How To Find Little Live Pets Mama Surprise This Christmas

Step 1: Seriously, don’t panic.

Cabbage Patch Dolls. Furbys. Tickle Me Elmo. Every year, it seems, there’s a Big Holiday Toy that’s on every kid’s list and this year it appears to be Little Live Pets Mama Surprise: a toy guinea pig who has a trio of adorable babies. Here’s everything you need to know about the hot ticket item, including how to find one under your own tree before the end of winter break...

What is Little Live Pets Mama Surprise?

The toy is made by from Moose Toys, which also makes popular brands like Shopkins and Magic Mixies (a big toy last holiday season... not going to lie, it’s awesome and I get why kids went nuts for it) as well as toys for TV shows like Bluey and Octonauts. This particular toy comes from the brand’s Little Live Pets line, which includes birds that talk, fish that swim, bears you can swaddle, and flamingos that “do a magic poop.” (If pooping flamingoes aren’t your thing, don’t worry: there’s also a pooping turtle, or rather turdle.)

Mama Surprise, which was a 2022 Toy of the Year finalist, is an interactive hamster with sensors on its mouth and on its head. Nurture your mama by patting her head, feeding her and brushing her to make her heart light up. (Not going to lie: so far this does sound like an excellent way to nurture and expectant mother...) Her heart lighting up — along with a sing-songy sound — is the sign that she’s ready to “reveal her babies.”

Each toy comes with four hamsters.Amazon

Put her in her hutch and observe the heart light above the door. When the light goes out (in 10 minutes or hours, depending on your preferred setting), open the door to reveal a baby (which has dropped from the ceiling of the hutch and honestly sounds like a pretty rad way to give birth). Each baby comes with its own themed gift box with little accessories they can wear. The whole process can be repeated by reloading the little ones back into the roof of the hutch. The toy sells for $65.

Parents are reportedly scrambling to get their hands on the toy.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the toy has been difficult for parents to find and quickly becomes out of stock in stores and online. “If any one sees a Little live pets mama surprise guinea pig playset anywhere please let me know,” Lowri Earith wrote on Facebook earlier this month along with a sobbing emoji. She told the WSJ that her sister in Australia was able to get one to her in the U.K.

Another U.K.-based parent on Facebook reached out to another community, the Isle of Man, located between Britain and Ireland. “I wondered whether anyone living on the Isle of Man would be able to help a desperate mum trying to find a present for my six year old daughter for Christmas? There’s only one thing she really really wants and it’s a Little Live Pets Mama Surprise. Unfortunately, it’s out of stock everywhere in the UK but JAC Stores on the Isle of Man seem to have one but they don’t dispatch to the mainland Is there anyone who would be able to go to one of their stores to collect it for me (or let me have it delivered to you) and then post to me in Essex? I will of course cover the cost of your travel to collect it and postage. ... I would be sooo grateful.” (She, too, was able to secure a toy.)

Secondary sellers are attempting to sell the toy for upwards of double the retail value.Facebook

In more recent weeks, however, retailers seem to have caught up with what a Target rep told the WSJ was a “tremendous” demand. Most recent posts on social media regarding the toy are secondary-market sellers offering the toy at prices usually above the $65 retail price — usually somewhere between $80 and $125, more often than not accompanied by comments like “Walmart has these for $65 dollars right now” or “These are on Amazon for half the price.”

Which leads us to the question...

Where can I find Little Live Pets Mama Surprise?

As of press time, Romper was able to find the toy in stock on Amazon (though it may not arrive in time for Christmas or even the last day of Hanukkah), in-store at Target, and on, albeit for higher prices (ranging from $104 to $140), though it will arrive by Christmas.

And, of course, this being a hot toy the week before Christmas, there were also a slew of toys available through private sellers (at private seller prices, naturally) on eBay, Poshmark, and Mercari.

When it comes to the toy, I can understand why kids want it so badly — it’s gimmicky and cute. And while I’m sure a good amount of the parental desperation in the air is simply about ensuring their children’s holiday happiness, I can not help but think of this review from Amazon: “I felt like it was a very good compromise for not getting a real animal (we have plenty).”

And, really, can you put a price on demurring your child’s begging for a pet for another year? I don’t think so.