With just days to go until Hanukkah and Christmas, some shoppers are feeling a bit frantic as the last hope to get their hands on the hottest toy of the season dwindles. There are increasingly few options for parents who need a last-minute Hatchimal. According to CNBC, Toys "R" Us, Target, and Walmart all recently restocked their Hatchimal supplies, but typically, they're gone as soon as they arrive. Sporadic shipments are expected throughout the end of the month and into January, but let's face it, if your kid wants one, they're probably expecting it this weekend. So what's a parent to do?
Relax, you're not completely screwed. It's not too late to make your kid's holiday a magical one. First of all, try focusing on all the other things that make the holidays special, like hot cocoa, a week off from school, and maybe sledding, if you're into that sort of thing. Go on a walk or a car ride to check out all the decorations in your neighborhood. Do some volunteer work. Then, you'll realize that your kid is a kid, and kids are self-centered and materialistic, and they still want that Hatchimal. Then, choose one of the following options:
Family Camping Trip!
Have the kids load up the SUV with sleeping bags, flashlights, and a tent, because you're all going camping... in the Walmart parking lot! If they want that silly thing so badly, you're not sleeping on the sidewalk alone. Time for Junior to see how the sausage is made.
If you've got the scratch, there are still unclaimed Hatchimals out there. They're selling them on eBay, and through Amazon third party retailers, for around $100 to $200. Now, some people might say that supporting resellers only encourages those bottom-feeding scumbags, and if you have that kind of money to throw around, you should help someone in need, but that's none of my business.
How About A Real Egg?
Look at the baby. Look at the baby ducky! Tell me that little fluffball isn't cuter than some chirping bundle of electronics. Just fill up the old wading pool and toss it in your basement and boom, instant duck pond! Just be sure not to feed it bread; That's actually really bad for ducks.
Give Them An I.O.U.
If you have somehow managed to raise a patient child (please tweet me your secret immediately), you might be able to get away with giving them the promise of a Hatchimal next month. Target sells Hatchimal-branded gift cards so the kids at least have something to unwrap. Toys "R" Us is currently pre-selling Hatchimals, and the next batch is expected to ship next week. And if you're worried about your kid's reaction, you can always foist the blame onto Santa Claus, like these moms did.
Maybe Try Spain?
MarketWatch brings us the story of an Irish dad named Sol Mac Eoghan who flew all the way to Spain and back to get his son, Charlie, a Hatchimal. It's not quite as crazy as it sounds, I swear. Mac Eoghan flew on the budget-friendly Ryanair, and the whole trip cost just €180, or about $189, which is on par with the markup for your average reseller. He was stuck in Spain for three days, since Ryanair only flies there two days a week, but during his layover, he says he was able to take care of some needed dental work for only a third of the price it would have cost back home. That's a win-win!
Step 1: Procure an ostrich egg (or a large stone, if you can't find an ostrich egg).
Step 2: Hard-boil said egg (or, in the case of a stone, simply wash it).
Step 3: Using an old toothbrush, paint colorful flecks on your egg (or stone).
Step 4: Present your child with their counterfeit Hatchimal for cuddling.
Step 5: After a week, when it still hasn't hatched, tell your child the batteries must be dead. Take it to your bedroom to "change them."
Step 6: By now, the real Hatchimal you pre-ordered from Toys "R" Us will have arrived. Swap out the eggs and give your child the real Hatchimal.
Get Over It
I mean, really. Did you get everything you ever asked for as a kid? I'll admit, I'm still a little annoyed that I never received Mr. Game Show 30 years ago, but I still talk to my mother. It's just a toy. And it might not even be that great. Witness, if you will, the tale of 8-year-old Mahaila from Washington, D.C. who received a Hatchimal for her birthday two months ago, and now tells her local ABC affiliate WJLA that she finds it "kind of annoying," "annoying," and also "really annoying." Tell us how you really feel, Mahaila!
Getting your kid a Hatchimal might be important to you, but maybe the feeding frenzy at the local mall has caused you to lose sight. I just asked my own second grader, and he's never even heard of them! Of course, now he's bound to look them up on YouTube Kids and ask me to buy him one, so... Wish me luck.