Move over, Cabbage Patch dolls. Sayonara, Pokemon. Dos vedanya, Tickle Me Elmo. There’s a new toy craze in town. The Hatchimals are here (another popular portmanteau). It’s like Beatlemania, only with vibrantly colored, stuffed animals that are housed inside plush eggs. People are flocking to Targets, Walmarts and Toy R Us’s. Toys R We?
Side note: I don’t think there’s an official plural to Toys R Us. Also, I can’t make a backward “R” on my keyboard. Sad face. But I digress, like I do. If you’re lucky, you’ve already picked up an Owlicorn, Beerakeet or Pengualas for your kid. If not, it’s probably already too late. Cue the ominous music: Dunt dun da!
A bunch of them flew off the shelves even before Black Friday.
Picture it: It’s the day after America’s biggest sales day, and somewhere on the war-torn floor of a Super K, parents are devising their excuses for Santa. They are meandering back to their cars in the vast, now-empty parking lots across the country. What are they going to tell their children when they don’t get the coveted toy of the year?
“Noah, Santa really wanted to get you a purple and teal Burtle, but the elves skipped their flu shots this year. There was a deadly breakout in the North Pole. Production slowed to a halt. Blame it on the elves.”
“I’m sorry Olivia, but the Hatichables all hatched and flew the coop! You want them to roam free, don’t you?”
Did I mention that Hatchimals start out as Hatchables? It begins in a plush, speckled egg, and you don’t know which creature you might hatch. That’s right. You don’t know what you’re going to get. It’s like a Whitman’s Sampler of toys. You want the caramel, but you get the coconut. That’s a disaster waiting to happen. Ask any kid who ever opened a baseball card and got a Billy Martin or A.J. Pierzynski card with their stale piece of bubble gum. You know there’s a kid pining for the penguin, but gets stuck with a parakeet. I picture a lot of crying under the Christmas tree this year.
Here’s the deal with the Hatchimals. They’re like Tamagotchis. Remember those hand-held digital pets that you had to “feed” and “pamper”? They’ve been gene-spliced with Rainbow Brite and the Care Bears. Mutated from Beyond! The result is this new plot to tear families apart, one Christmas at a time. The Hatchimals.
It all starts with the Hatchables, the aforementioned speckled eggs that are meant to teach responsibility and boost imaginative play. The egg coos and lights up. You can even hear a heartbeat inside. When you tap on the egg, it taps back.
Isn’t that creeping anyone else out?
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Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and a sit down author. His book, "Below Average Genius," a collection of humor columns culled from the Observer-Reporter, can be purchased here.