Brace yourselves: Hatchimals are back

Hatchimals are back – and this time, they’re collectible.

Eggs-asperated parents who couldn’t grab one of the $60 Furby-like pets kids went crazy over last holiday season have got a second chance. A new generation of mini Hatchimal “Colleggtibles” drops on Monday, with more than 70 mini plastic versions of the original plush pets hitting store shelves. Best of all, they start at just $2.99.

Spin Master’s animatronic animals were last season’s surprise holiday hit, joining Tickle-Me-Elmo, Furby and Zhu Zhu Pets in the pantheon of playthings that parents got into shoving matches over in store aisles. Children were enchanted by a plush pet they had to hatch from an egg; holding it and playing with it for about 30 minutes until the toy (mostly) broke out of the shell itself. After that, kids were encouraged to keep playing with the cuddly critter to “teach” it to walk and talk.

Hatchimals are back with new “Colleggtibles” kids can’t wait to get their hands on. (Spin Master)

“Consumer demand has far exceeded ours and retailer expectations,” Spin Master’s chief executive officer Ronnen Harary said on an earnings call last fall. “For a time in October, Hatchimals was the single biggest-selling toy at Amazon and Walmart in any category.”

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Spin Master would not release sales figures to Moneyish, but Toy Association trend expert Adrienne Appell told Moneyish, “They were huge, and they were impossible to find.” Toy industry analyst Jim Silver has estimated two million Hatchimals were sold last year, logging about $80 million in revenue.

Some are still going for $75 on eBay, though at parents’ Christmas and Hannukah desperation peak, they were going for $100 or $200 apiece.

So while tracking down all of the new Colleggtible pocket pets may still drive parents insane, at least these won’t break the bank: A single pack runs just $2.99, or you can bag two-packs for $4.99 and five-packs for $10.99.

Hatchimals are back with new “Colleggtibles” kids can’t wait to get their hands on. (Spin Master)

The new Hatchimals recommended for ages 5 and up come in small, speckled eggs with hearts on the outside. Kids have to rub the heart until it changes color, which means it’s ready to hatch. Then they crack the egg open to reveal their little tiger, bear, monkey or other winged or four-legged friend. There’s also a collector’s map to keep track of which ones you still need to buy – because if Pokemon has taught us anything, it’s kids are obsessed with catching ‘em all.

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And the “Colleggtibles” include rare and limited edition Hatchimals, like a Laughing Elephant and a Lilac Tiger.

Hatchimals are back with new “Colleggtibles” kids can’t wait to get their hands on. (Spin Master)

“These new Hatchimals are capitalizing on the collectible craze, which continues to be extra, extra hot,” said Appell, citing the insanity around Shopkins a couple of holidays ago, and of course, Pokemon, Pogs and Hot Wheels cars.

“What’s brilliant about this move is that Spin Master is taking a property that was so buzzed about this last holiday season, and making it more accessible to people – both to physically buy it, and also making the pricepoint more accessible,” said Appell. “And even kids who already have a Hatchimal will want to get these, because this is a whole different way to play.”

This summer will also see the arrival of $60 Glitter Hatchimals, which takes the original plush penguin, dragon and owl-hybrids hatching from eggs, and dusts them with sparkling fur and new songs, sounds and games.

Hatchimals go on sale May 1 at all major retailers were toys are sold.

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