Massive Toy Shortage 2021

Santa’s Elves Are Behind


Sarah Sahli, Features Editor, Sandscript Author

Christmas might not be so cheerful for children this year. A new survey from a professional services firm KPMG projects that there will be a major shortage of toys and other inventory this holiday season. When speaking with executives of some toy companies, KPMG reports that 82% admitted they are either “somewhat concerned” or “very concerned” about extensive inventory shortages.  The lack of product is the result of a labor shortage and a global shipping crisis. One theory that provides an explanation for the crisis is the lack of efficient distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. When outbreaks occur, the efficiency of trade is greatly affected. In addition, with the number of cases rising, the number of workers decreases resulting in a shortage of laborers for production. In this case, the production of toys has become the victim of this labor shortage.  Not only is there a lack of production and manufacturing, but the products that are being produced are struggling to make their way into availability. The entirety of the situation will ultimately mean a significant increase in prices and again, a decrease in supply.


“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,” MGA Entertainment CEO Isaac Larian told CNN Business.


Isaac Larian owns the company that produces the Little Tikes, Rainbow High Dolls, Bratz Dolls, and LOL Surprise!, some of the most popular toy brands in the past few years and the top toys of 2020.


Other companies, however, might be able to keep up with the demand. Executives at Hasbro, Lego, and Mattel, some of the largest toymakers in the world, state that their companies have obtained the required number of shipping containers and materials to maintain a balance between supply and demand. However, consumers should be aware that delivery dates might not be accurate and expect delivery delays when ordering online. The companies say they will have to raise prices to compensate for the major increase in shipping costs. 


Anyone hoping to purchase gifts for the 2021 holiday season must take the earliest opportunity to shop. Soon, it will be difficult to find items for a reasonable price. Although, there might not be anything left to buy.