So I accidentally discovered that apparently the hot toys of the season are Hatchimals. They are basically the Tomagatchi from our childhood brought to life. While we got a shitty little digital egg that swung from our belt to babysit, our kids get actual furry critters who peck their way out of that egg, then beg them to start teaching them tricks.
Feeling jipped yet? Oh, honey, I haven’t even started yet.
My daughter reaaaalllly wanted a Hatchimal (a chatty, expensive toy), so my husband and I made her earn one through great behavior, extra chores, and relentless pleading, figuring she’d never follow through on the first two. That child has so much crap in the house that makes noise or is a dusty cardboard box she insists is her BFF that we didn’t any more of it, and assumed this would end in a life lesson about already having enough stuff. But she actually fulfilled her end of the bargain (!!!), so we had to get her a Hatchimal.
LOL SOUNDS EASY RIGHT?
Here’s how it goes, when the one frickin’ thing your kid wants happens to be one of the hottest new toys of the year:
- Ask your kid to spell that one more time because seriously, what are you saying?
- Pop onto Amazon to order one lickity split with 2-day Prime shipping, only to see they are either sold out or the price is jacked up 350% due to supply (zilch) and demand (frothing fervor).
- Dodge shrieking child leaping for the mouse to scroll over to the one she SUPER WANTS, which has an even more ridiculous name (BearaKeet? For real?).
- See that one’s just as expensive.
- Search ToysRUs.com.
- Sold out.
- Search Target.com.
- Sold out.
- Search Walmart.com.
- Sold out.
- Search every single other toy store in existence.com.
- Sold out.
- Start calling stores who laugh at you when you ask whether it’s in stock.
- Reach one chatty clerk at a Toys R Us who tells you that people come as soon as the store opens on delivery day to snap up every last Hatchimal.
- Curse early risers.
- Wonder why your kid can’t become obsessed with something super easy to find, like dust bunnies or socks that lost their match.
- Start stalking toy sections/toy stores as part of your new daily routine.
- Set alerts on your phone for when the toy comes in stock online.
- Give up and realize you’re going to have to be one of those early risers who shows up at the store doors before opening.
- Walk into a cold, dark Toys R Us and ask for a Hatchimal, only to be told they are held at Customer Service, getting handed out one per customer — and they might already be out of the ones that arrived an hour ago.
- RUN LIKE HELL TO THE FRONT DESK and have the Customer Service rep laugh at your desperation over buying a large speckled egg for $59.
- Beg for a BearaKeet (CHEESE AND CRACKERS I JUST SAID THAT WORD OUT LOUD).
- Be shown a Draggle and a Owlicorn (DO I LIVE IN FRAGGLE ROCK NOW? WHAT IS HAPPENING?).
- Wonder what has become of your life.
- Take the damn Owlicorn.
- Wait forever at the cash register because everyone seems to be chatty today.
- Turn and find a woman begging—begging—you to swap the Owlicorn for another one of the Hatchimals because she just told Customer Service that she needed the Owlicorn her daughter specifically requested and I had the only one in my hands and please please please please OMG OKAY STOP BEGGING THIS IS ALREADY EMBARASSING ENOUGH WE’RE TALKING ABOUT SPECKLED EGGS HERE.
- Leave checkout line, go back to Customer Service.
- Decide the Penguala looks cooler than a Draggle, try not to think about what that says about your life.
- Go back to the checkout line.
- Have strange woman come over one more time to profusely thank you for your Owlicorn generosity.
- Wonder if she knows something about the Owlicorn that you don’t.
- Pull out Toys R Us gift cards your kids don’t even realize they had from birthdays past out of your wallet to pay for the Hatchimal.
- Call your husband to excitedly tell him you got it.
- Realize you and your husband have the lamest conversations, ever.
- Hide the Hatchimal in a closet.
- Watch your daughter cry when she gets home from school because she thinks you STILL didn’t find one, only you are waiting for your husband to get home from work to give it to her because he deserves the credit on this since most of the stuff she did to earn this toy in the first place was through him.
- Wait hours for him to get home because rain makes people shitty drivers.
- Watch her cry with joy when she realizes he is giving her the Hatchimal.
- Listen to her explain what a Hatchimal is to everyone around her, as if they even asked.
- Read in the instructions that in about 20 minutes, the Hatchimal will start to peck its way out of the egg.
- In about 3 minutes, deflect frustrated queries from your kid as to why it’s taking so long.
- Repeat every 2.5 minutes for the next THREE HOURS.
- Google “Why Won’t My F@cking Hatchimal Hatch?” and get exactly zero helpful answers.
- Hold the egg for her when she gets ready for bed, with strict instructions to tap and rub it at intervals to keep it engaged WHAT THE HELL.
- Love it when she gets too impatient to wait much longer and stabs a hole in the shell because this cannot end soon enough.
- Wait another hour or so, then agree to rip that thing apart as a family.
- Feel her gleeful smile at its revealing revive your cold, dead, Hatchimal-hating heart.
- Tuck that Hatchimal into its nest next to your kid’s bed when she finally goes to sleep after all that excitement, smiling to yourself because it really did make her happy, didn’t it?
This is my life now:
Still confused about what Hatchimals are? Here’s the long and short of it:
- There are five kinds of Hatchimals: Pengualas, Draggles, Burtles (only at Walmart), Owlicorns (only at Toys R Us), BearKeets (only at Target).
- You buy an egg, and once it’s unpacked, you will see its eyes light up through the shell. Your kid will check the Tips & Tricks chart to see what each color light means, and how to respond (needs to burp, scared, upset, etc). If you tap it, it’ll tap back. Pretty cute!
- After about 20-30 minutes, rainbow lights will flash and it will begin the 15-minute-long hatching process. (Ours started but never got far, so after about 4 hours or so, we just hacked into it)
- Once it’s out of its shell, it’s a baby who needs care.
- Soon it then it’s a toddler, ready to learn how to walk and play games.
- Finally it’s a kid, ready to play and learn new games.
Honestly, it’s all good. She was excited and the instructions are clear enough for her to follow them on her own, so even though I think our malfunctioned in the hatching process, I’m just happy that she’s happy. (And I bagged up some old toys to donate that she won’t even notice since she’s so distracted by this one now. WOO HOO!)
Kim Bongiorno is an author, full time freelance writer, and the blogger behind Let Me Start By Saying. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter, hire her to write for you or speak at an event, or ask her to reach things on high shelves because she has very long arms.