Toys shortages are likely this Christmas, according to a major toymaker and distributor.

Character Group, which makes popular toys such as Go Fo Pets – the popular battery powered interactive hamsters – has predicted shortages in supply. John Lewis has imposed a limit of one order per person for the item as supplies deplete.

The manufacturer also makes Peppa Pig figurines and Postman Pat toys.

It said the collapse of Woolworths last year hit the company hard.

Character’s chairman Richard King said: “Woolworths was a huge source of toys for families, and its absence on the High Street has not been made up elsewhere.

“Retailers have underestimated how much extra stock they will require.

“We have sold out of all our brands for the festive period this year - we are now short of inventory for everything from the Go Gos to Peppa Pig, and we believe retailers will be too.”

However, in recent weeks toy retailers Hamleys and The Entertainer have both told Retail Week that they are well prepared for Christmas and do not expect any significant stock problems.

Hamleys chief executive Gudjon Reynisson said Hamleys is “fine in general” in regards to supply, because the retailer had “built flexibility” into its buying.