Shopping for hot toys could become more difficult later in the season this holiday.AP/Julio Cortez
- Shoppers have only started to feel the pain of Toys R Us‘ absence this holiday season, according to Isaac Larian, CEO of toy company MGA Entertainment.
- In order to ensure things would stay in stock throughout the holidays, Toy R Us would buy more toys earlier and later in the season than other retailers typically do, Larian said.
- Without a dedicated specialty retailer to sell toys, particularly popular ones may run out well before Christmas.
There may be more disappointed children this Christmas morning than last year.
That’s because it could end up being more difficult to find this season’s hottest toys in stock without Toys R Us around. The chain was America’s only nationwide specialty retailer dedicated to toys before it liquidated earlier this year.
“Toys R Us, they were not afraid to buy merchandise in December because they could spread it to January, February, March, April,” Isaac Larian, CEO of toy company MGA Entertainment, said to Business Insider. “But that’s not the situation with the other mass merchants.”
A Target or Walmart or even Best Buy store sells much more than just toys. So even though these chains have announced plans to expand their toy sections for the holiday season, and keep them larger even in January and beyond, the focus inevitably shifts.
Basically, it’s not just about raw numbers of merchandise. In order to ensure things would stay in stock throughout the holidays, Toy R Us would buy more toys earlier and later in the season than other retailers typically do, Larian said.
That bodes especially ill for shoppers looking for hot toys like MGA’s LOL Surprise series of dolls, which has been flying off shelves this season, according to industry analysts. Its success has surprised even Larian.
“A lot of scalpers buy these and charge people two to three times more. It bothers me,” he said. “We try to make sure to ship enough goods that that doesn’t happen, but it’s selling more than we expected.”
Larian is hopeful that it won’t always be this way.
“Someday, somebody’s gonna fill that void with Toys R Us,” Larian.