A LOOMING Christmas toy shortage is set to increase prices and lower the quality of toys, experts have warned shoppers.

The toy shortage, triggered by the worldwide shipping container crisis, could lead to parents being fooled into buying worse items for higher prices.

Andrew Coplestone, dolls' pram specialist and founder of premium dolls' pram provider Play Like Mum, has advised that despite the increasing prices of toys, the quality of these gifts are not set to improve and could actually decrease this Christmas.

What is causing toy shortages?

Mr Coplestone said: ““The shortages we’ve seen so far have largely been seen around the food industry and the occasional empty supermarket shelf, but this will pale in comparison to the problems consumers will face as we enter the busiest period for UK retail this Christmas.

“In no sector will this be more apparent than in the toy industry – with the increase of shipping container costs impacting every corner of the global toy community.

“The skyrocketing costs for imports will result in narrower product ranges, less seasonal discounting, low stock levels, and higher retail prices for potentially lower quality products.

“Not only is there a huge risk of Christmas stock simply not arriving on time, Christmas shoppers will be faced with paying significantly higher prices for the same products and some manufacturers may even resort to making products from cheaper materials.

“Consumers need to be aware that a hike in price for Christmas toys certainly does not mean an increase in quality.”

Here are the top toys available this Christmas.

'Most challenging' Christmas

Mr Coplestone warned that shoppers should make sure they plan ahead to avoid being taken advantage of as the toy industry approaches its “most challenging” Christmas for 30 years.

He added: “At Play Like Mum, we’ll be in a stronger position than many other toy retailers as our range of premium dolls’ prams are created using high-quality materials, designed to stand the test of time and we do not rely on heavy seasonal discounts.

“Yet without a doubt, this Christmas will be the most challenging I’ve faced during my 30 years in the UK toy industry and I’d urge shoppers to show support for independent businesses this festive season to ensure they’re still viable as we emerge from this crisis.

“Now more than ever, the nation is looking forward to the return of a normal festive season which can be celebrated to the full, and retailers desperately need a strong Christmas to help make up for what they lost from Covid restrictions.

“However, unless shoppers plan ahead and are aware of the drastically different Christmas 2021 landscape, it won’t be a very merry Christmas for many consumers and manufacturers alike.”