Canadian company Spin Master has whipped up what is being touted as the hottest toy this holiday season — the Hatchimals.
The Hatchimals are expected to be on every child's Christmas wishlist and are either sold out or difficult to source, which bears testimony to the frenzy for the magical creatures that hatch out of an egg.
We give you a low down on what they are, the types available, how to play with the toy and where to buy these little wonders.
What Are Hatchimals?
Hatchimals are basically mysterious, furry and interactive creatures that are pretty cuddly and make great companions for a child.
These creatures start out as an egg and need to be taken care of before each Hatchimal grows and can eventually hatch from the egg.
"Hatchimals begin their lives in peculiar and mystifying spotted eggs. The eggs are white with purple, green, blue and pink spots, measuring approximately 10 inches tall and weigh 1.76 pounds. But this isn't the kind of toy that children will play with and then get bored of," notes the toy's website.
Types Of Hatchimals
There are five types of Hatchimals — the Draggles, Owlicorns, Pengualas, Burtles and Bearakeets.
Draggles — These creatures descend from dragons and are headstrong but friendly. They have big eyes, flappy wings that are spotted and come in a vibrant blue and purple color.
Pengualas — The Pengualas are penguin-type creatures. They are clumsy and relaxed, have a chubby body like that of a penguin. They also have beady eyes and a "tuft of features" on their head. There are two kinds of Pengualas — a pink one and a red and yellow one.
Owlicorns — These are a hybrid of an owl and a unicorn (as the name suggests) and while shy the Owlicorns are pretty bright. They are observant and friendly, but at the same time have the magical qualities of a unicorn. Two types of Owlicorns are available — one is light blue with a pink belly and the other is a pink one. These fuzzy creatures also have wings and horn.
Burtles — These are basically a combination of a bug and a turtle. They have curly antennas, are energetic and exude happiness. Burtles come in two colors — blue and purple.
Bearakeets — These are a combination of a bear and a parakeet. Bearakeets are furry and have pink bellies. They are frumpy like bears and have the attitude of a parakeet. They come in two colors: black or white.
How To Play?
Hatchimals need to be nurtured and cared for with compassion by the owner and they hatch from the egg in due course.
Hatchimals interact in a weird gibberish lingo and need to be encouraged by the child so that they peck their way out. Each Hatchimal comes with instructions that aid the child to know how to use the toy's features. Once the Hatchimal hatches out, the child can indulge in several games with their pet.
The Hatchimals — like real animals — go through different stages of life as the children care for them and play with them, while acquiring real-life skills themselves. The child has to pat and burp the Hatchimal when it is a baby, teach them to talk and walk when it is a toddler, play games when they are older.
The best thing about Hatchimals? While one may know the type of Hatchimal they have, one can never know which color option the creature is till the egg hatches!
We posted a short video from the creators of Hatchimals below.
Where To Buy?
While Draggles and Pengualas are available at all retailers, the other three are limited editions. The Burtles are exclusive to Walmart, Owlicorns to Toys 'R' Us and Bearakeets are a Target exclusive.
When the Hatchimals were released by Spin Master on Oct. 7, they were selling between $50 and $60. However, the sudden craze for the toy has driven up the price and they are now being sold by third parties for double. The average going rate on eBay and Amazon for these furry creatures is $199 to $500.
Walmart had the Burtles up for grabs for $48.88 (savings of $6 as a Black Friday special), but it is now listed as out of stock online.
The toy is however, being offered by third-party retailers like Essential Supply on Walmart for $250 to $350. Customers can snag a Penguala, Bearakeet or Draggle.
Target lists the Bearakeets as available only in store for $49.99 on sale instead of the regular $59.99. The Penguala and Draggle are also listed as being available only in store. We suggest one scouts their local Target to get Hatchimals — if they are still in stock. Toys 'R' Us has the Hatchimals available only in stores as well.
eBay also lists the Hatchimals, but be prepared to shell out $80 to $950 to snag yours. The average price of the toy is $130.
Amazon also has the magical toys available for sale and one needs to pay between $234 to $300.
Some e-retailers such as One Step Ahead are accepting orders for the toys, but are selling them for $100 and will not deliver the Hatchimals before February next year.