Singing the Hot Holiday Toy Blues
December 5, 2009Posted by andrew |
This year for Christmas my son inadvertantly decided that he wanted what turned out to be the hot toy this season: the amazing Playmobil Egyptian Pyramid. While it's apparently a totally cool toy, I never dreamed that it would be something that would be wiped off the shelves of every toy store and big box realtor in west of the Mississipi. In fact, we've noticed that many popular toys, especially things like LEGO and Playmobil, are just gone—as in not there, out-of-stock, backordered, or never there in the first place.
Apparently many retailers, in light of the current economic situation, have ordered a lot less inventory this holiday season to avoid paying for stuff they're not going to sell. The upshot is that if you haven't bought it yet, you might want to look for something else.
Our Playmobil Pyramid saga started back in the spring, when my six-year-old sun got infected with the King Tut mania and an obsession for all things ancient Egyptian. When he saw the as-yet-unavailable pyramid playset in the 2009 Playmobil catalogue he decided that's what he wanted for Christmas. Fast-forward to November: the Toys R Us book lands in our house, with the Playmobil Pyramid advertised for a bargain $82.95. Around Thanksgiving we decided that we might want to buy one while they're still on sale. A quick trip online to the Toys R Us website reveals it to be sold out, indefinitely. Calls to all the local Toys R Us stores result in the same story: out of stock and no, we don't know when we'll have more.
Panic ensues. We ask our son, "So what do you want for Christmas again?" and he gives us a look like we're crazy, since he knows he's told us about 145 times.
"The Playmobil Pyramid."
"Anything else?" we query.
"No. Just that."
Fortunately, we—I mean Santa Claus—managed to track one down at a local independent toy store. It was the last one they had, and overall Santa didn't pay that much more for it. Currently, I'm having a great time following the Playmobil Pyramid market on Amazon.com, where the price goes up and down more than the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Actually, it mostly goes up, with some online merchants on Amazon asking a whopping $299 for thing, more than double the list price. Ouch!