factories being closed longer than anticipated, as well as to reschedule the shipments we have not been able to make,” per NY Post.