Hasbro says the coronavirus outbreak could cause a shortage of its highly anticipated Baby Yoda toys

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An animatronic Baby Yoda toy is pictured during a ‘Star Wars’ advance product showcase in New York on February 20. Carlo Allegri/Reuters
  • Hasbro has confirmed that the production of the company’s Baby Yoda toys in China is being slowed by the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Toy industry expert Jim Silver told CNN Business that there will be shortages if production isn’t back to normal by June or July.
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The coronavirus is causing shortages worldwide of hand sanitizer and surgical masks. Now the outbreak may even claim Baby Yoda, too.

CNN Business reported Wednesday that Hasbro is seeing the production of their Baby Yoda toys impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, since quarantines and travel restrictions in China have temporarily prevented workers from assembling toys.

Hasbro’s line of the Star Wars toys, inspired by Disney’s hit show “The Mandalorian,” was expected to drop sometime this month. Some of the toys had already sold out in preorders.

The mandalorian baby yoda
Baby Yoda in ‘The Mandalorian’ season one finale Disney Plus

A toy industry expert told CNN Business that it’s probably not the first batch of toys that are under threat, but the continuing supply coming from China.

He said that Hasbro is “close to being able to ship what they originally projected,” but could see a 5-10% decline in output if production continues to be impacted by the outbreak. That decline could lead to a shortage of the toys.

“If things aren’t normal by the time June and July roll around, there will be shortages on a litany of toys,” Jim Silver, CEO of toy industry review website Toys, Tots, Pets & More, told the outlet.

One of the biggest issues Silver said, was being able to get the supplies necessary to make the toys, including resin and plastics that are mostly sourced in China.

China factory workers
Factory workers wearing surgical masks in Jinjiang, China assemble toy cars for export on March 4, 2020. Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty

Hasbro CFO Deborah Thomas told investors and analysts on February 21 that the company is “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.”

In a regulatory filing last week, Hasbro said that the virus “could have significant negative impact on our revenues, profitability, and business.”

Baby Yoda toys weren’t put into production until after the character, officially known as “The Child,” made its debut on the Disney+ show “The Mandalorian” in November. The show’s creators made the decision to protect the character’s surprise introduction. Thus fans of the breakout character weren’t even able to buy Baby Yoda merchandise during the 2019 holiday season.

One of the most anticipated toys that Hasbro is releasing is an animatronic Baby Yoda doll that moves and makes baby sounds. That toy is selling for $US59.99 in pre-orders.