What was supposed to be season’s trendiest toy, has now become a ground for a class action lawsuit. Many parents and their children are extremely disappointed over a bird that won’t pop out of its egg as promised. For now, the widespread dissatisfaction continues to trend and has transformed into a class action lawsuit over a Hatchimal that won’t hatch.
What is a Hatchmal anyway?
For those of you not into the toy business, here is a brief description of what a Hatchimal actually is. It is stuffed animal hidden inside a plastic egg. And as the toy’s name already tells you, it is supposed to hatch, more specifically after its owner rubs the shell. Spin Master’s website informs that the process might take 25 to 40 minutes. The toy inside also reacts back to the gestures by tapping and a variety of noises.
The toy costs somewhere around $50, depending on the retailer. However, the toys also became popular on the resale market, where they could sell as high as $250. Many parents queued in front of Toys R US and Wal-Mart to buy the hit toy. In fact, one Hatchimal even appeared on eBay Canada for as much as $10,000.
Who filed the lawsuit and what does it say?
It was Jodie Hejduk of Bakersfield, California that filed a class action lawsuit over a Hatchimal that won’t hatch. Her lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. She accuses the Spin Master that a toy she bought for her daughter failed to function. Hejduk said in her lawsuit that the information on the website wasn’t the case “millions of families throughout this country.”
The lawsuit claims that millions of children and families fell victim to a bait and switch tactic. The Spin Master marketed the toy like crazy to secure its place on Christmas shopping list. But the worldwide excitement soon turned into dissatisfaction. It no more concerned people where they could get the fancy toy. Instead, they took social media by storm to express their anger over its malfunction. Moreover, the lawsuit claims that the company very well knew that “hatching was one of the primary draws of the toy.
Social media and review-based sites like Amazon reveal the scale of the problem pretty well. According to the lawsuit, here is what one customer wrote on Amazon. “I paid triple the price so I could get my 5 yr. old daughter what she wanted but when it was time to play with it the Hatchimal would not respond inside the egg. We watched every YouTube video we could for help, but to no avail … we had to open it ourselves.”
How did the company respond?
Here is how the manufacturer responded to the class action lawsuit over a Hatchimal that won’t hatch. Christopher Harrs, the executive vice president and general counsel responded to the allegations in a statement provided to CNBC with the following. “Spin Master stands behind its products and cares about its consumers.” He continues to say that the popularity of Hatchimals, especially during Christmas, resulted in a positive consumer response. Therefore, the company experienced a higher number of consumer call over the holidays than expected. Harrs added, that Spin Master does everything to address the concerns over the Hatchimals.
The statement also claims that the company provided all necessary troubleshooting support and product replacements for a few customers whose toys did not work. “The allegations from the class action lawyer are simply inaccurate and not based on actual facts,” concludes the statement.
Do the consumers agree with the statement?
Contrary to what Spin Master’s statement says the suit claims that the company did not take proper steps to address the problem. It says that the company “has not offered to recall the product or provide reimbursements to consumers who purchased the defective product.” Spin Master’s Facebook page became flooded with numerous complaints regarding the toy. Some consumers said that the company put them on hold for three hours before disconnecting the call.
According to several customer comments on Facebook, even if the company offered a replacement to some, they had problems receiving it. One of the customers wrote, “It’s been two weeks, tomorrow since we sent all the requested info and nobody from your company will tell me what the hold up in receiving a replacement is.”
Consumers continue asking questions about Hatchimals in the comments. However, some tell that they clarified the issue via direct messages. In fact, a number of customer service agents responded to comments to showcase that their case was resolved.