Is there a little boy or girl in your family begging for the hardest to find toy this holiday season, a Hatchimal?
Then you may want to know what at least one reviewer thinks of them: a third-grader who got one for her birthday.
Received one for her birthday
Mahaila is a bright, energetic, 8-year-old Northern Kentucky girl who received a $50 Hatchimal for her birthday two months ago.
When we asked her if it was fun getting it out of the egg, Mahaila said "yeah." But after it hatched, was it it still fun? "No," she responded.
Yes, Mahaila doesn't really like her Hatchimal, to the horror of parents waiting in lines for hours outside Toys R Us, Target or Wal-Mart, or others paying hundreds of dollars to Amazon third-party sellers and on eBay, where many are selling for $250.
"It spins and talks, but whenever it talks, it's kind of annoying," Mahaila said.
Thrill is in the hatching
For her and many others, the real excitement of a Hatchimal comes the first day.
That's when you hold and nurture it, and the little stuffed bird hatches from its shell after about 45 minutes. No other interactive toy has ever done that before. A promotional video shows the experience.
For the next day or two it makes baby sounds; then, in a few days, it becomes a child saying some real words, with its eyes changing color depending on mood. It cries and coos when held.
But Mahaila says that got old fast.
"It's annoying, it's really annoying," she said.
Fortunately for parents, there is an "Off" switch underneath, if the sounds get to be too much.
Her mom, Megan Brittney, says the little Hatchimal has been languishing on a shelf in Mahaila's room now for weeks.
"She kind of sat it down and hasn't touched it in two months." Brittney said.
Her assessment is not unusual. Of more than 400 reviews on Amazon, as of Dec. 12, 49 percent give it the lowest "1 star" rating.
One British mom's Facebook review, urging parents to "think twice," went viral and was shared thousands of times around the world.
Some reviews, though, are positive: One mom said "there is play value as the toy grows from a baby into a child."
But Megan Brittney says she doesn't think any Hatchimal is worth hundreds of dollars.
"When people are paying these large amounts for this toy, I really feel they would be let down," she said.
Bottom line: It's hard to say "no" to a 7- or 8-year-old who really, really wants one of these for Christmas. But keep in mind it may end up next to the Furby, Tickle Me Elmo and other once-hot toys by New Year's, sitting on the closet floor.
Whatever you decide, don't waste your money.
“Don't Waste Your Money” is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. (“Scripps”). The information included in this article was obtained independently by Scripps reporters. While purchases from links inserted in this article may result in a commission for Scripps, no Scripps reporter benefited from that commission.
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