Michael Lee CTVNews.ca Writer
Shoppers may need a little holiday magic themselves to snag one of this year’s hottest toys.
Demand has been high in Canada and the United States for Magic Mixies, a creation of Moose Toys out of Australia.
The toy has kids mix magical ingredients together in a cauldron, creating real mist, and then, with the tap of a special wand and a couple of magic words, a pink or blue furry pet, or Mixie, is born.
With helpful marketing from ‘How I Met Your Mother’ star Neil Patrick Harris, the holiday frenzy for Magic Mixies has been dubbed by The New York Post as "worse than ‘Tickle Me Elmo.’"
Up north, several retailers have reported being out of stock of the popular toy as of Friday, including Walmart, Indigo, The Bay and Toys ‘R’ Us.
Those willing to fork up a few more bucks can find Magic Mixies on Amazon.ca or eBay for well over $100 in most cases, with some listing the furry creature for about $200.
"There’s so many cool elements to this toy, I think," Kristin Morency Goldman, a spokesperson for the U.S. not-for-profit The Toy Association, told CTVNews.ca by phone.
"Really, the innovation and the creativity in the toy itself is really driving the demand — and you can repeat the process over and over again."
Goldman says there always is that one toy every holiday season that everyone wants but can’t get their hands on, whether it’s Tickle Me Elmo or back in the 1980s with Cabbage Patch Kids.
And this year, Magic Mixies just happens to have that perfect storm of ingredients that drives what kids want in a toy, she says, with kids able to go through the "magic reveal" over and over again.
The current shipping crisis has impacted the availability of all toys, Goldman says, although there are still many options out there that are just as innovative as Magic Mixies.
"But I would say, if you see one and want one, get it. Don’t wait five minutes, because in five minutes it’ll be gone."
Marty Weintraub, national retail leader at Deloitte, says shoppers have been a bit more fearful as a result of the supply chain challenges, with people starting their holiday shopping earlier than ever "to a pretty serious magnitude."
Holiday shopping, which usually begins closer to Black Friday, saw an uptake around the end of October and early November, he says.
As part of its 2021 holiday retail outlook, Deloitte found 14 per cent of consumers planned on completing their shopping on Cyber Monday. Another 65 per cent expected to finish in December, down from 75 per cent in 2019, which Deloitte believes reflects rising concerns around pandemic-driven supply chain issues and their impact on retailers.
Even with existing supply chain challenges, Weintraub says stores do have a lot of product available — shoppers just may not be able to get the exact item they want, or at as deep of a discount.
"Unfortunately, there’s lots of things that have to get solved, and on top of that you have really strong demand," Weintraub said as far as when consumers and retailers may see some easing in the supply chain.
There are signs that the situation may improve over the next several months, Weintraub says, although that will depend on factors such as when demand starts to waver or whether existing labour challenges continue to persist.
As far as advice he would give to shoppers — and with only a few weeks left before Christmas — Weintraub says don’t procrastinate, and the more digitally savvy you are the better shot you’ll have.
#MagicMixies Magic Cauldron from Moose Toys encourages kids to believe by letting them experience magic in their own hands. Follow the spell, tap the magic wand, and POOF! your interactive Mixie appears from the REAL mist. Real magic is here! #ad https://t.co/h8kdyZmTZo pic.twitter.com/sTkshWOl3r
Demand has been high for one of this year’s hottest toys, ‘Magic Mixies.’ (Moose Toys)
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