Baby Yoda Manufacturer Says Coronavirus May Lead to Production Delays
Toymaker Hasbro admits the potential pandemic will slow production of one of the hottest toys of 2020.
Pre-orders for the $59.99 animatronic plush Baby Yoda doll sold out immediately on the ShopDisney website in December. "We expect this item to be available by 12/21/2020," the website noted. But now, that's up in the air.
In late February, Hasbro CFO Deborah Thomas told investors and analysts, "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."
But in a regulatory filing released Thursday and obtained by CNN Business, Hasbro said that China's coronavirus quarantines and travel restrictions have temporarily prevented employees at its Chinese source factories from assembling toys. The company said the virus "could have a significant negative impact on our revenues, profitability and business."
"While we have developed and continue to develop plans to help mitigate the negative impact of the coronavirus to our business, the efforts will not completely prevent our business from being adversely affected," the report reads. "The longer the outbreak impacts supply and demand, the more negative the impact it will have on our business, revenues, and earnings, and the more limited our ability will be to try and make up for delayed or lost product development, production, and sales."
CNN Business reports that while coronavirus disruptions haven't hurt the toy industry yet, it's only a matter of time. Toy industry expert Jim Silver told the outlet, "If things aren't normal by the time June and July roll around, there will be shortages on a litany of toys."