BOSTON (CBS) — Christmas is still two months away, but parents could be in for a bumpy ride this holiday season.
Toy experts and retailers say many things children want to see under the tree will likely be in short supply. And the shipping issues that stem from the pandemic are to blame.READ MORE: Omicron COVID Variant Detected In Massachusetts Woman
Charlene DeLoach of The Toy Insider says companies chose to maximize space on the slow-moving and expensive shipping containers.
“The toy manufacturers had to prioritize smaller toys over the larger ones to get more on store shelves, so make sure you buy big first,” said DeLoach.
DeLoach says larger LEGOs and playsets are being short-shipped, and people should grab those now. Shipping costs have skyrocketed.
Deran Muckjian, who owns “Catch a Falling Star” in Winchester, says toy manufacturers used to pay $3,000-to-$4,000 per container. Now they are paying up to $25,000-to-$30,000 per container.
And those prices are being passed on to consumers.
“I have been in the toy business for 40 years,” says Muckjian. “I have never ever seen cost increases like I have had in one year.”READ MORE: Wind Gusts Across Eastern Mass. Projected To Be 50 MPH Or Higher On Monday Night
Muckjian says only a fraction of his orders will be fulfilled, and it’s anyone’s guess as to what will be on store shelves come December. So, shop now.
“I think peak shopping will be through the middle of November and through the end of November. December? Who knows?” Muckjian said.
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And DeLoach agrees. She says if you see something on your child’s list now, grab it.
“Pokémon cards are still hot. Squishmallows are still hot. Anything retro. Anything 80s/90s nostalgia,” she said.
And if those items are not in stock?
“Plan for alternatives,” DeLoach advises. “Ask your kids to make wish lists. Have them make alternative lists. Maybe they’re asking for the red truck, well, would the blue truck do?”MORE NEWS: Martin Richard Foundation Holds 4th Annual MR8K Race In Boston On Saturday
As for Muckjian, he’s determined to keep everyone’s spirits bright. “We’ll make sure we have as much as we can on the floor at any given time, and so we make sure we don’t disappoint your children,” Muckjian said.