Hatchimals Birth a Class Action

April 20, 2017

Defendants, Spin Master Corp. and Spin Master Inc. (referenced collectively as “Spin Master”), have not filed an answer to the class action complaint brought forth by disappointed Hatchimal consumers. In January 2017, a class action lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of California, Hejduk v. Spin Master Corp., was delivered against Spin Master alleging deceptive business practices, among other consumer related claims, associated with Hatchimal sales.  In an Order to Extend Time to Respond to the Complaint filed earlier this month, the court indicated that Spin Master is in the process of reaching a settlement agreement with the group of Hatchimal purchasers who filed the complaint.

All of this legal discussion about Hatchimal and Spin Master leads to a pressing question that demands immediate clarification; what exactly is a Hatchimal? The Hatchimal is a plush egg stuffed with a cuddly toy animal that is prompted to claw its way out of its shell when it is provided with twenty to twenty-five minutes of continuous holding, tapping, tilting, and/or rubbing . The species of imaginary creatures gestated in the egg’s soft exterior range from Pengualas to Draggles, Burdles, Owlicorns, or Bearakeet varieties.

During Christmas, Hatchimals were making the top of children’s wish lists across the country. The popular toys may be categorized as many things, but inexpensive is not likely to be one of them. Paragraph 5 of the complaint states, “Although the toys were sold for $50 to $60, news outlets reported that some Hatchimals were selling for around $350, or approximately seven times more than the retail price.

Parents are also alleging the eggs eventually bore heaps of disappointment after lengthy cuddle sessions failed to spawn anything else. Specifically, the complaint alleged, “…extreme disappointment for the many children when their Hatchimals did not hatch.”

The complaint draws upon numerous illustrations of the heartbreak that ensued when the egg failed to produce its offspring. One Amazon.com reviewer did everything short of CPR to induce delivery. Paragraph 32 of the complaint shows the following Amazon.com review:

My 6 year old daughter wanted this from Santa and was the only thing she has wanted for 3 months. Christmas morning she was so excited when she saw it. Unfortunately, the egg did nothing. We followed all steps and even went to the Hatchimal website to troubleshoot. We tried 8 different steps trying to get it to do something, however the battery was apparently dead inside the egg. My daughter eventually (after about 2 hours) decided to just crack the egg itself to get it out. We had to replace the batteries for it to turn on. As you know, the “hatching” of the HATCHimal is the whole reason for this toy. She was pretty let down for Christmas as was I considering I saved my money and ended up paying 3 x’s the amount for it. These are normally $49.99 and due to the craze, everyone marked them up. I am very disappointed and feel like I wasted my money that I worked very hard for. (emphasis added)

To read more Hatchimal reviewers’ tragic accounts of the Hatchimals that did not hatch, click here to view the full complaint on Westlaw.

Image source: The Penguala Hatchimal. REUTERS/Spin Master/Handout

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