- Emma Fierberg
Two Arizona brothers are positioned to make thousands of dollars after betting that Hatchimals, the robotic hatching toys, would become this year’s hottest gift of the holiday season.
Mike and Stan Zappa spent $5,000 on 100 Hatchimals in early October, hoping to turn a profit reselling the toys to parents searching for the gift, CNN reported. A month and a half later, Hatchimals have established themselves as this year’s Tickle-Me-Elmo – a toy that kids across the US want and that parents are struggling to find.
The brothers have sold 30 Hatchimals on eBay so far, recouping their $5,000.
While the original retail price of the toys was $50, eBay says the average selling price is now $132, with a range from $81 to $196. At those prices, the Zappas could more than double their investment – and the brothers say they anticipate prices only getting higher as Christmas Day draws near.
At that rate, the brothers could make $13,200 reselling the Hatchimals, earning a profit of $8,200 on their $5,000 investment.
The brothers promoted their Hatchimals stock via social media.
— Mike “Prez” Zappa ⚓️ (@MikeZappa) November 22, 2016
— Mike “Prez” Zappa ⚓️ (@MikeZappa) November 14, 2016
Originally, people who knew the brothers were less than supportive of the idea.
“Three weeks ago there wasn’t one person we knew who thought this was a great idea,” Stan Zappa told CNN. “Even our father called us idiots. Now they can’t believe it.”
Retailers are having an increasingly difficult time keeping Hatchimals in stock, helping drive demand for resellers like the Zappas.
Target and Toys R Us are restocking Hatchimals as soon as new shipments arrive at stores, meaning customers need to continue to visit or call local shops to get their hands on the toys. Toys R Us has even implemented a one-toy-per-shopper policy – a rule that would have ruined the Zappas’ game plan.
Walmart has pledged to sell the toy on Black Friday at the discounted price of $48.88. That makes the retailer a shopper’s best bet – outside eBay – to find reasonably priced Hatchimals.
Hatchimals, a brand produced by the Canadian toymaker Spin Master, does not support the resale of the toys at higher prices.
“This is a special season and we don’t want anyone to be disappointed, nor do we support inflated prices from non-authorized resellers,” Hatchimals said in a statement on its website saying the brand realized the toy was sold out at most retailers.
The Zappa brothers, however, say they aren’t doing anything wrong.
“We didn’t break any laws,” Mike Zappa told CNN. “And we aren’t dictating how the market is pricing the toys on eBay. What we are doing is capitalism at its best.”
BIQ Podcast: Black Friday is becoming a battle of values vs. values. Some stores open early with doorbuster deals; others are closing and advertising a commitment to family. Listen: