So, it's the middle of August, you just dropped a ton of money on back-to-school supplies and suddenly you're hearing the news that you better start your Christmas shopping? Welcome to the pandemic year, 2021. Unfortunately, what you're hearing about the toys and their supply this Christmas could be very true.

Many toy shops across the nation and the world for that matter are quietly but cautiously putting out the word that the toys you want and the toys you need for a happy Christmas at home this December might not be available if you wait until November or December to buy them. In fact, if you wait until October you might have missed the boat.

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The "boat" is the big issue and by that, we mean the supply vessels that bring a lot of manufactured goods from China to western markets. Alright, if we're really getting down to brass tacks on the toy shortage it's more about the shipping containers. There is a worldwide shortage of those and that's what manufacturers need to ship their products in bulk to other markets.

One logistics expert suggested that the cost of a 40-foot container from China has increased in cost by tenfold. Shippers who were used to paying $1,500 for a container are now having to pay as much as ten times that amount.

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Now, many large wholesalers and importers have already stockpiled supplies of what they believe the year's hottest toys will be but the truth is these suppliers don't have enough warehouse space to hold enough to satisfy the consumer demand.

Many experts have blamed the impending shortage on everything from typhoons to truck drivers but the real culprit is COVID-19. The ever-changing restrictions and threats of lockdowns in other nations have really put a strain on the supply chain.

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So, if you were planning on helping Santa Claus out this year by purchasing some toys from a store instead of depending on his elves to build them, you might want to get started on your shopping now. Hey, at least you'll know you can find the items you want or have plenty of time to order them if you shop online.

And if you think things have changed since you were a kid, well, you're right, they have.

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