A writer for The New York Post is warning parents of a worrying side effect of Hatchimals for children.
This year’s must-have toy craze is a fluffy toy that hatches after 30 minutes of continual play.
The toy eventually grows through three life stages – from baby to toddler to child, and along the way your child can teach the toy to walk, talk, dance, sing and play tag.
But Naomi Schaefer Riley says in a The New York Post article that Hatchimals “teach children all the wrong lessons about how to relate to other beings”.
"The more toys do for children, the less they do for themselves," Schaefer claims.
Schaefer is backed up by MIT researcher Sherry Turkle who documented the relationship between children and their Furby pets - the interactive hit toy from the early 2000s.
In her book, Alone Together, Turkle warns that “sociable robots open new possibilities for narcissistic experience” because the relationship is not with another human being.
Turkle says children “need to be with other people to develop mutuality and empathy; interacting with a robot cannot reach these”.
Listen: Have you felt the pressure of the Christmas wish list? Post continues after podcast.
Like Furbys, the fluffy toy is having its moment and some parents have even resorted to delivering IOU letters from Santa due to not being able to track the present down in time.
But is this "brought to life" Tamagotchi really problematic for children?
Will it make your child lazy, narcissistic or unsociable?
"Instead of having to imagine both sides of the interaction — a child’s and the teddy bear’s — now the child only has to make up half of it," says Schaefer.
At the very least this new theory might lessen the guilt from parents unable to get this year's must-have new toy.
On the other hand, if a toy can tap into the imagination of children all around the world, perhaps we need to lay off it.