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Toy maker Mattel warns of Christmas price rises due to Covid supply problems

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Sales of Barbie dolls have surged in the past year as parents tried to keep their children entertained at home (Getty)
Sales of Barbie dolls have surged in the past year as parents tried to keep their children entertained at home (Getty)

Toy giant Mattel has warned of Christmas price increases due to the rising cost of shipping and raw materials as the world economy recovers from the pandemic.

Mattel’s chief executive Ynon Kreiz told the BBC the company would be “looking at” increasing prices in the second half of the year, but said decisions had not yet been made about which products would be affected.

The move is in response to “some of the inflationary pressures”, he added.

“We’re not the only ones who did it; in our industry everyone did – and no one is surprised by [price increases].”

Earlier this month, the founder and chief executive of toy chain The Entertainer told UK shoppers to start Christmas shopping now to avoid disappointment.

Gary Grant said that a “shipping crisis” in China was causing uncertainty about which products would be available when.

Companies from DIY chains to electronics manufacturers have hiked prices as the supply of many items, which fell because of Covid-19, has failed to keep up with growing demand.

Bottlenecks in supply chains that move goods around the world have also built up, and shipping costs have multiplied.

Mattel’s warning came as it reported a 40 per cent jump in sales and a surprise profit during its latest quarter. Sales of Mattel’s most famous brand, Barbie, surged in the past year as people bought more toys to keep children occupied during lockdowns.

The company has also boosted sales with publicity around its push to make the iconic dolls more diverse.

Its latest figures were up by comparison with the same period last year, when shops were closed in many countries.

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