Martin O'Donnell pointed out an article from The Wall Street Journal that warns of more extreme toy and game shortages during this holiday season than in recent years. The shortages will be more extreme this year due to cautious retail strategies (brought on by poor sales of supposed-hot toys last year), production problems (resulting from labor shortages and infrastructure problems in China), and surprisingly high demand for the toys here in the USA.
All of this points to possible frustration and disappointment while shopping later this week. You may want to consider shopping for popular toys and games before Thanksgiving, if you have time.
An example of hot toy shortages cited in the article is the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Playset. This electronic clubhouse has a suggested retail price of $39, according to The Wall Street Journal article. Third parties are trying to capitalize on the shortage by selling the clubhouse for $90 or more. If you want this toy for your children, a far better option is to look on DisneyShopping.com, where the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Playset can be found for $49.95 as of this writing.
It's a good thing that my son doesn't have his heart set on anything in particular for Christmas, otherwise I'd be competing for the hot toy for my son's age group against his peers' parents. Next year we may have our first direct experience with toy shortages. [ Subscription required to read most articles in The Wall Street Journal. ]