Hatchimals: worth the money? See one hatch here...
We reveal all about the must-have toy for Christmas 2016, as one of our child toy reviewers shows you how it hatches, what it does – and how she rates it
Hatchimals may be the hottest toys of Christmas 2016 but, before you spend a zillion hours online trying to score the last one left on sale before 25th December, you need to know if it's worth the £59.99 (or more) you'd be shelling out for it.
How does a Hatchimal actually work? Does it just start hatching when you unbox it? Or does your child have to do something to make it hatch? How can you be sure it won't hatch when no one's looking? How long does it take to hatch? And, once it's hatched, is that it?
Yep, we had all these questions too!
So, we've asked Georgie, age 7, and one of our MadeForMums Toys YouTube reviewers, to unbox a Hatchimals, show us – step by step – what happens next, and then tell us what she thinks of it all.
We're uploading her 5 videos one by one, so you can clearly see what happens – and what she thinks and we think – at each stage...
STAGE 5: After your Hatchimal has hatched
Georgie's verdict? 'My Hatchimal is so cute. It makes a lot of noise and needs lots of cuddles. I had fun playing with it and seeing it walk and talk.'
Our verdict? Like the egg, the hatched Hatchimal responds to how often you rub and pat and stroke it, and its eyes light up in different colours to tell you how you need to respond to it. Georgie loved playing with her Hatchimal for a couple of days but then got a bit bored with it – they're quite high-maintenance creatures! Georgie' s mum says it hasn't been played with for quite a few days now...
STAGE 4: The Hatching: See what happens when the egg starts to crack
Georgie's verdict? 'It's so exciting! It takes quite a long time. If you stop rubbing the egg, it falls asleep and stops hatching. I love it when the beak pops out. You have to pull hard at the end to get it right out of the shell. I'm going to call it Bubbles.'
Our verdict? This is definitely the best bit. The way the Hatchimal twirls round inside between pecks at the shell means you never quite know where its beak's going to appear next. It takes just over 10 minutes to hatch fully – which may be a mite too long to hold a small one's attention but is super-suspenseful for older ones. You have to be careful to keep rubbing the egg while it's hatching or the Hatchimal will make sleepy noises and stop pecking the shell – making the whole process take much longer. Alternatively, you could take advantage of this to split the hatching into several shorter stages – and spin the excitement out a bit longer!
STAGE 3: Making it Hatch: See what you have to do to starting the hatching process off
Georgie's verdict? 'I like how its eyes light up and the noises it makes – especially when it taps backs at you when you tap it. You have to do a lot of rubbing it to get it ready to hatch.'
Our verdict? This stage is fun – the eyes flash different colours and the egg makes all sorts of noises – but it's worth knowing that, if you do it all in one go, it will take at least 20 minutes before you see the 'rainbow eyes' that signal it's ready to hatch. You have to keep rubbing and interacting with the egg for all that time to kick off the hatching process; if you stop, the egg will fall asleep. Keep the instruction sheet close by so you can work out what the different eye colours mean – and what you need to do when you see them.
STAGE 2: Unboxing: see what you get in the box
Georgie's verdict? 'It's so cute! I can't wait to play with it.'
Our verdict? What you get is an egg and an instruction sheet. The instruction sheet tells you how to interpret the different eye colours that shine through the shell once you start rubbing and stroking the egg. The sense of anticipation at this stage is great, even for cynical old grown-up.
STAGE 1: The Initial Reaction: see what Georgie thinks when she's given a Hatchimal
Helen is author of the classic advice book Parenting for Dummies. Before joining MadeForMums over 7 years ago, she was Head of Community at Mumsnet and also the Consumer Editor of Mother & Baby.
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