The Toy That Took Shops By Surprise


The Toy That Took Shops By Surprise

The Hatchimal is this year’s Pie Face; it is the toy that every child wants to open on Christmas Day and, unfortunately for parents, it is the toy that has sold out everywhere in stores across the UK. have only two toys listed on their site, one of which is the Hatchimal, indicating just how coveted this toy really is. When I asked the sales assistant in Smyths today about stock, she didn’t need to look it up on the system as she had the same answer that every sales assistant working in a toy shop across the UK is currently giving: No! And shops have no idea when stock will be arriving either. The few Hatchimals that have trickled into stores have flown straight off the shelves into the hands of relieved parents, grateful that they have been one of the lucky few to have got their hands on the top toy of 2016.  At £59.99, it’s not a cheap toy either, and there’s no hope of it being reduced in price this side of Christmas;  all the while parents are desperate to buy them and demand is there, shops will continue to sell it at this price and you can’t blame them for that.

Yet, turn the clock back to August of this year, and who would have thought that the Hatchimal would have been such a big deal?  Hamleys, Argos, Amazon, all released their toy predictions for Christmas lists in 2016 and not one of these big stores listed the Hatchimal on their top ten. So why is it such a big deal? I have to applaud the marketing department at Spin Master for this, as their campaign was sheer genius. Customers were sold on the idea of an egg with the promise of ‘Who Will You Hatch on October 7th?’. Stores began selling out before ‘Hatch Day’ as parents didn’t want to miss out on THE toy of the year. But what did they know about the toy? Actually very little – just that it was an egg, that there was something inside that cooed and that, whatever it was, it would hatch on October 7th. And they paid £59.99 willingly, although ‘willingly’ might be the wrong word here and maybe ‘hopefully’ is a better choice.  They paid ‘hopefully’ as, whilst they might not really know what they had actually bought, they instead hoped that they had backed the winning horse, the ONE toy that everyone would want.  Spin Master have cleverly understood, and captured, the market here by making the toy desirable through the advertising of an egg and it’s ‘secret’ toy within, and through a parent’s fear of seeing their child disppointed on Christmas Day.  The Media miraculously kept quiet about the Hatchimal too which only served to heighten interest surrounding this toy by Hatch Day.

The public finally got to see what was inside the egg on ‘Hatch Day’, October 7th 2016; the Hatchimal sold out within hours of this.  It was interesting watching the Hatchimal on Amazon’s best sellers table as it rose through the ranks till it eventually occupied positions 1,2, & 3, then finally sold out the same day.  It’s been pretty much unobtainable ever since.   Every now and then you see stock levels change but, whatever stores get in, is sold again within minutes. So, whilst shops might have been slow to recognise the potential of the Hatchimal early on this year, they undoubtedly realise now which toy has the number one spot for Top Ten Toy of 2016.

Hatchimals are £59.99, and available as Draggles (purple/green) and Pengualas (pink/teal).  Toys R Us also has it’s own exclusive called Owlicorn  (pink/blue). Available (soon we hope) from all major stores.




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