Remember when life was simple and you could count on things? Like you could count on going to 2nd grade and not having to wear a mask. You could count on being able to tease your best friend without being labeled a bully and sent into the HIB process.

And you could count on telling Santa Claus what toy you wanted for Christmas and then, if you’d been good, finding it under the tree.

Welcome to 2021 where you can’t count on anything. Not even toys.

Leading toy companies are warning parents this year that due to pandemic supply chain difficulties and astronomical shipping costs there is going to be a toy shortage this holiday. A major toy shortage.

The CEO of the company that makes Little Tikes, LOL Surprise! and Bratz dolls, MGA Entertainment’s Isaac Larian, says, “There is going to be a major shortage of toy products this year. The demand is going to be there. What is not going to be there is the product to fill the demand.”

Some of the problems facing manufacturers? Shipping container companies like Maersk have been accused of taking advantage of a global container shortage. Example: the container that cost $3,200 last year now costs $22,000 according to Larian. He also says there’s been a huge cost increase in raw material and labor. Then there’s a trucker shortage so even when products are on the docks and in the warehouses ready to be distributed to retailers there aren’t enough trucks to take them there.

It’s impacting the entire toy industry. Even when some companies have solved their shipping problems the price of those toys will be way up to compensate. Still other companies say some of the most in demand toys will be missing and there will be plenty of bare, empty holes on store shelves.

Poor kids. Remember when Toys R Us folded locations around New Jersey? (Then tried to hang on, then folded, then came back, then folded again) It’s been a tough enough time for little kids unable to go to school in any normal way, sometimes unable to see their grandparents or unable to play with their friends.

Now they won’t even have toys to play with?

The only advice toy companies have for beleaguered parents is start your Christmas toy shopping as early as possible and hope you get lucky.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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