Hatchimals crack open complaints and lawsuits

An upset Hatchimal displays a bit of road rage, swearing in frustration at the turtle traffic ahead. Many claim this popular children’s toy not only has a potty mouth but also a malfunctioning hatching feature. Illustration by Noe Nekotani.

An upset Hatchimal displays a bit of road rage, swearing in frustration at the turtle traffic ahead. Many claim this popular children’s toy not only has a potty mouth but also a malfunctioning hatching feature. Illustration by Noe Nekotani.

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Hatchimals, furry robot creatures hatched from eggs, have become the top-selling toy of the holiday season before even making its way onto shelves. But, as many proud Hatchimal owners quickly found out, along with the urgency of obtaining one comes the backlash of actually owning one.

Owners claimed the children’s toy repeatedly says cuss words, while others complained about the product not hatching properly.

This has led to a class-action lawsuit, alleging that Spin Master, the makers of Hatchimals, sold a toy that was defective. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. district court of California last month.  

“It sounded intriguing, then the internet blew up about it, and all of a sudden it was ‘the toy’ to get your hands on,” said a staff member at Sacred Hearts Academy, who preferred not to be identified. She received her Hatchimal as a gift from her spouse.

The Hatchimal lives in a plastic egg and “hatches” into interactive creatures that respond to the touch. It costs about $50, depending on the retailer, but has been sold for upward of $250 on the resale market.

The toys repeat words or phrases that humans can teach them. As of now, there aren’t any restrictions as to what the Hatchimals can repeat.

There is a stage when it goes into a copy and repeat mode, so I’m certain a person could ‘teach’ it to say those types of things,” the faculty member said.

Social media has added an even larger display of displeasure on behalf of the unhappy families. A growing number of videos have been posted online as proof of their Hatchimal saying swear words.

On the homepage of the official Hatchimal website, the company writes: “It is our priority to ensure our consumers are happy with our products, and we are pleased to report that many consumers have experienced success through connecting and/or troubleshooting with our Customer Care Team…We are still hard at work making sure that everyone has a magical hatching experience.”

The company provides a customer service phone number and email address. It also created a frequently asked questions webpage, which includes video tutorials to help Hatchimal owners troubleshoot.