Christmas may seem like a lonnnng while ago now but we’re betting many of you may still be bearing the scars of a desperate hunt to find a Hatchimal, 2016’s hottest children’s toy, in time for the big day.
Hatchimals – light-up eggs which hatch before your eyes to reveal a fluffy animal toy – were so in demand, we even hosted our very own Hatchimal hunt in the middle of Central London.
But it seems some parents who did get their hands on the toy are now saying it didn’t do what they thought it should.
And one mum, Jodie Hedjuk, from California, was so disappointed with her purchase, she’s now taking legal action.
She says her child’s Hatchimal ‘didn’t hatch at all’, and, as a result she is leading a class-action lawsuit against the company behind the popular toy, Spin Master.
“Millions of children and families across the globe were sourly disappointed, with coal in their stockings, in the form of a bait-and-switch marketing scheme perpetrated by Spin Master, the manufacturers of this Christmas season’s ‘it’ gift, Hatchimals,” the lawsuit states, according to news source CNBC.
“Spin Master knew that the ‘hatching’ was one of the primary draws of the toy. One of the company’s senior vice presidents recognised that getting the toy to hatch ‘resonates well with kids’ and that since children do not know what is inside of the egg ‘they get excited about what they may get.’
“This excitement was replaced with extreme disappointment for the many children when their Hatchimals did not hatch.”
(In case you weren’t aboard the hype train, you can watch how the Hatchimal is supposed to hatch in our MadeForMums Toys YouTube video review.)
And, OK, if Jodie’s child’s Hatchimal really didn’t hatch, we can understand why she’s disappointed. After all, it was so difficult, both here in the UK and the US, to get your hands on a Hatchimal before Christmas.
Especially since so many were bought specifically to be sold on online at much higher prices than the (already pretty pricey) recommended retail price of £59.99.
And the big draw of the Hatchimal was really dependent on its ability to hatch… Otherwise, well, you’ve just got an egg with a toy inside that you can’t really get to.
We definitely don’t like the thought of a little one (or lots of little ones) being disappointed on Christmas Day, either.
But we’re not convinced that a lawsuit is the right answer here. Perhaps a refund or a replacement toy that does hatch would suffice?
“Spin Master stands behind its products and cares about its consumers,” the company’s exec vice president Christopher Harrs told CNBC in response to the lawsuit.
“Given the popularity of Hatchimals and the overwhelmingly positive consumer response, a large number of Hatchimals were purchased as gifts and opened on Christmas Day. As a result, the Company experienced a higher than anticipated number of consumer calls over the holiday period.
“Spin Master took extraordinary and proactive steps to respond to consumer questions regarding Hatchimals.
“The company provided troubleshooting support and, where required, immediately made available replacement products for those few consumers whose toys did not work as they anticipated. The allegations from the class action lawyer are simply inaccurate and not based on actual facts.”
One things for sure: it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out…
What do you think?
Do you agree with this mum’s decision to sue Spin Master? Would you do something similar in the same boat?
Are you still keen to get your little one a Hatchimal (we’re hearing new shipments are due in the UK soon), or are you gonna wait to find out what 2017’s must-have toy will be?
Oh, and if you did get one in time for Christmas, did yours hatch OK? And – acid test – is your child still playing with it now?
Images: Instagram/MadeForMums, Hatchimals website