The "Baby Shark" characters have come to life in plush stuff dolls and cubes that play the preschool song of the same name — and human sharks are reselling the limited supply at inflated prices.
On Dec. 1, the Montreal-based toy company WowWee launched a Baby Shark pre-sale on Amazon.com that sold out in two days. The toys will start shipping on Dec. 15, and buyers will receive orders in time for Christmas, says WowWee brand manager Emily Chacra.
Demand escalated faster than WowWee expected, Chacra says. “We actually anticipated about two weeks,” she says of selling out. She wouldn't say how many toys WowWee offered in the pre-sale.
Two types of battery-operated toys — dolls and cubes — are available, with a baby, mommy or daddy shark choice in each category. The cubes retail for $7.99 each; the dolls for $16.99 each. “You squeeze them and they sing the whole song,” Chacra says. To make them stop, squeeze them a second time.
Some pre-sale buyers are already flipping the toys. Third party resellers on Amazon are offering the items for $30, $55, $80 and more. “It’s completely out of WowWee’s control,” Chacra says of resellers. “That’s just the reality of the Amazon marketplace.”
Melinda Geraghty, 38, of East Meadow, snagged a yellow baby shark for her daughter, Amelia, 2, on the first day of the pre-sale after a mom in a local Facebook group posted a heads up. "It makes my daughter so happy," she says of the "Baby Shark" song. "I didn't expect it to be so popular, probably because people are sick of hearing the song."
Jenn Barry, 40, of Patchogue, bought one of each singing cube for her youngest child, Marley, 15 months. "When the song comes on, everything stops," she says. "If she's upset for any reason, we put the song on and she's happy and starts smiling."
Amazon is awaiting another batch of toys, but Chacra says those goods are “in transit” and WowWee isn’t able to provide an exact date when that will arrive from suppliers.
WowWee hadn’t been planning to launch the line until January, Chacra says. She says the company worked “really, really hard” with suppliers to get some of the toys up for sale before the Christmas holiday. “There’s only so much stock we were able to move up,” she says.
More toys definitely will be available from more retailers in time for the originally planned January launch, she says, and they will include more Baby Shark toy options as well as the Pinkfong! pink fox character. The "Baby Shark" dance video published by Korean education startup Pinkfong! in June, 2016, has been viewed more than 2 billion times worldwide. “We’re working very closely with all of our retail partners to make sure we are meeting the demand our retailers are expecting come January,” Chacra says.