The coronavirus outbreak is continuing to have effects on the global economy and commerce, in addition to being a major public health issue. The latest victim, rather surprisingly, could be Baby Yoda. Hasbro, the toymaker which regularly partners with Lucasfilm on Star Wars products, has had its supply chain affected by the outbreak, which means toys being produced based on The Mandalorian character may not hit shelves in time. Or, at the very least, the quantity may be limited.
According to several reports, the outbreak of COVID-19 in China has affected Hasbro's manufacturing business, as that's where many of the factories that the company utilizes are located. China has had to take extreme measures to contain the outbreak, which has resulted in a ban on public gatherings. Hasbro CFO Deborah Thomas had this to say to investors and analysts last month.
"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."
While Baby Yoda toys haven't been impacted yet, if things get worse, that will undoubtedly be the case. Disney opted not to release toys based on The Child, whose name remains a mystery, during The Mandalorian season 1. Much of that had to do with the fact that Jon Favreau and the producers wanted to keep Baby Yoda a secret. With the secret out, Disney was looking to capitalize in a big way ahead of the season 2 release.
Hasbro and other companies have revealed a slew of merchandise based on the popular Star Wars character, including an animatronic version of Baby Yoda, various figures, clothing and everything in between. Build-A-Bear has even partnered with Lucasfilm to bring Baby Yoda to its stores. For the time being, giving how rapidly the situation is evolving, it's nearly impossible to predict how this will all turn out. Toy industry expert Jim Silver of Toys, Tots, Pets & More had this to say about it.
"The biggest concern from the coronavirus should be the health of all people and eliminating the spread of this disease, [but also] the virus could create a shortage on some of the most popular toys this year. Right now, this is a very fluid situation and changes almost daily, and it's nearly impossible to predict the overall impact."
The Mandalorian season 2 recently wrapped filming, which means production likely won't be delayed due to coronavirus. Season 2 is set to premiere on DIsney+ in October. Other productions such as Mission: Impossible 7 have been impacted by the outbreak. To date, more than 113,000 infections in over 60 countries across the globe have been reported, with nearly 4,000 deaths. Aside from the merchandising side of the business, the global box office has taken a big hit as well, with no end in sight. This news was previously reported by CNN.