Hottest Toy of 2016 Subject of 2017 Class Action
If you don’t have kids, you may never heard of “Hatchimals,” but no less than Fortune Magazine declared Hatchimals “the hottest toy of 2016.” Similar to the red-hot Furbys that flew off shelves in the late 1990s, Hatchimals are stuffed animals that come inside an egg and “hatch” and develop as children play with them, all at the cost of $60 a Hatchimal. Well, they are supposed to hatch, at least, but many children and parents have complained that they do not hatch or otherwise work as advertised, which has led to a class action filed in California state court over the allegedly defective toys.
How Hatchimals Are Intended to Work
Hatchimals are manufactured by Spin Master, a Canadian toy company that has released numerous hit toys and games over the past several decades and has made a number of high-profile acquisitions, including the recent acquisition of perennial favorite Etch-a-Sketch. According to the class action complaint, Spin Master released Hatchimals in October 2016 with a marketing campaign built on the excitement of a child waiting to see what Hatchimal emerged from the egg, and by November 2016, many stores were sold out and the toys were being sold for as much as $350 in secondary markets. Based on the instructions provided with the Hatchimal, the robotic stuffed animal will activate once it is removed from the box, and will “hatch” by pecking its way out of its egg shell in response to user activation by touching and holding the egg.
The Allegations of Widespread Unhatching
The class action complaint alleges that many Hatchimals are in fact defective in that the eggs have failed to hatch despite repeated efforts, leaving children with just an unopened egg or an egg that they had to open themselves, depriving them of the automatic hatching which is one of the primary selling points of the Hatchimal. Although Spin Master became aware of widespread complaints about the malfunctioning toys, the complaint alleges that the customer care line it put in place to respond to customer issues was perpetually busy and ultimately unuseful in addressing the problems with the toys.
Although it is unknown how many consumers might have been affected by defective versions of the toy, the complaint suggests that many thousands have indeed been affected, and numerous negative reviews on sites like Amazon (where 50% of users gave the toy the lowest rating of 1 star) indicate there is widespread dissatisfaction with the toy. The complaint alleges that by marketing and selling the Hatchimals, Spin Master is liable to affected consumers for violating California’s false advertising, unfair competition, and other consumer protection laws.
Premiere Class Action Attorneys in the Inland Empire
The complex litigation attorneys at McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP have experience in investigating consumer fraud and bringing class action litigation to obtain justice for defrauded consumers. If you have been the victim of consumer fraud, please contact McCune Wright Arevalo today to find out your legal options.