Unfortunately, prices increases are expected to be the norm in 2011, due mainly to the rapid climb of the Chinese Yuan. Combine the Yuan with higher material costs, fuel costs, and expected labor shortages, and you have the inevitable.
Several price increases already went into effect at the beginning of January,and several more will take place starting February 1st. These will include New-Ray, Norscot, Woodland Scenics, NZG, M2Machines, Unique Replicas, Maisto, Bruder, and Universal Hobbies.
Monday last week was the first day of the annual Hong Kong Toy Fair, and attendance was perceived to be down and prices to be up. Richard Gottlieb, president of a New York-based business development firm, wrote from the HK show this week, saying the typical toy industry price increases were "coming in at anywhere from 5% to 25%, with a mode of 15%." He went on to explain that these increases were to be expected, due to the inflation stats (November alone was 5.1%!). Experts are expecting an additional 5 to 6% in 2011.
Link: Hong Kong 2011; fewer people and higher prices