Mattel has announced 8-10% wholesale (case price) increases for their independent re-sellers.
Not exactly unexpected with record prices for all metal commodities and most obviously, gasoline at $100 a barrel – most everyone knew this was coming (you need crude oil to make plastics itself – not to mention powering the plant and transportion usage – just to name a few).
While most wholesalers and smaller retailers (online and b&m) will unfortunately have to pass along price increases to consumers – it’s hard to say what will happen at the big three retailers since they may or may not have contracts in place with Mattel for such a contingency. My guess is that Walmart has prices locked in for the year (Mattel presumably had forecasts and projections for commodity pricing in 2008 and already built in a portion of the price increase) and Target & TRU have some favored-nations agreement that if they hit certain ordering goals, wholesale prices are matched for them – so presumably, we’ll see a small increase at the big three – not the full 8-10% but of course, they also have to pay to heat the stores and gas up trucks from their distribution centers so prices in the stores today might be the lowest of 2008.
Sorry to bring up the whole real world thing 😦