The new Hatchimals toy egg is larger, heavier and hiding something more. Spin master, the toymaker behind 2016’s biggest toy phenomenon, showed off on Thursday the next-generation version of its product. Known as Hatchimals surprise, two furry interactive toys self-hatch out of a single egg.
The twins, which can either be same or fraternal, interact with every other (and you), and their personalities age in maturity in the weeks following their birth. The original Hatchimals’ debut last year sparked a buying frenzy. Desperate parents stood in line for hours to attain one for kids ahead of the vacations. Some enterprising entrepreneurs stockpiled the toy and made a killing through reselling them on eBay.
Toy industry analyst Jim Silver estimates Spin master sold two million Hatchimals yesteryear, logging about $80 million in sales. He believes Hatchimals surprise will be even a bigger success this shopping season. “Having seen their new Hatchimals merchandise for this year, I assume the brand could triple sales to $250 million,” he said.
Spin master declined to touch upon Hatchimals sales. While the original Hatchimals pecked their way out of the egg, the twins take on a greater realistic approach. “They burst their way out of the top, very similar to we see real animals come out of an egg,” said James Martin, head of robotics at the Spin master. “Their hatching experience is completely different than the real.”
The siblings sit on top of each other. It takes seven to fifteen minutes for the egg to hatch, and it needs your help. Hatchimals owners should interact with the egg which features touch generation. You will need to hold, tap and talk to the egg to move along the process. A high-tech mechanism in the toy allows it to crack the egg. The first twin breaks out on its own. Finally, you will need to reach the egg to pull the second twin out.
Unlike the first Hatchimals, the twins interact with each other thru built-in sensors. They giggle and say “I love you” when they face each other. They also get sad when they are apart for too long. If you press one of their noses, it’ll sing. The other sibling reacts by dancing, rocking back and forth and flapping its wings.
They also play games and repeat words. This option ignited a controversy last year when some parents said the most-hyped toy of the season had a potty mouth.
In videos posted on YouTube, parents insisted their Hatchimals toy swore in its sleep. However, the company declined the claims, declaring Hatchimals do not speak English — they’ve their own made-up language. But, the toy repeats what the users says, up to 3 seconds of sound and Spin master said it cannot control what is said about it.
“It does repeat what you are saying to it. We can not control that,” he said. “We respect that people may think they hear something, however, we’ve put the toy thru very rigorous testing.” Hatchimals surprise ($70) includes “species”: a Giraven, a combination of a giraffe and a raven, and a Peacat, a combination of a peacock and a cat.
The toy hits stores Friday. The enterprise is also launching an update to the original Hatchimals brand with new species coming in December: Tigrette and Puffatoo. Past year’s species — Pengualas and Draggles — will slowly be phased out.
Spin master is eager to grow Hatchimals beyond just toys. “We are expanding into licensed items like T-shirts, bedding, even costumes. The possibilities are infinite,” said Martin.