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 a lot of the things kids want to see under the tree are likely to be scarce. And the shipping issues that stem from the pandemic are to blame.
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Charlene DeLoach of The Toy Insider says companies have chosen to maximize space on slow, expensive shipping containers.
âToy makers had to prioritize smaller toys over larger ones to get more of them on store shelves, so be sure to buy big first,â DeLoach said.
DeLoach says LEGOs and larger playsets are shipping at short notice and people should grab them now. Shipping costs have skyrocketed.
Deran Muckjian, owner of “Catch a Falling Star” in Winchester, explains that toy makers paid between $ 3,000 and $ 4,000 per container. Now they pay up to $ 25,000 to $ 30,000 per container.
And these prices are passed on to consumers.
âI’ve been in the toy business for 40 years,â says Muckjian. âI’ve never seen a cost increase like I’ve had in a year. “
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Muckjian says only a fraction of his orders will be filled, and anyone can guess what will be on store shelves in December. So shop now.
âI think the shopping peak will run until mid-November and until the end of November. December? Who knows? âMuckjian said.
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And DeLoach agrees. She says if you see something on your kid’s list now, grab it.
âPokÃ©mon cards are still hot. The squishmallows are still hot. Nothing retro. Something nostalgic for the 80s / 90s, âshe said.
What if these items are not in stock?
âPlan for alternatives,â advises DeLoach. âHave your kids make wish lists. Ask them to make alternative lists. Maybe they ask for the red truck, well, would the blue truck do? “
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As for Muckjian, he’s determined to keep everyone’s morale up. âWe will make sure we have as much as possible on the floor at all times, so we make sure we don’t disappoint your kids,â Muckjian said.