Some retailers sounded the alarm months ago that there could be holiday toy shortages this year due to supply chain issues. But are toys really in short supply?
We asked toy store owners and the founders of a local charity who are buying thousands of toys for children in need this year.
Jonathan and Leslie Gerber’s house in Holliston, Massachusetts, looks more like a department store full of toys, games and coats. It is home base for their charity, Holiday Dreams Foundation.
“We absolutely love it,” founder Leslie Gerber said. “We wait all year for this, truly. “
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They have brought holiday joy to more than 15,000 kids over the years. And, with the help of volunteers, are fulfilling the wish lists of 1,200 children this year.
They started shopping months ago, amid those predictions of toy shortages, which haven’t panned out for them.
“We have not seen the crazy toy shortages,” Leslie Gerber said. “ I really haven’t had something where someone has asked me for a toy and I haven’t been able to get it for them”
“Some of the things just took a little bit longer to get here,” she added. “I had ordered art supplies, they just took a little bit longer, but we do now have them. “
The one hard to get item has been gloves.
"Waterproof gloves were super hard to find this year,” she said. “I actually went to stores and they had none. Even going online to order, very few pairs were available."
The Gerbers have noticed price increases. Children’s snow boots that they order ever year went up ten dollars a pair.
“We have been buying these for ten years now,” Jonathan Gerber said. “Anywhere from $30 to $32 dollars on Amazon. This year, now they are $42 and taking longer to get.”
And in the final stretch to Christmas, shipping delays are having an impact on last-minute purchases.
“The logistics is really the big thing for us right now,” Jonathan Gerber said. “FedEx usually takes one day and now it’s taking three to four.”
And there’s no shortage of toys at several area stores we contacted, like Magic Beans in Wellesley.
"We really had a premonition that things were going to go really badly, so we ordered toys really early this year” store owner Eli Gurock said. “So fortunately for us, our stores are stocked full of toys so customers can come in and shop.”
New England toy drives
And with Christmas fast approaching, Gurock is thinking ahead again.
“We’re thinking a lot about Easter even though it's two weeks before Christmas,” he said. “We’re doing our planning and making sure we are stocking up our warehouse so we have items for the spring.”
The one toy category definitely impacted by supply chain issues is gaming.
Gaming consoles and gaming PC computer parts are hard to come by.
Even getting a used one can be tough. A resale store in Allston told us they had a lot of inventory towards the start of the holiday season, but not much left.