We have recently heard some rumblings from suppliers that toy prices will be going up this year … we’ve already received a few mid-year revised price sheets showing hefty increases on some items. Other suppliers have said that they intend to charge more for freight this year than they have done in the past.
The reason for all this is, of course, the recent huge increase in the price of oil. You need oil to make plastic — and some analysts have suggested that half of all toys manufactured are at least partly plastic, though I would suggest that the proportion is far, far higher than that. Gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel are also needed to move toys (and other goods, of course) from their place of manufacture to the retail store, and thus to the consumer.
We will be sifting through our suppliers’ catalogues and shipping policies over the next months, trying to get a grip on these changes. Some of these price increases will change the way that we order, and some will change what we order, or from whom. We may find, for example, that once all the new and upwardly-adjusted production costs and shipping charges are applied, some toys manufactured in China are now less attractive a buy than similar toys manufactured in the Czech Republic or Germany.
We’ll keep you posted.