It was late last week when I decided it was time to start some Christmas shopping. I logged on and flicked through my usual toy retailers looking for my daughter’s number one request on her Christmas list.
I try not to actually go to a shopping mall at Christmas and instead like to do it all online. It’s easier right? And quicker. And simpler.
It is simple. I just want one of these. Easy. Right? But I wasn’t getting much luck.
Site after site gave me the same results.
Out of stock.
Not available until after Christmas.
It’s all she wants. It’s all she’s talking about and its selling out fast.
After all what child wouldn’t want a cute fluffy toy bird or creature that hatches from its very own egg? Who wouldn’t want a Hatchimal?
The demand for Hatchimals has taken retailers by surprise with many unprepared for the popularity of the toy.
The Hatchimal is an egg which hatches into an interactive, furry birdie creature fluffy thing when rubbed. The fuzzy little critter then literally pecks its way out of its shell and straight into your heart.
They come in five “species” of Hatchimal – Pengualas, Draggles, Owlicorns, Burtles, or Bearakeets.
(Bearakeet! My heart has melted.)
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You then raise your Hatchimal through three stages of life – baby, toddler and child “Hatchimals”. When your furry little friend enters a new stage, it sings you Hatchy Birthday. You can teach yours to walk, talk, dance and play games and you fall in love.
How could YOU not need one of these toys? Oh, yeah well your child actually.
But the popularity of Hatchimals has seen the more organised of parents snap them all up leaving those of us not-so-organised in dire straits.
A call around to the major retailers sees Toys R Us sold out in their stores – but with more stock coming in mid-December. Kmart and Big W are the same.
Target confirmed they had no stock of Hatchimals.
While Kmart said that Kmart Australia is selling Hatchimals "extremely well" and "anticipate a sell through by the end of the week".
"We encourage customers to check their local store for stock availability. Alternatively, customers can look forward to another delivery in store or online at Kmart.com.au before Christmas," A Kmart spokesperson told Mamamia.
A quick eBay search sees the prices of the toy inflated by 200 per cent - with those canny enough to nab a Hatchimal before the frenzy started, now offloading their treasures.
Some, which retailed for around $70.00 were on sale for up to $300.
Really, when you look at just how darn cute it’s obvious they were going to be a hit.
Toy industry expert, Jim Silver, compared them to the Tamagotchi phenomenon of the 90s.
In an interview with CNN Money he said: "Almost 20 years ago, we had the Tamagotchi virtual pet you had to hatch and take care of. Hatchimals is like that, but brought to life."
James Martin, the head of the company behind Hatchimals, Spin Master’s believes part of Hatchimals success lies in the unique hatching method. He told CNN as far as we know, a toy that’s able to hatch on its own hasn’t been done before.
"Kids don’t have a lot of patience. We didn’t want it to take too long [to hatch], but we also didn’t want it to happen too fast."
"We put a lot of effort into ensuring that the play went much beyond the hatching."
Hatchimals are also one of the interactive toys aimed at young children that doesn't require an app.
"This was a conscious decision on our part. Kids already have a lot of daily screen time. We didn't want to add to it," Mr Martin said.
An adorable little critter to love and care for that gets your child away from the screen. What more could we ask for? Well, just to find one.
The shortage isn't just limited to Australia. Across the world desperate parents have taken to social media in their quest for a Hatchimal.
Looks like I am going to be camping out at my local shopping mall come mid-December when the retailers get their new stock in.
Let’s just hope there are enough Hatchimals for all of us because I think I want one of each type.