Coronavirus Lockdowns Prove Lucrative for Disney Plus and Hasbro

The success of Disney+ is in turn boosting sales of Hasbro’s licensed toys and games, especially The Child.

Disney+, which launched in the US in November 2019, had amassed 28.6m subscribers as of February, but from 14th-16th March – when drastic social distancing measures kicked in in many American cities – sign-ups tripled compared to the weekend before.

Disney+, which launched in Europe on the 24th March, is also boosting Hasbro’s licensed toy sales, thanks in particular to the popularity of Baby Yoda (officially called The Child) from the Disney+ original Star Wars show The Mandalorian. As reported in December, demand for Baby Yoda product was already through the roof, but the increase in at-home streaming as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has boosted interest even further.

“We clearly have seen that streaming has become more of a force in making connections with consumers and driving merchandising,” Hasbro (HAS) CEO Brian Goldner told Yahoo Finance. “That’s always been a question: Could streamed content drive merchandising? And clearly Baby Yoda has done that. We saw that in the fourth quarter with some of our product directly related to The Mandalorian. Our pre-sales around Baby Yoda have been incredibly robust and we’re very excited to ship Baby Yoda late spring.”

Although Hasbro’s Baby Yoda products won’t come out until spring (Disney didn’t want the toys anywhere online before “The Mandalorian” had premiered, so as not to ruin the surprise of the character), they have been available for pre-order for months. One extremely popular animatronic Baby Yoda toy won’t be available until the 2020 holiday season, but sold out in pre-order on the Disney website after a single preview in February on Good Morning America.

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