(WSYR-TV) — Are you having trouble finding that certain toy this holiday season? You aren’t alone and it isn’t just the latest toys and gadgets that are in short supply, either.
“There is a shortage and we are having a little bit of trouble getting the things that we want to get,” said Lily Kipper, a toy store manager.
The reason for this? The COVID-19 pandemic.
Toy sales overall are up nearly 20% this year. Nostalgic toys like puzzles, board games and even Rubik’s Cubes are hard to find.
The shortage started months ago when parents bought toys to keep their children occupied while they were forced to stay home. That lead to an unexpected demand — and delays — for manufacturers.
“Crafts are so, so popular right now,” Laurie Schacht with the Toy Insider, said. “The kids are home. They’re in front of their screens a lot. And what we want is to get them away from it.”
And now, there are new problems involving shipping. With fewer trucks and low staffing levels, many workers need overtime to empty those cargo containers.
“Today we have about 20 vessels in port, which is a little bit higher than normal and 11 ships that are just outside waiting to enter,” said Gene Seroka, executive director at Port of Los Angeles.
Many cargo ships come from Asia, where they are also backlogged. Some ports are reporting delays of up to three weeks.
But, shopping experts say there is hope — you don’t always have to rely on shipping.
If they are available, they’ll be available through the normal retailers. You can still go to Target, you can still go to Walmart.Rachel Abrams — The New York Times
And while Santa is working overtime, maybe a gift certificate could do the trick until the items are back in stock.