Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Toy shortage season arrives early

Recession-battered retailers have reduced inventories, making many must-haves hard to find.

By MSN Money producer Nov 9, 2009 11:52PM

Zhu Zhu Hamster © Mark Lennihan / AP

If toys are on your Christmas shopping list, you might want to hit the stores now as many of the season's hottest items are already in short supply, The Associated Press reports.


Don't blame overeager parents and collectors. Retailers stung by the recession have cut inventories in anticipation of a repeat of last year's dismal shopping season.

 

The hot toys this year, according to the AP:

These are just the tip of the toy-shortage iceberg. Jim Silver, an analyst at Timetoplaymag, told the AP he predicted shortages of up to 100 toys this year. In a usual season, only the top 15 are hard to find.

 

Could this just be hype from manufacturers and retailers to promote products and get shoppers into stores? News stories about toy shortages are an annual tradition -- every season has its unexpected big hits. (The first three links in a quick search are to news stories about shortages from 2006, 2007 and 2008.) But if the analysts and the AP's anecdotal evidence are correct, now's the time to buy -- not after Thanksgiving.

On the other hand, there are thousands of entertaining and amusing toys that are guaranteed to be available all season. You don't have to buy into the hype.

 

Related stories:

61Comments
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

ABOUT SMART SPENDING

Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

LATEST BLOG POSTS

Can you trust Carfax?

If you're thinking about buying a car and the Carfax report comes back clean, you're good to go, right? Um, maybe not. Here are four other ways you can avoid buying a clunker.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

TOOLS

More