In January, toymaker Dave Cave was feeling good about the year ahead. Orders were coming in for Mighty Megasaur, and he was readying a racing game to coincide with the release of the latest installment in the Fast & Furious franchise. Then the coronavirus shut down the world economy, and Vin Diesel announced the flick would be pushed back a year. Cave saw demand collapse. His Hong Kong-based company, Dragon-I Toys, which makes its goods in China and sells them to 240 retailers in 53 countries, including Walmart Inc., was forced to cut costs as it waited for the crisis to pass.

Now, as global retailers start to stock up before the crucial year-end holiday-shopping season, a hopeful Cave says Dragon-I Toys’ order book is at its best level in years.

“Nobody has cancelled any orders in the last six to eight weeks, so everybody is being very optimistic that Christmas will happen,” says Cave, whose company is one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of toy dinosaurs and the maker of the popular Chatimal the Talking Hamster. “The only worry that everybody has now is if this pandemic does get worse, and we get into a situation where the governments in these countries really go back to a phase where everything is closed down.”

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