The holiday season is here but there are concerns over possible toy shortages (as the coronavirus continue to impact operations). While the large retailers like Walmart have been preparing well for the holiday season, smaller retailers are likely to have less stock.
Some experts however say that the fear of toy shortages have been overblown, and while some toys could be hard to find, it doesn’t mean your child has to go empty handed this holiday season.
Toy Shops Stocking More of Classics
Most shops have shelves full of toys. However, they may not stock the latest, the newest, the biggest, or the most popular toys, as many of them are facing delays.
Instead, many of them are banking on classics and toys that bring families together.
Toy shops are stocking more of the classics instead of the more expensive high-tech toys or toy of the year.
- Wooden trains from Brio (Swedish toy-maker)
- Plastic animals from Schleich (German toy-maker)
Supply Chain Issues
When it comes to toys, not a lot of it is domestic anymore!
Although not very severe, Supply Chain issues continue to exist as COVID-19 continues to infect people, causing factories and workplaces to operate at sub-optimal capacity, especially in China where most toys get manufactured.
Because a toy can use different parts sourced from different suppliers, it is making the finished toys more expensive and even scarcer. The newest releases this year are likely to run into delays.
Some companies are also coming to terms with the harsh realities, and are leaving behind holiday toys in factories in China, particularly the bulkier ones. The larger toys are more difficult to transport and could be the most scarce.
Toymakers are frantically trying to ship their goods and also looking for new alternative routes and ports; some are even shipping their toys on planes, instead of ships.
Consider Buying Early
While people aren’t panic buying, precautionary buying is being observed as people are expecting shortages this holiday season. Also, in case you are seeing empty shelves at the big box stores, you should check out the pop toy stores for more options.
Some of their stuff could be a bit dated as a lot of stuff in 2020 could not be sold due to a shift in consume behavior towards online shopping during the peak pandemic.
So, older toy models should be easier to find, and under the existing circumstances, something under the Christmas tree would definitely be better than nothing under the tree. Also, if your child has his or her heart set on the latest toy and if it is available in the shelves right now, then you should consider locking it down now.
Funtoyworld is a family-managed website with me (Ben), and my wife doing most of the work. We are proud parents of two wonderful kids and love reviewing toys. We have a firm but friendly “democratic parenting” style and offer several practical suggestions backed by extensive research. Our own experience with raising two children prompted us to share our knowledge. Read more.