Is this 2016's hottest holiday toy?
A new toy has hatched — just in time for the holidays. It's called a Hatchimal, and it's the newest toy craze. But getting your hands on a Hatchimal to wrap up for the holidays may be a challenge.
A Hatchimal, the brainchild of Canadian toy maker Spin Master, is an interactive robotic toy that CNN Money describes as the "high maintenance Tamagotchis of the 21st century," referring to the virtual keychain pet that was one of the biggest toy fads of the 1990s.
The furry animatronic toy, which comes with a $50 price tag, is encased in a speckled plastic egg. To get the toy to hatch, kids must interact with the shell — by touching, tapping or rubbing it — for up to 30 minutes.
After the toy is "hatched," it must be nurtured over days and weeks and it will mature. CNN Money says:
"As a baby, you feed it by touching its beak to the floor. It becomes more interactive as a toddler. It'll dance, repeat your words and move when you clap your hands. The Hatchimal will play games with you in its grown-up stage."
Toy industry experts say the massive popularity of Hatchimals, which first went on sale on Oct. 7, make it the must-have toy this holiday season.
First, encourage your Hatchimal to hatch from inside the egg. Then, when it's out of the egg, you can raise your new pal through three life stages. Teach your friend to walk, talk, dance, play games and more!
Juli Lennett, U.S. toys industry analyst at the NPD Group, tells CNBC that Hatchimals' "instant sales success" is almost unprecedented in recent years:
"The closest comparable new launch of a property would be Disney Frozen in 2013, which had a movie tie-in. Hatchimals is off to an even stronger start than Disney Frozen. This could be the 'Tickle Me Elmo' of 2016."
But it may prove difficult to get your hands on one of the Hatchimal toys, which come in five different "species." CNBC says the toys have sold out online at Walmart, Toys R Us and most Target stores.
Some Hatchimals are already selling on eBay for more than $100. A few sellers on Amazon have the toys listed for $134 or more.
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