We've seen all the price hikes in stores this year, and by now we are used to product shortages.
But both problems are about to hit toys just as the shopping season starts.
Why?Forbes magazine blames a pandemic-related shipping container crisis, with Chinese ports backed up, and shipping fees at all-time highs.
Shipping containers that used to cost $5,000 to come over from Asia are now costing as much as $20,000.
That's led to Mattel warning it will be raising prices this holiday season, though it won't list specific toys just yet.
CNN Businesssurveyed toy executives, and says many predict 5% to 10% price hikes, with fewer holiday time and Black Friday promotions.
The CEO of the company that owns LOL Surprise dollstold CNN Business"there is going to be a major shortage of toy products this year."
But wait, there's more, as the old infomercials used to say.
Once the toys get to the US, Forbes says, there are not enough truck drivers to get them to stores.
And that is expected to lead to additional shortages of some of the most popular items.
The CEO of Little Tykes says "everything that could go wrong has gone wrong at the same time."
That means supplies of some hot toys could be short well before Black Friday, making it important to shop early.
Where are the PlayStations?
And from the "doesn't that stink" file: the fight to find the Sony PS5 for the second Christmas in a row.
Sony blames both shipping issues, and this year's chip shortage, the same shortage that caused auto plant shutdowns.
Ships, chips, trucks and staffing issues are all combining to make supplies tight and prices high.
And that stinks.
The experts suggest you don't wait till Black Friday this year to buy hot toys.
It is better paying a bit more in September or October to have it in hand, so you don't go crazy trying to find something, and you don't waste your money.
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