How to beat supply chain setbacks ahead of holiday shopping

Tips to find those hard to find Christmas toys

KPRC 2 is now sharing this consumer report on how you can track down those hard-to-find toys and some good alternatives if you can’t.

HOUSTON – Supply chain issues have impacted people shopping for everything from cleaning supplies, food to even toys.

KPRC 2 Investigates reported on how those impacts are also causing prices to increase, including for groceries and what you can do to keep your budget in line.

Now, KPRC 2 Investigates’ Bill Spencer is sharing this consumer report on how you can track down those hard-to-find toys and some good alternatives if you can’t.

Local toy stores said they’re seeing shortages across the board.

“When we’d go to the market and order all our toys, all of our vendors basically said, ‘Order everything you want, but expect half of every shipment to come in,” said Angela Cook, general manager at Big Blue Whale Toys in The Heights.


Top Three Trouble Toys and Alternatives

  1. The PlayStation 5 is a highly coveted game console for both kids and adults. But the microchip shortage is making it even harder for the supply to match the demand. No toy will be an exact alternative for the PS5, but the owner of Dallas-based Toy Maven has a fun suggestion that still gets the whole family involved. “My alternative is a great family game called “Throw-Throw Burrito,” said Candace Williams. “It’s a dodgeball card game with jumbo inflatable burritos that you can throw at one another. It’s crazy fun.”
  2. The second trouble toy on our list is Legos. Cook says “Plus-Plus” blocks are a great alternative because it’s still a building toy and “imaginative play.”
  3. Another toughie to find is one particular type of plushy. Squishmallows are near impossible to find, according to Cook. She recommends TY Squish or Squishables because they’re still fun plush toys.

Impossible to find? Here are Some Alternative Ideas

  1. Shop local, small businesses -- You can search the American Specialty Retail Toy Association to track down local toy stores all across the country.
  2. Not in stores or online retailers? Go to the manufacturer’s website and sign up for alerts. One mom we talked with said she signed up on Sony’s website for the PS5 and managed to get one in September.
  3. Give the gift of experiences -- Experts we talked with said to think about giving your kids a trip to a water park or some other big event that could get the whole family involved. They suggest even putting a picture of your child and the venue in a box to surprise them on Christmas morning.
  4. Is your mind set on tracking down a toy? Check out the NowInStock website. You can get alerts on when items are in stock or available for pre-order at various retailers.
  5. Another solid search tool is Brick Seek. This site also shows you where you can get better prices for those hard-to-find items.

Do you have any tips on how parents can track down toys or come up with great alternatives? Let us know in the comments section below!


About the Author:

Emmy-winning investigative reporter, insanely competitive tennis player, skier, weightlifter, crazy rock & roll drummer (John Bonham is my hero). Husband to Veronica and loving cat father to Bella and Meemo.