(WCMH) — We’ve seen all the price hikes in stores this year, and by now we are used to product shortages.

But both problems are about to hit toys just as the shopping season starts.

Why? Forbes magazine blames a pandemic-related shipping container crisis, with Chinese ports backed up, and shipping fees at all-time highs.

That’s led to Mattel warning it will be raising prices this holiday season, though it won’t list specific toys just yet.

But wait, there’s more, as those infomercials used to say.

Once the toys get to the US, Forbes says, there are not enough truck drivers to get them to stores.

And that is expected to lead to shortages of the most popular items.

The CEO of Little Tykes says “everything that could go wrong has gone wrong at the same time.”

That means supplies of hot toys will be short well before Black Friday.

And from the “doesn’t that stink” file, the fight to find the Sony PS5 for the second Christmas in a row.

Sony blames both shipping issues and this year’s chip shortage, the same shortage that caused auto plant shutdowns.

Ships, chips, trucks, and staffing issues are all combining to make supplies tight and prices high.

And that stinks.

The experts suggest you don’t wait till Black Friday this year to buy hot toys.

It is better to pay a bit more to have it in hand, so you don’t go crazy trying to find something, and you don’t waste your money.

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