DETROIT (WWJ) – With December 25th less than a week away — some shoppers are finding the gifts they’re looking for are no longer available in stores or online.
Number one in this category this Christmas: the coveted Hatchimal.
Arguably the most popular toy of 2016, it’s basically today’s Furby meets the Tamagotchi.
A Hatchimal is a colorful, cute and interactive plushy creature that comes inside a plastic egg. The Hatchimal’s adoptive parent must nurture (play with) the egg until it hatches amid lights and sounds — in about 20 to 30 minutes — and then raise the hatchling through three life stages. (Note: Each Hatchimal will only hatch one time; no re-hatching. See a video demonstration above or get more details about the toy here.)
Molly Blakeman, a spokeswoman for retailer Walmart, said they’ve been having trouble keeping these popular little guys in stock.
“Hatchimals have been a runaway hit; they continue to flock to our stores throughout this month and next month. Customers can’t get enough of the prized eggs,” Blackman said. “We’re working really hard to meet that demand…so customers better run to the story to make sure that they get that under the tree.”
Hatchimals were initially tagged as low as $49.99; but now — if you can find one in stores — $69.99 is the average price.
Macomb mom Amy Berlin, whose 6-year-old daughter “wants one bad,” said she’s not about to shell out the $150 or more that Hatchimals are going for on Amazon and eBay.
“If anybody contacts you and wants to give it up for $50 bucks (let me know),” she added, with a laugh.
Metro Detroit mom Lisa Thorne couldn’t believe her eyes on Monday when she saw a woman happily clutching a Hatchmal in the checkout line at Farmington Hills Target.
“I was like: How did you end up with that?” Thorne said. “She told me she got lucky…saw an employee walking with it from the back room and asked if it was going anywhere special.”
Thorne said her 12-year-old son, thankfully, is a little old for the Hatchimal — but she got a voucher for one in line at Toys ‘R’ Us. Thorne able to trade another shopper her Hatchimal for the Nintendo Entertainment System: Classic Edition, another tough-to-find item this holiday.
Blakeman had this advice for Hatchimal shoppers:
“Call your store manager, see if they’re available. Also keep an eye out for them at Walmart.com,” Blakeman said. “Now just in case you can’t get your hands on the Hatchimal, we do have some other really coveted items this year in the toy department, including a Disney princess carriage. It’s been a customer favorite since it hit our shelves in October. Also, the My Life As Food Truck is a favorite, Star Wars toys you can’t beat.”
Blakeman said lines may be long in store, but they’ve hired Walmart holiday helpers to help show you where best to stand.