- Emma Fierberg
The makers of Hatchimals are in hot water, after the holiday season’s hottest toy transformed into a December disaster.
A new class-action seeking lawsuit intends to get justice for the “hundreds of thousands” of people who purchased malfunctioning Hatchimals since the toy hit shelves in October.
The suit alleges that Spin Master, the maker of Hatchimal, perpetuated a bait-and-switch marketing scheme to convince people to purchase the toy, and that the the company “sold millions of families and their eager children a complete and total fraud.”
The lawsuit notes that one of the things that made Hatchimals one of the most in-demand presents this holiday season was the hatching process. Hatchimals are sold still encased in their eggs. Users have to play with and nurture the egg for up to an hour, listening to the cooing Hatchimal inside as it pecks its way out of the shell.
However, many Hatchimals failed to hatch, with complaints pouring in on social media and in online comments of websites of retailers like Amazon and Toys ‘R’ Us.
“We played with silly egg and it would not hatch,” reads one Toys ‘R’ Us comment quoted in the lawsuit. “I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do… Our daughter is [so] upset. We both tried to get it to work for her to no avail.”
— Ginger Christie (@gchristie3) December 26, 2016
The lawsuit argues that the Hatchimals’ malfunctions were due to the lack of “appropriate, responsible, or adequate technological development or functionality.”
“This action is brought on behalf of millions of families throughout this country – for the dutiful parents who waited hours and days outside retail stores, the children who cried tears of joy upon unwrapping their very own Hatchimal, and the American consumer who places faith and trust that they are purchasing products that work for those they love the most,” the suit reads.
While the suit argues that just a “few” children were lucky enough to receive a fully-functional Hatchimal, Spin Master says that customers’ responses have been “overwhelmingly positive.”
“Spin Master took extraordinary and proactive steps to respond to consumer questions regarding Hatchimals,” Christopher Harrs, Spin Master’s general counsel and secretary said in a statement.
“The Company provided troubleshooting support and where required immediately made available replacement products for those few consumers whose toys did not work as they anticipated,” the statement continued. “The allegations from the class action lawyer are simply inaccurate and not based on actual facts.”
The lawsuit is seeking refunds for all shoppers who bought Hatchimals that failed to hatch or malfunctioned in other ways.