Popular ‘Under the Sea’ foam puzzle for kids is selling for eye-watering $37,500

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Here’s one example of how pretty much everything is getting more expensive: A toy that used to cost $33.50 is now being sold at $A37,500.

Premium Joy, based in Walnut, California, makes a variety of foam toys, including play mats, jigsaw puzzles and building blocks for kindergarten and elementary-grade kids. It sells them on its website and on Amazon.

One of its most popular toys is its Under the Sea-themed floor foam jigsaw puzzle.

“Pre-pandemic we sold as many as 5000 to 6000 of that puzzle every year,” said Hassan Alnassir, the company’s founder and owner.

Alnassir said the company is discontinuing production of the puzzle because it’s become too expensive to manufacture and import the foam products from Taiwan.

Premium Joy is selling its last remaining unit of the Under The Sea foam floor puzzle for $US28,000. Credit: CNN

That means demand for the Under the Sea puzzle now far outstrips supply.

Alnassir only has one left at this point and got to thinking about how high a price it could fetch, exactly.

A Google search revealed a jigsaw puzzle that went for $US27,000 – so he settled on $US28,000 ($A37,500), which is more than a thousand times the original price.

Continuing to make the puzzle just wasn’t an option, he said.

“The main issue that prompted us to decide to discontinue the puzzle despite its popularity is that sea freight cost has increased substantially due to the pandemic,” said Alnassir, adding that shipping rates for the business are almost “four times” higher compared to what they were in early 2020.

“Last year in February the cost for a 20-foot (6m) container was $1900. This June, it’s over $7000,” he said.

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