Every year, it seems there’s a hot toy that every kid has to have. Remember the days of the Cabbage Patch Kid? The Furby? How does a toy become the “it” thing on a kid’s Christmas list, anyway?
This year, that hot toy is the Hatchimal. What in the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks is that?? For anyone with a 7 year old girl at home, you may already know that a Hatchimal is a pain in your butt, a thorn in your side- and a quest you’re determined to conquer. For anyone without at 7 year old girl, a Hatchimal is a cute little interactive animal that “hatches” out of an egg and then demands your time and attention to teach it how to walk, talk and play. And lo-and-behold, the Hatchimal is the must-have toy for Christmas this year. But just like every other must-have toy of years past, it’s impossible to find on store shelves.
Enter the Black Market, the expensive and sometimes seedy place to do business. If you’re looking for a Hatchimal, the Black Market is alive and well for these suckers if you are willing to pay three times the retail price. There is a demand, a lack of supply, a number of sellers ready to take your money, and throngs of parents willing to fork over our hard-earned cash. Is it a life-saving drug you’re seeking? Is it the last supply of bread or milk in your town? No, it’s just a toy.
So, what created this frenzy? We’ll never know for sure what is causing the craze, but in my opinion, it’s not the kids or even the TV commercials; it’s the parents.
Sure, a lot of kids have a Hatchimal on their Christmas list, and normally I blame my kids for a lot of things (they’re my standard cop-out), but kids did not create this. I caused this Hatchimal craze; along with every other parent who’s willing to stand in line for hours or pay triple the shelf price. Whether it was intentional or not, Hatchimals have become an endangered species. And we parents are a marketers dream. After all, we’ve turned this quest to find one into a competition, and in doing so we created a perceived value and a TON of free marketing – marketing you just can’t buy.
We created this crazy black market monster and there is no going back between now and Christmas. This has truly shown the power of supply and demand. And in the end, there are still plenty of parents on the hunt for a bouncing baby Burtle, or Draggle, or Owlicorn. To all of you, good luck. I know what a Hatchimal really is… I’ve been there, done that, and will not do it again.