Supply chain issues could fuel toy craze… Record number NOT buying gifts?

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As the holidays near, toy companies and retailers warn that some presents might be harder to find as businesses struggle against inflated shipping costs, labor shortages and other supply-chain issues.

The result could be a phenomenon only experienced a few times in the last four decades: a toy craze, which erupts when a toy captures the hearts of children, producing a feeding frenzy around the holidays as panicked parents try to secure one. The ensuing craziness can fuel a new line of products — or even save a famed television show.

In 1977, 22-year-old Xavier Roberts created Cabbage Patch Kids, making each of his one-of-a-kind “Little People” by hand. The soft, squishy baby dolls had round features and eyes set a little too close together.

Code Tenderloin, a nonprofit group serving the homeless in San Francisco, said it has about $7,000 worth of gift cards to hand out to those who need the extra financial assistance over the holidays.

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In recent weeks, requests from members of the community have poured in for food, clothing and gifts. Others are merely seeking Code Tenderloin’s help to put a roof over their heads on a rainy evening. And those solicitations will likely only mount as the holiday season drags on, said Donna Hilliard, executive director at Code Tenderloin.

“While everybody is going through their day-to-day, super excited about this holiday season, we have a whole community of folks who are stressed out,” said Hilliard in a phone interview. “We’re seeing more demand this year than we’ve ever seen.”

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