According to the Times Union a holiday toy shortage is already beginning. It seems that with slow sales across the board, many toy makers are planning on making less toys because of less demand from retailers. It would appear that the fear of overstock has caused this scare to start to take effect already, potentially making holiday toy sales a tougher road to hoe.

Shoppers are spending a little more these days, but they aren’t going on buying sprees. Stores, remembering how Americans snapped their wallets shut last holiday season, didn’t order big piles of merchandise in the first place.

The result, with seven weeks to go before Christmas, is that popular toys are already hard to find.

In fact, the holiday season’s early hit — the Zhu Zhu Pets hamster, an interactive mechanical rodent by Cepia Inc. that sells for $9.99 and is being compared to Furby a decade ago — is almost impossible to nab.

That doesn’t seem to lessen my fears that DCUC Wave 10 is going to be any easier to find. Granted it’s not a hot holiday toy, but toys always get harder to find at Christmas time because parents start grabbing up everything in the aisles. If shortages really do come about, we could ALL be in trouble.

Although not everything is doom and gloom. Toys R Us is increasing toy stores around the country, filling the void of K*B in many markets and is looking to ramp up sales. They’ve been getting a lot of great TRU exclusives, they now offer preorders for collectible items like NECA products and they have a lay-a-way program for big ticket Christmas items. CEO of TRU Jerry Storch spoke of a great Christmas season earlier this year to the Ledger:

He focused on two messages he wants to deliver to potential investors: that Toys “R” Us is growing as a company, and that toy sales industrywide are growing as well.

There is room for a specialty toy chain even in a world of Wal-Marts and other discounters, Storch said. “In every segment of retailing there are successful specialty players competing well against the discount chains, and this is not different,” he said. Just as Best Buy survives by being the “expert” in electronics, Toys “R” Us can be the toy expert, Storch said.

So do you think this “toy shortage” will effect you or will it pass collectors by? Obviously some of us are already experiancing shortages with certain Mattel products. Looking forward to the holiday toy season?

3 Responses to Holiday Toy Shortage?

  • Philip Reed says:

    I don’t think this is anything more than the annual “we’re running out of toys!” story that we get at Christmas. But thank you, I hadn’t realized that this story was out again. Time to get a post up at about Christmas toy shortages.

  • Anonymous says:

    I actually do think it’s different. Although I recongize that there is always somewhat of a “oh, we’re running out of toys” type of scare, this directly relates back to how overstocked everyone was after the last holiday season. With companies going out of business, I’m sure that toy companies don’t want to have a bunch left over that doesn’t get sold at full price (as well as the stores that sell them).

    I have done Black Friday a few times now, and while granted, it is always bad, it was horrible last year. I seriously thought that I could have gotten attacked (which I did with MANY old ladies with carts), but none the less, people were more out for the deals, then the other stuff, and I think that’s how the toy companies suffered.

    Just my two cents.

    – Beth, the GF

  • I do think there is potential for this year to be a bit different. I know Mattel cut short their production of DCUC 9 and I think they may have made less of 8 too. Obviously the lack of retailer support has been a factor.

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