Hawke's Bay toy stores around the region are warning families to get in early lest children miss out on their Christmas wishlist amid ongoing supply issues.
Glen Chan, of Napier's Cool Toys, said their usual holiday season starts in November but it had been building up and the store had been busy the past few weeks.
"In the last two weeks, a lot of people have come in to do their Christmas shopping."
He said they had been "frantically" trying to get in as much stuff as possible.
"We are struggling to find a lot of stock.
"The radio control area is the biggest and unfortunately that's the area our supply is constraining the most."
This was driven by increased interest after lockdown, with more people getting into radio controlled car racing.
Chan said shipping supply issues had exacerbated the difficulty getting stock in.
"It's been a struggle."
His advice was for people to get in early.
Debbie Clifford of Blackboard Jungle in Havelock North said they were well stocked, expecting sales to start picking up from Labour weekend.
"Who wants kids to miss out on Christmas?"
People needing to send presents overseas had started their shopping, spurred on by messaging from NZ Post.
Jigsaws, board games and puzzles were a popular gift choice for families still stuck in level 3 restrictions, she said.
"We're a little bit busy but it's not a mad rush," she said.
Polly's Toys & Gifts owner Pauline Brown said shopping was already picking up online and in-store.
"There's a lot of stuff out there but if it's specific and new to the market [it might not be available]."
While there was new stock coming in, she said, there were "no guarantees" due to stock being stuck in Auckland.
She was still waiting on stock from six weeks ago to arrive.
"It's almost a mission impossible."
Brown encouraged people to get in early and talk to shop owners for advice.