This whole Hatchimals craze is giving me the Tickle Me Elmo hives. Every parent out there knows the fear/joy of your kid wanting that One Big Present for Christmas. If you can find it, great, if not... I don't know what happens. Maybe ask Arnold Schwarzenegger's character from Jingle All The Way. While the idea of not finding a Hatchimal for your little one might fill you with dread, what do you do if you get one of those nasty imposters? How do you spot a fake Hatchimal, and if you're stuck with one, how do you pass it off with your kid? Just kidding, we're all good parents. We would never do that....
For those of you living in blissful ignorance as I was until recently, Hatchimals are the toy of the holiday season 2016. The Hatchimals live inside an egg, and it's up to your anxious child to help them hatch. The interactive, adorable toys are causing desperate parents no end of stress (and money) as they sell out all over the country and online. The toy normally retails in stores for $50 to $60, but some parents, terrified their child will have to endure the horror of waking up with no Hatchimal of their own to love, are shelling out anywhere from $100 to $200 on the Hatchimal Black Market (not a real thing, but you get where I'm coming from).
Naturally, whenever a toy becomes Cabbage Patch Kid-level popular, knock-offs abound. So how does one tell the difference between the for-real Hatchimal their kid can teach to walk, talk, and play or some shadowy pretender? Especially knock-offs that could contain harmful chemicals? Imagine going through all the effort of laying your hot little hands on a Hatchimal only to find it's a fake.
Luckily, the surprise success of these Hatchimals has made it difficult for knock-off artists to come up with a relatively believable product so far, particularly given the complexity of the design. As Richard Gottlieb, CEO of Global Toy Experts, told Romper, there probably aren't many fake Hatchimals saturating the market just yet:
There may be [fakes] but I don't think there are a lot because the fad was unexpected and it is a complex toy to make.
While the fake Hatchimal market might not be thriving as of yet, that doesn't mean there aren't people out there willing to take advantage of a parent's desperation to get a Hatchimal for their kid. A woman in England put out a wanted ad for a Hatchimal and paid just over $200 (or £125 British pounds) for two Hatchimals but never received either of them. Sarah Derbe Briggs, who is a mother of three and a young widow, told The Sun she was utterly disillusioned by the whole thing:
I’m gutted as I’m a young widow with three children. I feel sick with worry now. To some people £125 isn’t much, but to to me it’s a lot. I was only looking for my dear friend’s little girl then decided to get one for my daughter.
The best bet? Maybe wait until after Christmas and purchase your Hatchimal from a reputable retailer. Because what kid doesn't love a present in January?