The little furry animals that hatch from eggs and then “learn” skills are this season’s hot toy.
It’s one word that can make kids squeal with delight and parents cry: Hatchimal.
The little furry animals that hatch from eggs and then “learn” skills are this season’s hot toy. But it’s a request even Santa is going to have some trouble filling. Hatchimals are sold out just about everywhere except online re-sellers, where they are being sold for more than four times their original price of $59.99.
There will be a small window this weekend when moms, dads and Santa might be able to score, though. Target stores everywhere will have a limited supply of an exclusive-to-Target Hatchimal: the Bearakeet. They will be available Sunday; shoppers will be limited to two Hatchimals each.
The Walmart stores in Factoria, Renton and Everett said they did not have any Hatchimals and didn’t know if they would get another shipment before Christmas. In Port Orchard, a shipment received early on Friday morning had sold out by 10 a.m., according to a sales associate.
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Hatchimals are made by Spin Master, a Canadian company that was more than a little surprised by how sought after the Hatchimals became following their October launch. The hi-tech hatchling is a long way from the company’s first toy: “Earth Buddy” was a nylon stocking filled with sawdust that would grow grass. The company now makes several well-known products, including Kinetic Sand.
The Hatchimal is a bit like the Tamagotchi toys of the 1990s — they were little eggs with primitive screens that learned things as you “fed” them and cared for them. They were pets for kids whose parents didn’t want to get them actual pets.
Since then, there have been other robotic toys that can “learn” and respond to stimuli, but the Hatchimals are the first that hatch from an actual egg.
At the end of last month, Spin Master apologized to customers on its website for the shortage:
“The consumer response to Hatchimals has been extraordinary, exceeding all expectations. This is a special season and we don’t want anyone to be disappointed, nor do we support inflated prices from non-authorized resellers. While additional product will hit retail shelves in December, we anticipate this inventory will also sell out quickly. We have increased production and a whole new batch of Hatchimals will be ready to hatch in early 2017. In the meantime, we have created an online resource center at Hatchimals.com/NorthPole to help kids and their parents during the wait. We are also partnering with some of our retailers to develop pre-sale and/or rain-check programs for redemption in January. We will continue to update with program details as they become available.”
One mom cooked up an apology letter from Santa that she made a template for and posted on her Facebook page. The mom, Amber Gordon of Ypsilanti, Mich., wrote that she was able to score a Hatchimal for her oldest daughter, but wrote the letter earlier, assuming she would come up empty.
“I created this letter about two weeks ago and posted it to my personal Facebook with intentions of using it for her if I didn’t find one. It has since went viral. Who doesn’t like keeping the Christmas magic alive?” Gordon wrote. Here’s the link for the letter template.
If you’re more outdoorsy and, of course, have neighbors who won’t mind, you can always go for the organic version of the Hatchimal: a chick egg.