This is an article about the challenges the toy industry may face due to the Coronavirus. Those challenges pale in comparison to the personal toll the virus, on top of the threat of tariffs last year, and the Hong Kong riots have had on our many friends and colleagues in China and Hong Kong. Our thoughts are with them.
China and Hong Kong are the hubs around which the global toy industry turns. You see evidence of this in the concerns toy industry leaders are expressing about the impact the Coronavirus may have on the development and manufacturing of toys.
What worries them is that workers will be unable or unwilling to return to work until the danger is past. As a result, we may see delays at a critical point in the year in both product development (much of which takes place in Hong Kong and China) and manufacturing..
Its been a tough few months for the toy industry. The threat of tariffs was a part of our lives for much of last year. It impacted decision making as to when and how much to ship. On top of that, the Hong Kong riots shattered westerners' views of Hong Kong as a safe, peaceful place. As a result, some chose not to make their annual January trip and those who did cut their stay short.
Now, due to the Coronavirus, we have the threat of delays in getting products developed and on shelves.
The toy industry is, fortunately, populated by people who are resilient and will work their way through obstacles. It would be nice, however, If only we could catch a break and have a few less obstacles.
There are options. European companies like Quercetti design and manufacture great quality product at competitive prices and also deliver short lead time to market. On top of this the shorter transport to market makes it more eco friendly. Our toy market is always changing and an upside can usually be found.