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How is coronavirus affecting the Western New York toy industry?

Posted at 6:07 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 18:07:34-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Many toys, or parts of toys, are made in China, where there has been a reported virus epidemic that began in Wuhan. Companies who source toys from China have one goal: to safely keep shelves stocked so kids can continue to play without harm.

Gaetana Schueckler has owned TreeHouse Toy Store on Elmwood for about 25 years. She just got back from the International Toy Fair, where one of the hot topics was the coronavirus.

"Over these years we've seen different situations come up. Whether it's a virus, weather related, or it's a shortage of skilled labor. Whatever it is, a lot of our manufacturers work on not having all of their eggs in one basket," said Schueckler, "The overall atmosphere [at the International Toy Fair] was one of methodical process which put me at ease."

As of right now, some toys shipments may simply take a little longer.

"Some companies who were launching some new products right at this time of year have communicated a direct delay, but not a panicked delay," Schueckler said, "It's just a question of we'll know more in two weeks. We'll know even more in three weeks. If there's going to be a severe impact come maybe the summer months and the backlog starts to build."

It's a situation that she said the store is monitoring, so that kids can keep on playing.