This holiday season, demand for toys is ‘unbelievable’

In a bustling storefront in Coolidge Corner, Eureka! Puzzles & Games is home to bright blue and green walls. Miniature Earth models. Custom jigsaw puzzles. And lately, lots of customers.

“Demand is certainly higher than pre-pandemic levels,” said owner David Leschinsky. “It’s holding strong.”

Toy retailers — from big box stores to neighborhood shops — have accommodated growing crowds during what Leschinsky called the “wackiest” holiday season in recent memory. Everyone, it seems, is hunting for Nerf guns, princess castles and plush animals.

ABCD Dorchester Neighborhood Service Center initially had 6,000 requests for individual toys, and only 70 donors to fulfill them, according to Josh Young, director of field operations and legislative affairs. (With additional outreach, the organization reached its goal this week.)

“The environment surrounding donations is hard because of the rates of COVID-19 cases, the supply chain, and inflation,” Young said.