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Toy industry says no shortage of supplies for Christmas

Advanced planning means six-week delay for container ship deliveries will not lead to empty shelves

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07 December 2021 07:22 PM

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ACN | Terrassa

The toy industry is confident that there will be no shortage of goods on the shelves this Christmas.

IMC Toys, the Catalan company behind the predicted bestseller Cry Babies doll, and sources from the Spanish Association of Toy Manufacturers have explained to the Catalan News Agency (ACN) that the Christmas campaign has been organized for months, thereby allowing sufficient foresight to anticipate setbacks.

Although shipping containers with products from the Asia are experiencing delays of more than six weeks, the amount of goods has been worked out and ordered in advance, meaning there will be no shortage of products on the shelves of stores in Catalonia.

The Christmas shopping season comes in the midst of a global crisis of raw materials and transport, with an increase in the price of plastic and cardboard leading to a distortion in the market and delays in the arrival of orders.

"There's a lot of products that are still at sea, but it's not true that the toys won't arrive by Christmas, the last containers arrive in early December," IMC Toys CEO Albert Ventura says.

"Customers should not get nervous. If the product they are looking for is not in the store, they should ask for it, because it will arrive," he says.

The Spanish Association of Toy Manufacturers share Ventura's viewpoint. Its president, José Antonio Pastor says preparations are made well in advance: "We are not talking about shortages at all. A campaign that is so concentrated in the last part of the year, with such a high volume of products, is not prepared overnight."

Cry Babies, top seller

The industry forecast puts the Cry Babies doll from IMC Toys in the number one spot for sales over the holiday season.

"It will be the best-selling toy this Christmas for the third year in a row," says Ventura.

The company is also seeing encouraging sales of VIP Pets, another of its own creations, as well as the games Truth Detector and Volcano Escape, which was already a bestseller last year.

4.3 billion YouTube views

The firm, based in Terrassa, just outside Barcelona, is in good health, predicting a 15% increase in sales on last year and an annual turnover of around €160m.

During the pandemic, the company managed to grow the number of employees by 100. It now directly employs 353 staff, including 200 in Spain.

This increase is partly due to the efforts it is making to produce new audiovisual content linked to their toys.

"Before, a lot was invested in molds and design, and now we also have to create series to reach kids," Ventura says.

In fact, the company's YouTube channel, Kitoons, has 6.7 million subscribers and 4.3 billion views, making it the second most-viewed channel in Spanish on the platform.

"We have a division in the company that is solely dedicated to creating series," Ventura says, convinced that the future lies in creating synergies between online content that children see and toys that they have in their hands.

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  • A set of Cry Babies (Bebés Llorones) from Catalan company IMC Toys, November 17, 2021. (Albert Segura Lorrio)

  • A set of Cry Babies (Bebés Llorones) from Catalan company IMC Toys, November 17, 2021. (Albert Segura Lorrio)

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