BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Hatchimals are this holiday’s hottest item.
“Trying to get a hatchimal is like trying to win a lottery ticket,” said Kristen Voit, a mom who is searching for a Hatchimal for more than two months. “As a parent, I know that a kid sees it and they want it and hundreds of others want it and then leave it on the parents shoulders to figure out a way to get it.”
Voit has been trying to get one for months. She has searched endlessly- waking up in the middle of the night to wait in line; driving more than hour away to PA; browsing the internet.
“You search websites, apps, you name it, go to different stores, take time out of your life,” said Voit.
Marketing researchers say there’s not real reason why some items take off and others don’t.
“When they have something hot, [they know and] a lot of times sort of the more basic human nature will take over and the logic will go out the window,” said Seth Oyer, a public relations professor at the University at Buffalo and president of Clean Fan Communications. “I think manufacturers will sometimes limit production because they know that the prices will go up.”
“It’s quite challenging and when you do find them, the price is double, triple, four-times what it should be,” said Voit.
Hatchimals started retailing just over $40; now, some sites have them listed at $239.
“It’s like a small investment for a child who will play with this for two, maybe three months,” said Voit.
She says there’s a black market for these hot holiday items – showing us a Facebook page where someone is selling the toys out of their trunk.
“They’re on Facebook, trying to scam the parents who want to get that toy,” said the mom. “And it’s ‘Are you willing to shell out that amount of money?'”
Voit says she goes through this every year so she started setting a price limit for what she’s willing to spend. For a Hatchimal – it’s about $90. If she can find one for less, she’ll get it.
Until then, her search continues.
“It’s kind of ruining Christmas,” admits the mom. “It’s frustrating. It’s sad to let down a child.”