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Picture a Jack-in-the-Box, but in an egg.
These egg-shaped Jacks-in-a-Box contain interactive creatures called Hatchimals. And rather than wind a crank to get the Jack to pop out, a Hatchimal’s egg must be carefully cracked by its owner in order to reveal the cuddly creature inside. Created by Spin Master, Hatchimals are expected to be one of the most-wanted toy this year, according to experts in the industry.
Jim Silver, a toy industry expert, compared Hatchimals to the Tamagotchi virtual pets that were all the rage in the ’90s. CNN reports that Silver has Hatchimals pegged as one of the year’s top toys, and Melanie Notkin from Savvy Auntie awarded Hatchimals the Coolest Toy Award at the Toy Fair held in New York earlier this year.
The actual Hatchimal is enclosed inside a large egg. Kids cannot throw the egg against the wall to open the egg; they have to interact with the egg. With touch technology, kids have to touch the egg in certain ways for it to hatch on its own. For instance, when you tap on the egg, the Hatchimal inside taps back. It makes a sound and lights up when you stroke the top or bottom of the egg.
Once you have played with the Hatchimal for about 30 minutes, the Hatchimal will start to peck forcibly on the shell, rotating its head to strike at different spots on the egg. After a while, you can see the beak come out from the top of the shell, and then you can open the egg from the top.
The makers of Hatchimals put a lot of thought into how long it should take for the bird inside to emerge.
“Kids don’t have a lot of patience,” James Martin, head of Spin Master’s robotics unit, told CNN Money. “We didn’t want it to take too long [to hatch], but we also didn’t want it happen too fast.”
Martin also said, to the best of his knowledge, this is the only toy that’s able to hatch on its own. That’s not the only special feature this toy has.
Once born, the Hatchimal is a baby that needs to be daily. You feed the baby bird by touching its beak to the floor. Over the next few days and weeks, the baby turns into a toddler, where it dances, repeats your words, and moves when you clap your hands together. Once it becomes a grown-up, the Hatchimal plays games with you.
There are two types of Hatchimals: Pengualas and Draggles. Their look is inspired by penguins, koalas and dragons. Each Hatchimal costs $59.99.