So the hottest, must-have toy this Christmas is something called Hatchimals.
Y’all know about these?
It’s a toy animal of indeterminate species that comes inside an egg. Kids care for the eggs — like interactive little hens. They tap the shell, and the animal inside taps back. They can gauge the mood of the animal inside by its eye color, which is visible through the shell. They take care of it until it “hatches” into one of several animals that kids teach to walk, talk and dance.
Apparently, children love them. In fact, the toy is so popular right now that when I went to Google, I only entered H-A-T, and the first two things that popped up were “Hatchimals” and “Hatchimals Amazon.”
Spin Master, the toy creator, posted a message on its website for parents whose frantic search for Hatchimals is proving fruitless: “The consumer response to Hatchimals has been extraordinary, exceeding all expectations…. We have increased production and a whole new batch of Hatchimals will be ready to hatch in 2017.”
In my exhaustive research for this article (that is, when I Googled Hatchimals), I saw prices ranging from $59.99 at Target, to $234.73 at WalMart, to $2,500 on eBay (but that one had free shipping, so there’s that). Apparently, versions are manufactured exclusively for certain retailers.
The Hatchimals craze calls to mind some of the other must-have toys of Christmases past.
In other years, parents sold their souls at Christmastime to acquire Nintendo Wii, Tickle Me Elmo or Buzz Lightyear. Before that it was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, Pogs (coin-like disks whose popularity I never understood) and Teletubbies, to name just a few.
Remember when the Furby came out?
In 1998, Tiger Electronics released the cute little creature that started out speaking “Furbish;” kids taught him to speak English. I hated him. I spent countless hours that year frantically searching stores all over North Georgia trying to find one for my daughter, Jeffrey. I ended up buying one off somebody in a parking lot for, like, $125.
If you have a lasting memory of a hot Christmas toy, please post a comment.
And happy hunting!